Restless Legs Syndrome
If you’re bothered by an overwhelming urge to move your legs when you lie down, or unpleasant sensations in your legs keep you up at night, you may have a sleep disorder known as restless legs syndrome (RLS).
The tingling, aching, and itching of restless legs syndrome is usually worse at night and can prevent you and your partner from getting the sleep you need.
Fortunately, restless legs syndrome (RLS) can be treated. In recent years, experts have discovered better ways to manage and relieve symptoms. Medical treatment, healthy lifestyle changes, and even simple stretches and home remedies can help you quiet your restless legs and enjoy a peaceful and refreshing night's sleep.
What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a recognized neurological disorder that can interfere with resting or falling asleep. If you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), a typical night might look like this: You lie down in bed, ready to go to sleep, and just as your body begins to relax, the uncomfortable leg sensations begin. You try to ignore the crawling, tingling, or itching in your legs, hoping it will go away, but it only gets worse. You toss and turn for a while, but eventually the urge to move is overwhelming. You get out of bed to stretch and pace the floor and, for a moment, you find relief. But when you lie down again, the restless sensations in your legs start all over again.
Understanding restless legs syndrome (RLS)
Although restless legs syndrome (RLS) is common-many studies estimate that 1 out of 10 people have it-it hasn't always been easy to find help and support. Unfortunately, many RLS sufferers never get proper treatment because it's hard to explain and often misdiagnosed as being "nervous." Other people-even doctors-may not take restless legs seriously, recognize the symptoms, or realize it's a real medical condition. Those who haven't experienced the distressing symptoms may not understand how severely restless legs syndrome can impact the quality of your life and that of your bed partner.
The good news is that recent research has increased our understanding of restless legs syndrome (RLS), leading to more effective treatments. At the same time, restless legs syndrome is becoming more widely recognized. If you or your partner suffers from restless legs syndrome, there are plenty of options to help you find relief and get the sleep you need.