Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that affects the legs. People with restless legs syndrome have uncomfortable sensations in their legs and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The sensations are usually worse at night or at rest, especially when lying or sitting. Restless legs syndrome may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.
Restless legs syndrome may affect approximately 10% of adults in the U.S.. It is more common in women but is seen in both sexes and may begin at any age, even in young children. Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older.
The disorder is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed for many years.
The treatment process is designed to reduce symptoms, including decreasing the number of nights with RLS symptoms, the severity of RLS symptoms and nighttime awakenings.