Patients with Restless Leg Syndrome (up to 10% of the population) experience a bothersome, irresistible urge to move their legs. This usually is worse during the evening hours before bedtime, and is relieved with movement.

What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome?
Most patients with RLS describe the sensation as an uncomfortable feeling in the limbs (usually the legs) while sitting still or lying down. This feeling is only relieved by moving the affected limbs. It can occur during daytime hours but is more common during the evening.

How is RLS diagnosed?
A sleep specialist can make the diagnosis of RLS by taking a medical history of the patient and performing a physical examination. If there is a question on making a diagnosis of RLS, other tests may be ordered to rule out other causes.

How is RLS treated?
This disorder is frequently treated with medications. Hot baths, massages, heat or cold packs and exercise may help relieve some the movements for certain individuals.


Periodic limb movement (PLM) disorder causes affected individuals to move parts of their body (usually the legs) during sleep. This causes repeated sleep disruption and may result in both daytime sleepiness and difficulty sleeping at night. Although people of any age may have PLM it is most often noticed in middle aged and elderly individuals.

What are the symptoms of PLM?
Symptoms range from shallow, continuous movement of the ankles or toes, to wild kicking and flailing of the legs and arms while the patient is asleep. Movement of the legs is more common than movement of the arms.

How is PLM diagnosed?
Before a diagnosis of PLM is made, a medical history and physical examination should be performed by a sleep physician. An overnight sleep study (polysomnography) will be ordered and the monitoring of limb movements is recorded throughout the night. Results of that study will be shared by the physician with the patient to determine if a formal diagnosis of PLM can be made.

How is PLM treated?
Standard treatment of PLM is medication. The medication prescribed by your physician will help reduce or eliminate the movements.


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