Assessment of Sleep Disturbances on Mental Health in Patients with Restless Legs Syndrome

Neurol India. 2023 Jul-Aug;71(4):693-698. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.383850.


Background and objective: In our study, we aimed to evaluate the sleep disturbances of patients diagnosed with restless legs syndrome (RLS) regarding their mental health according to the severity of the disease.

Materials and methods: The study included 166 patients diagnosed with RLS and 161 healthy controls in the same age interval as patients. Sleep disturbances of patients were defined with the "personal information form" (PIF) prepared by the researchers, while the mental health status of patients was defined with the "Brief Symptom Inventory" (BSI).

Results: All RLS patients had an increase in BSI subscale points, with a positive correlation to disease severity, and subscale points were significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.05). Those with the "frequent waking" problem had higher BSI subscale points compared to those without the problem (p<0.01 or 0.001). Those with "waking with respiratory distress," "daytime sleepiness," "very early waking," and "sleep disorder" problems had statistically significantly high BSI subscale points for all subscales, apart from hostility, compared to those without these problems (p<0.01 or 0.001).

Conclusion: It is considered that assessment of sleep disturbances causing disrupted quality of life and mood disorders is beneficial for the treatment of patients with RLS. Our study data appears to be related to the result that sleep disturbances and mental health disruptions might be associated with the disease severity among RLS patients.

Keywords: Brief Symptom Inventory; mental health; restless legs syndrome; sleep disturbances.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Quality of Life
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / complications
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders* / etiology