What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

What is it?
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a nervous system disorder that gives you the urge to move your legs. This urge comes from uncomfortable sensations that many have described as tingling, creeping, crawling and tightening. These sensations can range anywhere from irritating to extremely painful. RLS is commonly under diagnosed or misdiagnosed, most likely due to the fact that there is no real RLS “test”. Physicians must rely on a patients history and symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms tend to happen the most at the end of the day aka when you want to go to sleep, however, that is not the ONLY time they can happen.  Don’t go undiagnosed because your symptoms don’t occur at night. Symptoms can appear at any time during prolonged sitting or laying down. This means if you get these sensations while sitting in a desk at work, school, in the car or airplane, you are most likely experience RLS. Restless Leg Syndrome comes in all shapes and sizes, some describe it as a slightly irritating sensation while others describe it as intense and painful. The fact is, it’s real and causes sleep deprivation and stress.
Who is affected?
Restless Leg Syndrome can affect anyone at any age, it does not discriminate. However, there are a few statistics that might help you get a better idea of how many people are affected.
  • 5-10% of the entire population suffers from RLS
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop RLS
  • As many as 25% of pregnant women develop RLS during pregnancy. Symptoms usually disappear within a few months after pregnancy.
What kind of treatment is there?
Physicians will prescribe certain medications that have been known to decrease symptoms but unfortunately no one medication has been proven to cure RLS in all individuals.  Some lifestyle changes have also been shown to decrease symptoms, which include:
  • Decreased consumption of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
  • Iron, folate and magnesium supplementation
  • Exercise
Losing sleep because your partner won’t stop fidgeting? Restless Leg Syndrome not only effects the person suffering from the disorder, but it also affects their partners.  In order to ensure that you both avoid sleep deprivation, sleep on a memory foam mattress! This will allow your partner to fidget and move around without disrupting your sleep. Another benefit of a memory foam mattress is that it conforms to your body and allows the muscles to relax in their most natural position.  This has been shown to decrease symptoms. If you want to help reduce your partners symptoms massaging their legs is highly recommended. This helps take the mind of the uncomfortable sensations and relax the muscles, allowing you to get a good nights rest!