Restless Leg Syndrome

Also known as: Restless legs syndrome, RLS

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is mostly a movement disorder in which the child or adolescent reports an uncomfortable and uncontrollable urge to move his or her legs. It is made worse when in cramped conditions ( like sitting in a classroom) and helped by moving ( for as long as the moving continues). It frequently occurs around bedtime making it difficult for the child to fall asleep or stay asleep.
What are the signs/symptoms?
  • Uncomfortable leg sensations
  • Uncontrollable urge to move legs
  • Sleep disruption not typical for the child’s age
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) or feeling tired all the time
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • School performance and behavioral problems

What causes restless legs syndrome in children?

The exact cause of restless legs syndrome is not known, however it can run in families, be associated with a low iron level in the blood, or sometimes be linked with diabetes, kidney or other nerve diseases. Some medications may cause symptoms to present or become worse.

How is restless legs syndrome diagnosed and treated?

A good description of the symptoms by the child is helpful. A sleep study may be recommended to diagnose restless legs syndrome. Opinions differ on the best way to treat RLS because no good studies are available. Some of the following may be useful; Change in bedtime habits and good sleep practices ( avoid heavy meals, fluids, exercise or watching television around bedtime). Avoiding caffeine, sedating antihistamines and some other drugs which might make the condition worse. Medication to treat iron deficiency if present. Incorporating a healthy and well-balanced diet Relaxation techniques

This page was last updated on: 4/17/2017 4:40:11 PM


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