Home Brain and nervesNeurological disorders Restless legs syndrome: causes and treatment

Restless legs syndrome: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Do you have the constant need to move your legs to sleep? Many people wonder why they move their legs while they sleep, without knowing the origin of what is happening to them and if it is normal. This problem is annoying when you are tired and want to sleep, but you cannot do it because a sensation between the tingling, tingling, and pain runs through your legs and keeps you awake.

The truth is that this condition is quite common. It can occur in up to 10% of the population, and its main consequence is the difficulty of falling asleep due to the need to keep moving, leading to a disorder of chronic insomnia. Next, in FastlyHeal, we will give you the answers you are looking for; we will tell you why you move your legs when you sleep.

Restless legs syndrome

If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, if you need to move your legs to feel relieved because you think a kind of tingling, pain, or tingling, you likely have acromelalgia or Willis-Ekborn disease, much better known and popularized by the name of restless leg syndrome.

This syndrome has a neurological origin, although it is usually classified as a sleep disorder since the symptoms are aggravated when going to sleep. It is estimated that around 10% of the population suffers from this disease, a neurological problem that manifests itself with the need to keep the legs moving while you are resting. Standing is when these symptoms are aggravated, lowering if the legs are kept in constant activity.

They generally appear at night, for which it is diagnosed as a sleep disorder since those who suffer from it find it very difficult to fall asleep; however, it may be the case that it also appears during the day or in other regions of the body apart of the legs, like the arms or the face.

What are the causes of RLS?

Despite scientific studies on this condition, the exact cause of restless legs syndrome is not yet known. However, it has been discovered that this syndrome can be divided into two classes, depending on its origin.

  • Primary RLS: Primary restless legs syndrome is the one that affects most people and is believed to have a hereditary origin with a significant genetic component.
  • Secondary RLS: This class does not have to do with any previous characteristic of the individual but is associated with elements acquired from posterity; among the most frequent causes that are believed to cause RLS we find varicose or varicose veins, some kidney problems, stress, or a poor diet.

Diagnosis and treatment


Since there is no specific diagnosis for this ailment, it is often not diagnosed independently but is associated with other neurological problems, insomnia, or depression. It is also often associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in young children.

An oral questionnaire is usually carried out about the symptoms and sensations of the syndrome, asking what the affected area is, what intensity it occurs, what relieves it, etc. The doctor may also carry out some tests to rule out certain conditions or diseases such as pregnancy, anemia, or kidney failure.


There are different medications on the market used to treat restless leg syndrome. However, most aim to sleep and not alleviate the symptoms themselves.

Another consequence of taking these types of drugs is that they can cause side effects such as drowsiness, so what is usually recommended in these cases is to walkmassage the area where the tickling appears, stretch regularly, and do hot-cold therapy, to improve circulation in that area and alleviate these annoying symptoms.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I move my legs while I sleep , we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category .

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