Sleep and quality of life in restless legs syndrome

Marco Zucconi, Mauro Manconi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensory-motor disorder characterized by uncomfortable and disagreeable sensations at lower limbs, urge to move them and peaking during rest periods and at evening/night, with impact on sleep, causing insomnia and sleep fragmentation. Both severity of the sensory symptoms and periodic legs movements during sleep (PLMS) contribute to sleep impairment and, consequently, to a reduced quality of life (QoL). Measurement of RLS impact on QoL is made, both in clinical and epidemiological studies, by means of a Short Form-36 (SF-36) of health survey questionnaire and by validated and disease-specific QoL scales (RLSQoL and Hopkins RLSQoL). Both types of measures indicated a significant impact of RLS on QoL in different clinical and prevalence studies and showed good reliability, reproducibility and responsiveness. Moreover, QoL significantly improved, both in short-term studies and in recently published long-term protocols, with dopaminergic treatment in comparison to placebo. In what measure RLS per se, some disease-specific symptoms as restlessness and bad sleep or other co-morbidity factors, contribute to the impairment of QoL remain to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSleep and Quality of Life in Clinical Medicine
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781603273404
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • insomnia
  • periodic leg movements
  • quality of life
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • sleep
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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