7 Facts about RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome
It’s RLS Education and Awareness Week and as a sufferer I wanted to share with you some facts.
- It’s a sleep disorder that affects 7% of people. It’s considered a sleep disorder because it is worse at night and when it’s bad you have to walk to get relief, affecting your sleep.
- It’s an actual condition not just something in someone’s head. Many people take medications or supplements to try to manage the condition including my mother. I have RLS too but have never taken medication for it and mine is not that bad. It’s not the same as people who like to bounce their legs while they sit.
- It can get worse in pregnancy or you can start having the condition when you didn’t have it before. Mine was always worse in pregnancy. When you are pregnant you have enough trouble sleeping and RLS only makes it worse.
- The sensation feels slightly different to different people but basically it’s a tingling or crawling sensation that goes from slightly uncomfortable to painful. You feel an unbearable need to move your legs (and very rarely, arms) and if you try not to move them, they seem to jerk on their own. At its worse, moving your legs around in bed is not enough and you have to pace back and forth. Stop walking and the pain returns.
- Many a spouse of a RLS sufferer has been kicked in his or her sleep while their spouse was wiggling their legs around. In fact sometimes sufferers legs jerk on their own in their sleep so that they kick their spouse without the sufferer even knowing.
- Restless Leg Syndrome is more common the older you are and symptoms may get worse as you get older.
- People who do not suffer from RLS have a hard time understanding what it’s like. Comments like, “what’s the big deal, just wiggle your legs” or “just don’t move them” are ones I’ve heard from a clueless person.
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