Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is often characterized as a creepy, crawling feeling in the legs (though it can also occur in the arms) with an irresistible urge to move the legs. Some also characterize their RLS symptoms as a “burning, tingling, or pain” in the legs. This feeling usually occurs at night when at rest, though it is also noted to occur sometimes in the late afternoon or evening hours. Moving the legs often helps temporarily, with the urge to move returning when they are again at rest. RLS occurs more frequently in women than in men, and often worsens with age. RLS is diagnosed by self-report to a qualified physician who is skilled at making an RLS diagnosis. In many cases, RLS can occur with periodic limb movements (PLM’s) – rhythmic twitching or jerking of the legs during sleep (and sometimes wake), often seen as part of a sleep study. Many cases of RLS are linked with mishandling of iron by the brain, and this can be revealed through bloodwork and relieved with iron replacement therapy. Other cases of RLS may be the result of certain medications. In some instances, medications can be helpful in relieving RLS symptoms.

Click here to make an appointment to discuss RLS with a sleep doctor.