Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless legs 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.
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.