Restless Legs Syndrome Home > Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Common signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome include an almost irresistible urge to move the legs when sitting or lying down and an unpleasant feeling in the legs. These symptoms can range from uncomfortable to painful, and can vary in frequency. In addition, restless legs syndrome symptoms tend to get worse over time.

An Overview of the Signs and Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

There are several major symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), including:
 
  • An almost irresistible urge to move the legs or arms when sitting or lying down
  • An unpleasant feeling in the legs
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep because of the unpleasant feelings in the legs or arms
  • Daytime sleepiness, which results from a lack of restful sleep due to the repeated limb movements.
 
Symptoms are not the same for every person. They can range from uncomfortable to painful, and can vary in frequency. Children who have the condition may describe restless legs syndrome symptoms differently than adults who have it.
 
Urge to Move
Restless legs syndrome gets its name from the urge to move the legs when sitting or lying down. This urge is due to unpleasant feelings in the legs that are relieved by movement. Typical movements seen with restless legs syndrome symptoms are:
 
  • Pacing and walking
  • Jiggling the legs
  • Stretching and flexing
  • Tossing and turning
  • Rubbing the legs.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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