Sleep Disorders Restless Legs Syndrome

Uninterrupted sleep is taken for granted, but a significant number of people — those with restless legs syndrome — face a disorder that prevents them from getting the rest they need each night.

Restless legs syndrome wreaks havoc on nighttime sleep patterns and a quality lifestyle.

Individuals with restless legs syndrome experience uncomfortable sensations in the lower extremities accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to move their legs during rest. This occurs most commonly at night and can interfere with their ability to fall asleep. While it’s estimated 20 million people have restless legs syndrome, the number may be much higher.

Some people don’t recognize the specific symptoms as abnormal, yet can’t figure out why they are constantly tired during the day. Others are very aware of their condition, but don’t seek medical care. Due to these reasons and a general lack of awareness, restless legs syndrome is under-diagnosed. People who have it are understandably exhausted and struggle to make it through each day.

Many people with restless legs syndrome complain of leg discomfort often described as a “creeping” or “crawling” sensation and an irresistible urge to move or kick their legs. The symptoms are often relieved by movement but tend to reappear again with rest. The cause of the disorder is not known, but several medications and conditions are associated with restless legs syndrome. Some of these conditions include peripheral neuropathy, renal failure, pregnancy and low serum (and brain) iron levels. Excessive caffeine use and nicotine are also known to aggravate restless legs syndrome.

People with excessive fatigue or evening leg discomfort while at rest should see their family physician to try to determine an exact cause. If restless legs syndrome is suspected, potential remedies as simple as lifestyle and diet changes, or adjusting medications may help. In addition, there are medications that are very effective at relieving the symptoms.

If you feel you suffer from restless legs syndrome, discuss your symptoms with your physician. Referral to a sleep specialist or a neurologist may help in evaluating and treating this condition.

Christiaan Janssens

CRO Akwa Wellness

Originally published at




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