Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Sleep medicine

STUDY OBJECTIVES : Restless sleep disorder (RSD) is a newly recognized condition characterized by motor movements involving large muscle groups with frequent repositioning or bed sheets disruption. We analyzed cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) in these children, a marker of sleep instability that might be associated with the motor episodes of RSD and may play a role in their daytime symptoms.

METHODS : Polysomnographic recordings from thirty-eight children who fulfilled RSD diagnostic criteria (23 boys and 15 girls), 23 children with restless legs syndrome (RLS, 18 boys and 5 girls) and 19 controls (10 boys and 9 girls) were included. For CAP analysis, a previously developed, highly precise automated system, based on a deep learning recurrent neural network, was used.

RESULTS : Age and gender were not statistically different between groups. RSD patients showed a lower percentage of A3 CAP subtypes than controls (median 9.8 vs. 18.2, p = 0.0089), accompanied by shorter duration of the B phase of the CAP cycle (median 28.2 vs. 29.8 in controls, 30.2 in RLS, p = 0.005) and shorter CAP cycle duration than both controls and RLS subjects (median 33.8 vs. 35.0 in controls, 35.8 in RLS, p = 0.002). Finally, RSD children also showed a longer duration of CAP cycle sequences, when compared to controls (median 172.7 vs. 141.9, p = 0.0063).

CONCLUSIONS : In conclusion, our study indicates that NREM sleep EEG shows an increased instability in RSD; these findings add to the current knowledge on the mechanisms of this newly recognized sleep disorder and suggest that sleep instability might be a favoring mechanism for the emergence of the motor episodes characterizing RSD.

DelRosso Lourdes M, Hartmann Simon, Baumert Mathias, Bruni Oliviero, Ruth Chris, Ferri Raffaele


Cyclic alternating pattern, NREM sleep instability, Restless legs syndrome, Restless sleep disorder