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What is Restless Leg Syndrome & How it is connected to sleep?

A person who suffers from Restless Legs Syndrome feels discomfort in the legs while sleeping. It can be caused by any physical or mental problem. Sometimes it may be counted as an effect of medications and its side effects. 

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder. It causes an uncomfortable sensation in your legs while you are asleep or your body is relaxed. You get a strong urge to move your legs while sitting or lying. 

Restless Legs Syndrome can be harmful to your sleep. As you get a sudden urge to move your legs frequently, your sleep gets disrupted. It can cause serious sleep disorders, insomnia, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mental health issues like depression. RLS can put you in a health risk. 

With time people suffering Restless Legs Syndrome face several difficulties to fall asleep. It can cause other sleep disorders like Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Periodic Limb Movement, Kidney failure, Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

The main sign of Restless legs syndrome is the strong urge to move your leg while relaxing or sleeping. But besides that, there are several other sensations too. Patients of RLS describe the feelings as:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Creeping
  • Aching
  • Tingling
  • Something like Electric shocks
  • Crawling
  • Tugging

The only instant relief to the situation is moving your legs. The sensations occur while the person is mostly inactive. But it can happen in the daytime too. The conditions become worse at night.

Types of Restless Legs Syndrome

There are two types of RLS.

1. Primary or Idiopathic RLS

In Primary or Idiopathic RLS, the cause is unknown. It begins before the age of 40 and even happens in childhood. IT can be having genetic causes. Once Primary or Idiotic RLS occurs, it may remain for a lifetime. The symptoms worsen gradually. Sometimes some people don’t even get to notice any symptoms.

2. Secondary RLS

Secondary RLS happens because of any other condition or disease. It starts after the age of 45. It is not hereditary. Secondary RLS can occur suddenly and it does not get any worse. But it can be more severe than primary RLS.

Treatments of Restless Legs Syndrome

The only treatment for RLS is medication. Though, the medications depend on individual conditions. But the most common medications used for RLS are:

  • Iron Supplements
  • Alpha-2 agonists
  • Anti-convulsants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Painkillers
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Opiates

Home Remedies for Restless legs syndrome

  1. Exercise- Mild exercise before bedtime can helpful for RLS.
  2. Medication- Try to take your medications earlier than bedtime, before the attack hits.
  3. Avoid Stimulants- Say no to alcohol, nicotine, and any caffeine products.
  4. Warm bath- Warm baths and massages can help in the condition.
  5. Packs- Using warm or cool packs can provide relief.
  6. Calm your mind- Give relaxation to your mind. Do yoga or meditation to engage your mind.

Restless Legs Syndrome can hit anyone at any age. It is better to notice the symptoms and act accordingly. If the RLS is caused by any other health condition, it can get cured as soon as the previous condition gets healed.

reference

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671944/



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