If you’ve ever shaken yourself awake with a jerk of your leg or arm, then you’ve experienced the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
What is Restless Legs Syndrome?
The disorder is mainly characterized by sudden or unpredictable twitches or jerks by the body’s limbs. While this primarily occurs in the legs, as the name implies, it can also affect the torso, head, and arms. Restless legs syndrome is considered a spectrum condition, as the range of severity may be quite drastic, ranging from mild annoyance to constant disruptions of sleep and a serious impact on quality of life. These spasms most commonly occur in a resting wakefulness state, which often precedes sleep, or when the body is relaxed and stationary.
- Twitches or jerks in the limbs (this can sometimes be the secondary symptom)
- Itching and buzzing in the muscles
- Electrical impulses in the limbs
- Feeling of something crawling on the body, which results in the twitching, even when “asleep”
There are many causes of restless legs syndrome. Let’s take a look at them in detail:
- Iron content: The most common explanation relates to the body’s iron stores. Basically, if you have an iron deficiency or have too much iron stored in your system, then restless legs syndrome is much more likely to affect you.
- A side effect of other health conditions: Research has shown that restless legs syndrome affects many other people suffering from other possible causative conditions, such as sleep apnea, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, and magnesium deficiency, among others.
While many physicians recommend everything from anti-emetics and antidepressants to dopamine agonists and anticonvulsants, there are also many natural ways for you to improve or eliminate the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.