Restless Sleep Disorder
By Lourdes DelRosso, MD
For many years pediatric sleep specialists have evaluated children that present with parental concern of restless sleep. In 2016, we decided to study a group of children that were referred to our sleep center for “restless sleep.” Per parents, restless sleep was characterized by moving all night and trashing the bedsheets. Often parents used terms like “sleeps like a tornado” or “moves like a helicopter.” Importantly, parents noticed that during the day children with restless sleep were fatigued, sleepy or demonstrated behavioral problems.
In our very first study, “Restless sleep disorder in children: a pilot study on a tentative new diagnostic category” published in SLEEP, we proposed the term Restless Sleep Disorder (RSD) as a new diagnosis in children, based on our initial findings that children with RSD did not fit any other diagnostic criteria currently in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD 3rd Edition) but demonstrated clear sleep disruption associated with daytime symptoms.