If you've watched any TV lately, you've probably noticed a lot of commercials for medicine to help in the fight against restless legs syndrome. I'm not sure about you, but before seeing commercials for this ailment, I had no idea that it even existed. Restless legs syndrome affects more people than you would probably think. Have you ever wondered if you are at risk for developing restless legs syndrome? Well before diagnosing yourself, let's learn a little more about this seemingly "popular" sleep ailment right now.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to the U.S. National Library,\u00a0Restless legs syndrome\u00a0(RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that affects the legs and causes an urge to move them. Because it usually interferes with\u00a0sleep, it also is considered a\u00a0sleep\u00a0disorder.\r\n\r\nSymptoms of RLS\r\n\r\nPeople with restless legs syndrome have uncomfortable sensations in their legs (and sometimes arms or other parts of the body) and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The sensations are difficult to describe: they are an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting. The sensations can lead to sleep deprivation and\u00a0stress.\r\n\r\nThe severity of RLS symptoms ranges from mild to intolerable. Symptoms can come and go and severity can also vary. The symptoms are generally worse in the evening and at night and less severe in the morning. For some people, symptoms may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.\r\n\r\nWho is Affected by RLS?\r\n\r\nWhile the\u00a0symptoms\u00a0may be rather general, the next question that's probably on your mind is who is usually\u00a0susceptible\u00a0to RLS. Restless legs syndrome may affect up to 10% of the U.S. population. It affects both sexes but is more common in women and may begin at any age, even in young children. Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older.\r\n\r\nRLS is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed. In many people it is not diagnosed until 10 to 20 years after symptoms begin. Once correctly diagnosed, RLS can often be treated successfully.\r\n\r\nHow Does a Person Develop RLS?\r\n\r\nCauses of RLS have proven difficult to determine, but many doctors believe it has to do with genes. Other contributing factors can be:\r\n\r\n\tChronic diseases.\u00a0Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions, including iron deficiency, Parkinson\u2019s disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral\u00a0neuropathy often include symptoms of RLS. Treating these conditions often gives some relief from restless legs symptoms.\r\n\tMedications.\u00a0Some types of medications, including antinausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some\u00a0antidepressants, and cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines may worsen symptoms.\r\n\tPregnancy.\u00a0Some women experience RLS during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Symptoms usually go away within a month after delivery.\r\n\r\nHow to Treat\/Cure RLS\r\n\r\nIf you're looking to treat RLS without drugs, lifestyle changes may help. Changing your diet and exercising can help with RLS. These changes can help as well:\r\n\r\n\tLeg massages\r\n\tHot baths or heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs\r\n\tGood sleep habits\r\n\r\nIf your case of RLS is more serious, these are the drugs most often prescribed for treatment:\r\n\r\n\tDopaminergic drugs, which act on the neurotransmitter dopamine in the\u00a0brain.\u00a0Pramipexole\u00a0(Mirapex) and\u00a0ropinirole\u00a0(Requip) are FDA approved for treatment of moderate to severe RLS. Others, such as levodopa (Larodopa, Dopar) and\u00a0pergolide\u00a0(Permax) may also be prescribed.\r\n\tBenzodiazepines, a class of sedative medications, may be used to help with sleep, but they can cause daytime drowsiness.\r\n\tNarcotic\u00a0pain\u00a0relievers may be used for severe pain.\r\n\tAnticonvulsants, or antiseizure drugs, such as\u00a0carbamazepine\u00a0(Tegretol) and gabapentin\u00a0(Neurontin, Horizant).\r\n\r\nFor more information of RLS, do your research and remember to correct the things you can control when you go to sleep, like sleeping on natural bedding and creating an optimum sleep environment.\r\n\r\nLink to Us!\r\nIf you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog:\r\n\r\nLearn More about Getting a Better Night's Sleep and Good Sleep Hygiene at <a href"https:\/\/www.plushbeds.com\/blog\/sleep-disorders\/what-is-restless-leg-syndrome\/">Plushbeds Green Sleep Blog<\/a>.