Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome

Sleep Med Clin. 2021 Jun;16(2):305-314. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2021.02.006. Epub 2021 Apr 10.


Early-onset restless legs syndrome has a relatively high prevalence in pediatrics, is highly familial, and is often preceded by a diagnosis of periodic limb movement disorder or childhood insomnia. Diagnostic criteria are derived but not equal to those of the adult syndrome and are adapted according to children's age and linguistic competence. Diagnosis requires parents or caregivers to participate; video-polysomnographic nocturnal recording, although not mandatory, may help confirm dubious cases. The syndrome severely impacts children's sleep and cognitive-behavioral abilities. Iron supplementation is currently the most used and viable therapeutic option.

Keywords: Children; Pediatric sleep; RLS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / psychology
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / therapy