Restless Leg Syndrome

178041620-smallRestless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the nervous system that involves throbbing, pulling, creeping or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and causes an uncontrollable and overwhelming urge to move them. These feelings occur when the person is resting, mostly in the evenings and during sleep, and will usually go away when people move their legs.

RLS affects people of all ages, most being middle aged. Many pregnant women experience RLS, but it usually goes away after the baby is born. Most people with this disorder have serious sleep problems and are tired and have trouble paying attention.

RLS can be genetic, which is why it tends to run in families. It can also be related to other medical issues which can include kidney disease, low iron levels, anemia, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Many people with severe cases of RLS get less than five hours of sleep per night which can cause excessive sleepiness during the daytime and affect your personal and professional life.

There are many home remedies you can make that are designed to help combat this problem.

– Walking around may be the only thing that helps RLS. A midnight stroll through the house may calm your legs enough to keep them still when you go back to bed.
– Coffee, tea, chocolate sodas and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications may contain caffeine. Cutting your consumption of these may help improve your condition.
– A warm bath or massage before bed relaxes muscles and therefore may be helpful.
– Try stretching your calves, hamstrings and gluteal muscles before bed.

If you still have twitching legs after you’ve tried these tips, talk to your doctor about getting a medical evaluation.

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!