Restless Legs Syndrome in Children and Adolescents

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2024 Mar;47(1):147-161. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2023.06.010.


Children with psychiatric comorbidities frequently are referred for evaluation of sleep complaints. Common sleep symptoms can include difficulty falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakening, restless sleep, and symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS). The understanding of the sleep condition in relation to the psychiatric comorbidity often is a challenge to the physician and often sleep disorders remain undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated. Restless legs syndrome has been associated with psychiatric comorbidities and with certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and antipsychotics. This article reviews the presentation of RLS and restless sleep, the association with psychiatric comorbidities, and treatment options.

Keywords: ADHD; Anxiety; Depression; ODD; Restless legs syndrome; Sleep.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / epidemiology