Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Restless Legs Syndrome (cont.)

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.
Restless Legs Syndrome: Getting More Sleep

Symptoms

The main symptom of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an irresistible urge to move because of uncomfortable and sometimes painful sensations deep within a part of your body. The feelings usually affect the legs, but can also affect the arms, torso, or a phantom limb (the part of a limb that has been amputated). Some people describe the sensations as aching, creeping, crawling, or prickling. Symptoms usually begin about 15 minutes after you lie down to sleep or to relax or when you have not moved for long periods, such as when traveling in a car or airplane. Symptoms that occur frequently can result in significant sleep loss, fatigue, and problems with daily functioning.

After they are asleep, most people with RLS also have involuntary or jerking leg movements called periodic limb movements. These movements can interrupt your sleep, which adds to problems with fatigue. Periodic limb movements may also occur during the day, although most people move around after their legs begin to bother them. As a result, the periodic limb movements that people have when they are awake may not be noticed except under unusual circumstances.

Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements also often disturb the sleep of a bed partner. This can cause fatigue for both people and can strain the relationship.

Symptoms may start during infancy or any time during your life. At first, your symptoms may be mild and occur only once in awhile. Typically, symptoms get worse with age. After age 50, many people with this condition have daily symptoms and suffer from significant sleep loss. Severe insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and lack of social activity can become a problem and cause a decline in quality of life.

Restless legs syndrome may start or become worse during pregnancy, especially after week 20.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary