Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)

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Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Sep 25, 2014
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Classification of Sleep Disorders - Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move the legs (or arms) while asleep.

Sleep is disturbed, as a result of these abnormal movements. RLS is estimated to affect nearly 5% of the population.

This urge to move the legs is usually, but not always, due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations.

Symptoms of restless legs syndrome include-

  • Uncomfortable sensations in legs, accompanied by a strong urge to move them.
  • The discomfort a person experiences while resting is relieved only on moving the legs, or on stretching, or massaging the legs.
  • The sensations are triggered by rest and worsen at night.
  • Tiredness and fatigue due to lack of nocturnal sleep.
  • Extreme drowsiness during the daytime.

Treatment of restless legs syndrome include-

  • Dopamine agonists

References:

  1. Coren, Stanley. Sleep Thieves: An Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep. New York: The Free Press; 1996, p. 287.
  2. Sleep Disorders - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sleepdisorders.html)

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