The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America poll will focus on Exercise and Sleep. We asked the experts on the poll task force to tell us more about important exercise and sleep topics and the research behind them.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a serious, but treatable condition. The key to living with RLS is managing the symptoms. Lifestyle changes, like limiting caffeine and alcohol, taking iron supplements or a hot bath, or initiating an exercise plan, and seeing a heath care professional to discuss treatment options can help.
How do I know if I have RLS?
While there are no lab tests to diagnose RLS, your heath care professional may be able to make an official diagnosis given your responses to several simple questions about your symptoms. These include:
- Do you have an urge to move your legs, usually accompanied by uncomfortable leg sensations?
The symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are often difficult to put into words, as each person’s experience with RLS is different. Some people use comparisons, such as "like ants crawling through my legs" or "like soda running through my veins" to try to describe the symptoms and feelings to their heath care professionals.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is like a fingerprint; everyone's experience with it is unique. Some people call RLS the "frantic muscles" or "jitters." Some people may describe it as aching, tingling sensations deep within their legs, while others may say they feel like lightning is running through their veins.
RLS is a serious condition that has affected people for many years, but it has not always been taken seriously, and is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Approximately 10 percent of American adults1 suffer from this neurological sensorimotor disorder, which causes uncomfortable and sometimes painful tingling, and tugging sensations in the legs.
"Caleb was two when we first noticed his loud snoring," said Scott, Caleb's father. "We were alarmed but didn't really start to worry until we began hearing him gasp for air between the snores. That made my wife and me very uneasy.
- Start early to educate the community and all parties involved. Use hard data and testimonials. Consider the research and what you hope to gain, not lose. Network with other schools to learn from their experience. Apply what you learn to your school district’s particular challenges or concerns. Be prepared with concrete examples of the successes of others.
The following are eight major obstacles to changing school start times: