Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by a strong urge to move the legs which is difficult to resist. This need for movement is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations that are difficult to describe, but may be like burning, prickling, itching, or tingling. Temporary relief occurs when the legs are moved.
EISC sleep medicine specialist Dr. Scott D. Geisler explains:
What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome?
- A strong urge to move your legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations
- Symptoms begin or worsen while resting
- Symptoms improve when legs are moved
- Symptoms worsen in the evening, especially when lying down
- Difficulty in falling or staying asleep
How is restless leg syndrome diagnosed?
In order to diagnose narcolepsy, your doctor may recommend:
- A polysomnogram (sleep study)
- A blood test
What treatment options are available?
While RLS cannot be cured, it can be managed. In some cases, doctors will prescribe medications that help control the painful sensations and impulsive movements. Those with mild cases may benefit from changes in lifestyle such as avoiding caffeine, practicing good sleep principles, and massaging the legs.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition characterized by a strong urge to move the legs which is difficult to resist. Symptoms worsen in the evening especially when resting lying down or trying to fall asleep. Patients describe different discomforts like burning, prickling, itching or tingling sensations. Temporary relief occurs when legs are moved rubbed or stretched. RLS cannot be cured but can be managed. Medications can help control the painful sensations and impulsive movement. A blood test in order to detect low iron levels in the brain may be recommended.
For mild cases of RLS avoid caffeine, massage the legs and follow our guidelines for improving your sleep habits available on our website under the Resource tab.
Learn more about restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- National Library of Medicine: Restless Leg Syndrome
- National Institutes of Health: Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: What is Restless Legs Syndrome?
- Medline Plus: Restless Legs Syndrome
- Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
- National Sleep Foundation: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Sleep
Questions? Contact the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center today.