Restless Legs Syndrome | The sleep killer is a risk of early death, too

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common (1 in 10) but often unknown condition causing sever sleep disturbance and other health conditions. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an extreme urge to move the legs when they are at rest. Sensations like creeping, throbbing, pulling, itching or needles and pins in the legs are common. Once patients move their legs, the symptoms diminish. Typically this happens during the evening or night time. Thus RLS is causing sever sleep disturbances.

Harvard researchers found out that sleep deprivation – caused by Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – leads to higher risk of early death. Former studies linked RLS with many other conditions, including depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

This shows that RLS is not just a discomfort or a condition causing sleep problems. It has severe effects on overall health and longevity.

“We don’t know if RLS is a marker for heart disease or a cause. We’re worried it’s a cause because the periodic limb movements in sleep that often occur with restless legs can affect blood pressure,” says Richard P. Allen, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “Every time you have a movement, you’re getting a fairly significant increase in blood pressure—and you’re doing that up to 1,000 times a night.”

More information about RLS and treatment options here