Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes a powerful urge to move your legs. Most who experience restless legs syndrome describe a "creeping, crawling, tingling, or burning" sensation in the legs while sitting or lying still, especially at bedtime.

For some, RLS causes discomfort or pain, which most often occurs in the calves; however, unlike other limb movement disorders, RLS may be temporarily relieved by stretching and moving the legs. The constant need to stretch or move the legs to get rid of discomfort or pain often prevents a person from falling asleep. Extreme sleepiness during the day is usually the result.

In most cases, there is no known cause for RLS. In other cases, RLS is caused by a disease or condition, such as anemia or pregnancy. Some medications can also cause temporary RLS. Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol may make symptoms worse.

Lifestyle changes, such as regular sleep habits, relaxation techniques and moderate exercise during the day, can help. If those don't work, medicines may reduce the symptoms of RLS.