• Restless Leg Syndrome
Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this chronic neurosensory disorder is characterized by a strong and voluntary urge to move one’s legs due to an uncomfortable and often slightly painful feeling – patients describe it as an aching, tingling, crawling sensation.
On some rare occasions, it can also affect the arms. These symptoms start or worsen when the patient is resting and improve or disappear (temporarily) with activity.
Considering that these sensations often appear late at night when people are resting in bed and trying to fall asleep, RLS can disrupt sleep and cause a series of problems related to poor sleep quality.
Sleepiness during the daytime, low energy, and irritability are some of the most frequent complications. In the long term, they can lead to anxiety and depression.
Diagnosing RLS is not an easy task since there is no specific test for it. If a patient has symptoms of RLS, doctors usually rule out other possible causes first.
According to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, those main symptoms have to be associated with a sleep disorder to fully support an RLS diagnosis. Globally, it affects about 10% of the population at least once in their lifetime.