Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition which causes restlessness and tingling sensations in the legs when relaxed. This can make it very difficult for people suffering from RLS to initiate and maintain sleep.
The main symptom of RLS is an irresistible urge to continually move the legs to attempt to diminish the uncomfortable tingling sensation (and sometimes numbness). Sometimes there are abnormal leg movements associated when trying to keep them still. These symptoms tend to be worse of an evening and when relaxing.
The cause of RLS is not certain, however evidence points towards numerous medical conditions including kidney disease, iron deficiency, nerve damage, diabetes and pregnancy.
There are a range of medications prescribed in treating RLS. Your GP or Sleep Physician can advise what medication is best suited to your condition.
There are also non-pharmaceutical treatments for the symptoms of RLS which include maintaining good sleep hygiene, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake of an evening, increasing physical activity during the day and decreasing any physical activity before bed time.
A consultation with a sleep physician is best first step in helping diagnose and treat restless legs syndrome. Your sleep physician will be able to recommend the best course of action for your diagnosis and treatment.