beautiful pregnant woman sleeping in bed

Poor sleep quality in pregnancy linked to restless leg syndrome

One of the most common complaints of pregnancy is poor sleep and daytime sleepiness which is often attributed to normal physiological changes which occur during pregnancy.

But now researchers attribute these sleep-wake disturbances to the incidence of restless leg syndrome (RLS).

People who suffer from restless leg syndrome experience unpleasant sensations in their legs which causes an irresistible urge to move their legs due to the discomfort. This often leads to restless sleep or no sleep.

When compared to pregnant women without RLS, the study found that women who suffered from RLS were twice as likely to experience poor sleep quality and poor functioning during daytime.

The study involved 1563 pregnant women with an average age of 30 years. They were all in their third trimester.

RLS was diagnosed using standardised criteria for self reported symptoms and frequency.

All demographic and pregnancy related information was gathered from medical records and sleep data was collected through questionnaires.

The analysis of the information revealed that 36 per cent of the pregnant women had RLS and nearly half of them had moderate to severe symptoms.

When compared to pregnant women without RLS, the study found that women who suffered from RLS were twice as likely to experience poor sleep quality and poor functioning during daytime. They were also more than likely to be excessively sleepy during daytime.

The study also found a positive correlation between the severity of RLS in pregnant women and the sleep-wake disturbances.

Pregnant women with severe RLS, experience this discomfort at least four times a week – a surprising discovery for the scientists who expected RLS to be a symptom of pregnancy but did not expect it to be so severe.

This study now shows us the RLS is another contributor to restless sleep at night and daytime fatigue in pregnant women.

Understanding and identifying RLS as a contributor during pregnancy can help healthcare practitioners provide relevant care to alleviate these symptoms and make this time during pregnancy as comfortable for the pregnant woman.

Source: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 02 21t111252.796

Low carb & luscious

Health Literate Sponsored Article

Understanding Health Literacy & Its Impact on Australia’s Wellbeing

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 02 14t134802.702

Kale chips to beat emotional cravings

Wellbeing Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2023 08 22t170637.564

Revamp your health and wellbeing with a new daily ritual