Do you ever find yourself having the irresistible urge to get up and walk? Maybe you lay in bed and your legs twitch. You may have restless leg syndrome.

RLS is a neurological condition that is described by sufferers as a creepy, tingly, burning, aching or uncomfortable feeling in your legs that only goes away when you get up and move around.

The sensations are typically in the legs and feet but may also be felt in your arms. The feelings don't really hurt, they are just irritating and as soon as you get up and move they go away.

Usually you'll experience RLS during periods of inactivity such as when you are watching TV or trying to go to sleep and it tends to be worse in the evening. This can often make relaxing, sleeping and traveling difficult. Symptoms can vary in severity and often disappear altogether for a period of time.

Restless leg syndrome can begin at any age and tends to get worse as you get older. Though more commonly found in women, men often complain of it as well. The cause of RLS is unknown though researchers suspect that it has something to with abnormal levels of dopamine, the chemical in your brain that sends messages that control muscle movement.

RLS is often associated with another sleep disorder called periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS) which causes involuntary flexing of your legs while you are asleep. Restless leg syndrome seems to run in families and is often exacerbated by conditions such as pregnancy when there are hormonal changes. There also appears to be some correlation between RLS and iron deficiency.

Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies and minor lifestyle changes that may help alleviate the symptoms of RLS so that you can relax and sleep well. Hot baths, massages, warm or cold packs, relaxation techniques such as meditation and over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen often help.

It's also may help to avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine when you are wanting to relax because these can act as stimulants. Playing video games, working a crossword puzzle or engaging in other mentally stimulating activities may help reduce your symptoms as well because boredom and drowsiness before bedtime seem to make RLS worse.

Finally, fatigue seems to play a role in the severity of restless leg syndrome so developing good sleep hygiene is a great idea. Make your bedroom cool, soothing and quiet and make sure that your bed and pillow are comfortable.

Try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day; people with RLS often report that symptoms are reduced if they go to bed a little later at night and sleep a little later in the morning.

Getting plenty of exercise also contributes to good sleep, but don't exercise too close to bed time.

In closing, if none of these things work for you and RLS is effecting your rest, you should see a doctor because proper sleep is crucial to both your health and your quality of life.

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