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Put restless leg syndrome to rest

Restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an unpleasant sensation often described as a tingling, creepy-crawly, burning or restless feeling that occurs when sitting or lying still, especially at bedtime. The pain/discomfort most often appears in the calves and can be relieved by stretching or moving the legs. The sensation is relieved for the duration of the movement and may return once the movement is stopped. The disorder interferes with sleep because the constant need to stretch or move the legs often prevents a person from fatting asleep. In addition, the disorder can limit the length of time one can travel by automobile or airplane or sit for a movie, concert or business meeting. The sleep loss and disturbance of daytime activities can lead to anxiety or depression. Five to 10 of every 100 people experience RLS and 30% of RLS cases are related to a hereditary cause.

Periodic leg movement disorder

Periodic Leg movement sisorder (PLMD) involves the involuntary movements of the legs and arms, primarily while sleeping. Such movements usually take place in the legs but can occur in the arms. The movements occur at regular intervals, usually every 20 to 40 seconds. The movements are usually clustered in the first half of the night during non-REM sleep and do not usually continue throughout the night. Periodic leg movement disorder often occurs in patients with restless leg syndrome. Patients and often their bed partners are usually unware of the movements because they usually occur during sleep and are involuntary. The patient is only aware of poor sleep and daytime fatigue.

Many factors that can affect or worsen RLS and or PLMD include:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Caffeine
  • Hereditary
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants


  • Antidepressants
  • Fatigue
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • End-stage kidney disease

People may have restless legs syndrome with or without periodic limb movement disorder and conversely, people may have periodic limb movement disorder without restless legs syndrome.

Researchers believe that 10% of the population is affected. But only about 2 to 3 percent have moderate to severe symptoms that affect their quality of life. Women are slightly more affected than men, and most people with severe RLS are over age 40. If you have an affected family member, you are more likely to get RLS at a younger age, and it will progress more slowly.

RLS symptoms range from mild to completely intolerable. Symptoms might come and go with varying severity but are typically worse in the evening and less severe in the morning. Symptoms can cause severe sleep disruption that significantly impairs your quality of life. You may experience insomnia sleep disorder and/or daytime sleepiness. If you or someone you care about is experiencing RLS, you owe it to yourself to see Margaret Mike, MD, a triple board-certified sleep medicine specialist with over 20 years experience located right here in Plano, TX and Bedford, TX.


Find solutions for restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder for a better quality of life. Call sleep doctor Margaret Mike, MD Sleep & Wake Center at 972–981-7436 or use our Request an Appointment form online to learn how today’s advanced care options could potentially save your life. Our RLS/PLMD patients come to us from DFW Metroplex, TX, including Plano (Collin County), Bedford, Colleyville, Grapevine (Tarrant County) and Frisco (Denton County).