The Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Poor Sleep in Pregnant Women

The Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Poor Sleep in Pregnant Women

In the article “Link Between Restless Leg Syndrome & Poor Sleep in Pregnant Women,” Rachael Herman summarizes a study performed at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that suggests there is a connection between Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and poor sleep quality for pregnant women.

The study focused on around 1,500 women in their third trimester of pregnancy. The researchers surveyed the women and reviewed their medical records to determine their symptoms and general medical history. More than one-third of the women in the study reported having symptoms of RLS, which has never been linked to the typical complaints from pregnant women that they have trouble sleeping or functioning during the day from being overly tired. The study subjects also reported fairly severe symptoms of RLS and high frequency of occurrence.

Historically, physicians have concluded that lack of sleep in pregnant women was due to other factors assumed to be the result of being pregnant. However, as a result of this new study from the University of Michigan, there may be further investigation about how to help pregnant women manage RLS during their pregnancies so that they can get better sleep and function more productively during the day.

Key Points:

  • 1Pregnant women should not accept poor sleep as a natural effect (or consequence) of pregnancy but rather cope with Restless Leg Syndrome as to promote better sleep.
  • 2Poor sleep in pregnant women ends in fatigue and day time sleepiness which inhibit the women from healthy functioning.
  • 3More than half of the pregnant women suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome showed moderate to severe symptoms which makes me wonder why doctors are so slow in treating it.

Researchers suggest that identifying and treating RLS at earlier stages of pregnancy using noninvasive and nonpharmacological approaches may help relieve many women of the burden that comes with these symptoms.

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