Restless legs syndrome is an uncomfortable feelings in your legs when you’re trying to rest or sleep. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, and it affects millions of people around the world. The first step in treating the condition is to know what the symptoms are, and then going to get help for it.
Restless legs syndrome is a condition that can be difficult to diagnose. The reason being that the symptoms usually only show up at night. Since most doctor’s appointments are during the day, many people seem fine during the appointment. The real problem is when they try to go to bed at night.
Some health conditions can make restless legs syndrome worse. Some of these conditions are: pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and anemia. Sufferers do not need to suffer from these conditions, though. Some simply just have restless legs syndrome.
The following are symptoms of restless legs syndrome:
#1: An intense urge to move your legs.
People with restless legs syndrome have an intense urge to move their legs when they are lying down. They may feel a creepy crawly sensation or something like a tugging deep inside of their legs. These sensations can make it impossible to ignore the urge to move their legs. Moving their legs can alleviate the sensation for a short time, but it isn’t long before the sensation comes back again.
#2: You can’t fall asleep or stay asleep.
Most people who suffer from restless legs syndrome are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep for long. The sensation in their legs make them want to move them, and the sensation wakes them up in the middle of the night. Some people who suffer from restless legs syndrome do not know they are awakening at night. They are only partially awake enough to move their legs. This keeps them from falling into deep sleep, which is when restorative sleep happens. This causes people to feel exhausted during the day.
#3: Sensations go away when you walk around or move your legs.
The only way to relief the feeling in your legs is to move. Some people can kick their legs on the bed or just shake them from side to side, while others have to get up out of bed. This movement can keep the sensations away for a little while, or it can keep them away for the rest of the night. It depends on the person. Most people end up having to move their legs continuously all night, which ends up causing insomnia.
#4: Sensations are only present at night or during rest.
This is one of the telltale signs of restless legs syndrome. When you lie down, your legs begin to bother people with restless legs syndrome. While it often happens at night, it can happen during the day as well. The longer people remain lying down, the worse the sensations become for them. Some people who try to take a nap in the afternoon can’t because they can’t keep their legs comfortable long enough to fall asleep.
#5: Sensations are more intense at night.
While the sensations can occur at any time, they are usually worse at night. As soon as the sun goes down, people with restless legs will feel an unrelenting need to move their legs. It can happen even when they are sitting down, or when they try to go to sleep. Sometimes, people with restless legs syndrome will only start to experience symptoms when they lie down for long periods of time. So, if they are able to fall asleep quickly, they are less likely to have an episode that night.
If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to speak to your doctor. A doctor can refer you to a neurologist who can identify whether you suffer from restless legs syndrome or if there is another health condition causing it. If it is restless legs syndrome, there is medication available to help calm the sensations in your legs at night.
A lack of sleep can lower your quality of life. Do not ignore the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Get the help you need from your physician.