Understanding Restless Legs Syndrome
Are you ever annoyed by a creeping or itching feeling in your legs? Do you often feel an urge to move your legs while sitting or lying in bed? This can keep you from falling asleep at night. You may then feel tired during the day. If you have these problems, talk to your health care provider. He or she can suggest a treatment plan and help you find ways to sleep better.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a creeping, crawly, or jumpy feeling in the legs with an urge to move them. Symptoms of RLS often occur during periods of inactivity, such as when you sit or lie down at night. This discomfort can keep you from falling asleep. RLS is more common in older people and tends to run in families. Overuse of caffeine or alcohol may make symptoms worse. Iron deficiency, diabetes, or kidney problems can contribute to RLS.
Periodic limb movement syndrome (PLMS)
PLMS is sudden, repetitive leg jerking during sleep. The person you sleep with is often the one who notices it. Your legs may jerk many times during the night. You and your partner may both have trouble sleeping and feel tired in the morning. PLMS shouldn’t be confused with the normal leg or body twitching many people have when first falling asleep.
Treating these problems
If these problems are causing disrupted sleep and daytime symptoms, treatment may be needed. Possible treatments may include:
Avoiding medications like antidepressants, antinausea medications, and antipsychotic medications.
Lifestyle changes, such as controlling caffeine intake, alcohol, and smoking.
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.