Restless legs syndrome is best known as a neurological sensory disorder due to its symptoms, this is mostly felt during late evenings or at night when sleeping.1 It is mostly likely to surface when a person is resting or on the verge of sleeping, which in turn makes Restless Legs Syndrome a sleep disorder too. Moreover, restless legs syndrome can also be classified as a movement disorder, because it causes one to move his/her legs. As a result of this, statistical reports show that more than 80% of people suffering from restless leg syndrome also suffer from periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS). The sensation of restless legs syndrome has been described by many as an ‘itchy’, ‘pins and needles’ or ‘creepy crawling’ kind of sensation in the legs.
11 Important Facts about Restless Legs Syndrome that Everyone Should Know
Fact #1: Restless Legs Syndrome Is Not Gender Bias and Can Affect Both The Sexes
Restless legs syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, is common in both men and women.2 It can start at any time and can affect people of any age including young children. However, it is most common among the middle-aged and the old. Despite the annoying consequences of restless legs syndrome, this condition is completely treatable.
Fact #2: Regular and Proper Exercise Can Help Reduce the Magnitude of Restless Legs Syndrome
Regular exercise is a predominant factor for overall development and health of the body. Exercises lead to movement and hence go a long way in helping to curb restless legs syndrome, which is more likely to start when the body is at rest. It is generally seen that gentle stretching before going to sleep can help reduce the amount and frequency at which restless legs syndrome occurs. However, it should be remembered that a balance should be maintained between exercise and rest, as excess of exercise can further worsen restless legs syndrome.
Fact #3: Restless Legs Syndrome Can Be Diagnosed Easily
Restless legs syndrome can be diagnosed very easily if one has prior knowledge about the condition or if the symptoms are paid attention to. For instance, if you start feeling relief from restless legs syndrome after you begin to move, such as walking, jiggling your legs, pacing etc., then this is actually a symptom of restless legs syndrome. The relief usually starts after the patients starts to move about. Hence, such a condition should not be ignored. Similarly, if you are in the habit of moving or twitching your legs while you are asleep, then it is an indication that you are affected with restless legs syndrome. Another predominant method of diagnosing restless legs syndrome is when you experience the fierce and indomitable urge to move your legs right after you start resting. It happens as a reaction to your resting the legs and therefore if you experience this, then it should not be ignored.
Fact #4: Restless Legs Syndrome Is a Common Condition Faced During Pregnancy
RLS is an extremely common condition in pregnant women. Also already existing RLS worsens in pregnancy. Restless legs syndrome, however, goes away within four weeks of delivery. According to some doctors, pregnant women have higher chances of suffering from restless legs syndrome than normal females due to deficiency of iron which leads to restless legs syndrome.
Fact #5: Restless Legs Syndrome is Different from Parkinson’s Disease
Since almost the same drugs which are used to treat Parkinson’s disease are also used to treat restless legs syndrome, this condition should not be taken as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. People suffering from Parkinson’s disease may or may not develop restless legs syndrome, but in no way are the two related.
Fact #6: Restless Legs Syndrome can cause Constant Motion
Since the movement of the legs provide relief to a person suffering from restless legs syndrome, the person is more likely to continue moving his legs to continue getting relief. This may in turn continue throughout the night, which can leave the patient feeling drowsy and tired in the morning.
Fact #7: Restless Legs Syndrome Normally Occurs At Night
Restless legs syndrome commonly occurs at night and sometimes even during sleep. Therefore, a person suffering from RLS is more likely to experience a more conformable sleep during morning time.
Fact #8: There Are Many Household Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome
You don’t always need to take a lot of prescription drugs to treat restless legs syndrome. There are a number of easy home remedies for the same. First and foremost, sufficient amount of sleep is of paramount importance to the body for living a healthy life and regulating the sleep patterns which can help reduce the magnitude of symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Other than this, reducing the quantity of intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine will also help in treating and managing restless legs syndrome and thereby giving you a peaceful life, devoid of such annoying conditions.
Fact #9: Restless Legs Syndrome can be Genetic/Hereditary
It has been proven through research that restless legs syndrome can be genetic and run in families.2 This is when no proper cause for restless legs syndrome can be diagnosed. In that case, restless legs syndrome is known as ‘idiopathic’ or primary restless legs syndrome.
Fact #10: Restless Legs Syndrome is a Result of Certain Diseases or Drugs
It is found that certain chronic diseases, such as kidney failure, diabetes and so on lead to development of restless legs syndrome in a person. Moreover, regular use of certain medications, such as anti-nausea drugs, cold and allergy medications may also worsen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
Fact #11: Prescription Drugs Can Be Used To Treat Restless Legs Syndrome:
Sedative medications can be used, namely benzodiazepines, which will in turn help in inducing sound sleep in the patient suffering from restless legs syndrome. In addition to this, narcotic pain relievers can also come in handy as they work by easing the pain caused by restless legs syndrome.
Hence, a proper and detailed knowledge about restless legs syndrome will help you to diagnose and treat this condition better.
- Shaking of Legs or Leg Tremors: Classification, Types, Causes, Tests, Treatment
- Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS or Willis-Ekbom Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
- What Causes Twitching While Sleeping And How To Get Rid Of It?
- Living With Purpose May Help Seniors Sleep Soundly