Skip to main content

Restless Legs Syndrome

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.


Restless legs syndrome

(RLS) is a condition that causes a powerful urge to move your legs and feet. You may also have tingling, creeping, itching, or throbbing sensations in your legs. You may have discomfort or pain. Movement relieves the symptoms for a short time. RLS is usually worse late in the day and at night. Your symptoms may come and go for days or weeks at a time, and worsen during periods of stress.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You cannot sleep because of your symptoms.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines may help decrease your RLS symptoms.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Keep your legs warm. Wear thick socks or use an electric blanket. It may also help to take a hot bath or massage your legs before bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity such as walking and stretching may help relieve your symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
  • Get enough sleep. You may need to go to bed earlier to get the sleep you need. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Do not drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening. Do not smoke or use tobacco products in the evening. Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can prevent you from sleeping well.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Restless Legs Syndrome

Treatment options

Care guides

Symptoms and treatments guides (external)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.