What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome, or RLS, is a syndrome that causes an irresistible desire to move the legs when a person lies down to sleep at night. The urge to move usually includes feelings like tickling, prickling, or twinges of pain in the legs – and sometimes in the arms as well. For reasons that aren’t well understood, RLS seems to act up when the body is inactive or inert… so it’s usually worst in the evening and at night, when you’re trying to sleep.

Do I Have Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome can be mild, moderate, or severe. Whether you feel occasional mild symptoms or more constant, troublesome symptoms, you should see your doctor to determine whether you have Restless Legs Syndrome or a more dangerous medical problem. Leg paresthesias, for example (better known as numbness or tingling in the legs), can be linked with more serious diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis.

Living with Restless Legs Syndrome

The causes of RLS are poorly understood and thus sometimes difficult to treat. If you have a mild case, I’d recommend avoiding the ups and downs of the search for the right medication. A good bedtime routine and a few minutes of meditation to relax your mind before bed can help you manage RLS and drop off to sleep quickly without medical intervention.

More persistent symptoms, especially symptoms that keep you up at night or impact your ability to get deep and refreshing sleep, are worth a visit to your doctor. With a little time and dedication, you can find the help you need to get the deep sleep you deserve.

Do you have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)? How do you cope?

Author Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep and health, and is an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist Latexmattress.org