Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Find Sleep Clinics & Specialists »

Each case of Restless Legs Syndrome will differ from person to person. Many people do not seek medical advice for this sleep disorder, as they do not recognise it as a curable sleep disorder, and merely put it down to periods of uncomfortableness, wrongly ignoring the affect that this disorder could have on their lives. If you are experiencing several of the following symptoms, it would be highly recommended that you monitor the conditions, perhaps using a sleep diary, and consult a doctor should the symptoms be reoccuring. Equally, if a family member is known to suffer from the condition then you could be at risk of suffering from the disorder too and should seek advice.

The symptoms may include any of the following:

Uncomfortable Sensations in the Legs

This can be described in many different ways and have different levels of severity. Most common descriptions are “tingling”, “aching” and so on. (Please note children may describe the sensation differently.) This feeling usually occurs in the calf, but can occur anywhere on the leg and sometimes the arms. This sensation is often worsened through long periods of inactivity, so when you are sitting watching TV or lying in bed.

Urge to Move

The uncomfortable sensations that are experienced in the legs normally result in the urge to move and temporarily relieve the sensations. The movements can be anything from pacing and walking to stretching and rubbing the legs. The sensation will probably cease when the movement occurs.

Inability to Sleep/Rest

This is often caused due to the sensations felt within the legs as the sensations make you feel too uncomfortable to sleep.


Daytime fatigue is also a problem for RLS sufferers as it disturbs their sleeping pattern due to limb movement.

Involuntary Jerking

As the condition normally means that you also suffer from Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, you may notice involuntary spasms of your limbs during the night which also disturb your sleep.

Disturbed Sleep twice/week

A Tired Partner

Due to your spasms and constant movements, your restlessness may affect your partner.

These are just a few of the complaints you may experience as a sufferer of restless legs syndrome. If you find that several of the symptoms are relevant to you, you may wish to assess your sleeping patterns further to try and establish what solutions are available for you. Completing a sleep diary to monitor your sleeping patterns may be a good idea, and if you do tend to sleep through most of the periodic spasms, ask your partner or friend to help you with this.

« Types of Restless Leg Syndrome Effects of Restless Legs Syndrome »