Restless leg syndrome (RLS) occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults. It is worsened by stress. The disorder consists of sensations in the lower legs that make the person uncomfortable unless the legs are moved. The sensations usually occur shortly after going to bed but may also occur during the daytime. There is an irresistible urge to walk or move the legs to relieve the discomfort, resulting in periodic episodes of leg movements during early sleep stages. The symptoms may last for 1 hour or longer.
The abnormal sensations occasionally occur in the upper leg, the feet or the arms in addition to the lower leg. There are often no obvious vascular or neurologic abnormalities associated with the disorder.
Restless leg syndrome can result insomnia – a condition characterized by the inability to sleep.
- Sleeping difficulty
- Persistent leg movements during sleep hours
- Irresistible urge to move the legs
- Abnormal sensation in the legs (occasionally, feet, thighs, arms)
- Creeping sensations or discomfort (not pain, not cramps) relieved by movement of the legs
- May occur during the day
- Worse when lying down