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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that involves sensations in the lower legs that make a person uncomfortable unless the legs are moved. If you have RLS, you may experience an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs to relieve the discomfort. This can result in periodic episodes of leg movement during the early sleep stages. RLS symptoms may last for one hour or longer and are worsened by stress.

Restless leg syndrome can result in fragmented sleep and insomnia and occurs most often in occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults.

If you struggle with sleep, take our Sleep Risk Assessment to learn more about your risk for sleep disorders like RLS. Then, schedule an appointment with your SSM Health provider to discuss your results and learn about the steps you can take for better sleep.

Signs and Symptoms of RLS

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Persistent leg movements during sleep hours
  • Irresistible urge to move the legs
  • Abnormal sensation in the legs (occasionally in feet, thighs, arms)
    • Creeping sensations or discomfort (not pain, not cramps) relieved by movement of the legs
    • The sensations usually occur shortly after going to bed, but may also occur during the daytime.
    • The sensations are worse when lying down

How RLS is Treated

Restless leg syndrome can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes like exercise, massage, and stress reduction. If you experience the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, schedule an appointment with your SMS Health primary care provider to discuss your concerns. Our team will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your sleep problem and provide the support and follow-up care you need to finally get a good night’s sleep.

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