How do I overcome Restless Leg Syndrome

Forms of sleep disorders: Restless legs syndrome

  • Top Topics

    hay fever

    The nose is runny, the eyes itchy: spring is not a good time for hay fever sufferers. What you can do.

    Go outside

    Overcoming your weaker self: We have 10 arguments for you why you should exercise outdoors.

    Breast cancer

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. If it is recognized in time, the chances of treatment are good.
  • Diseases & Symptoms
  • Prevention & Health


    A healthy and balanced diet supports the immune system and can protect against many diseases.

    Fitness and wellness

    Sport and relaxation are good for body and soul. The best fitness exercises, tips for skin and hair and relaxation for the soul.

    Skin care

    Proper skin care should be tailored to the individual skin type. What do you have to consider?
  • Age & care

    Health in old age

    Much changes in old age. You can find information and tips on the topics of sexuality, sport and avoiding falls here.

    Advice and help in everyday life

    What should you watch out for when driving a car, how do you adapt your apartment to your age? The following information about tools, legal and counseling services.

    Care, Finance & Law

    The number of people needing care increases. You can find out everything you need to know about long-term care insurance, retirement homes and rehabilitation here.
  • Homeopathy & Naturopathy

    Medicinal plant lexicon

    Medicinal plants help against many ailments - the knowledge about the effects of the plants has often been passed down over thousands of years.

    Homeopathic remedies

    Homeopathic remedies have been used to naturally support health and wellbeing for over 200 years.

    Bach flowers

    Essences of Bach flower should have a harmonizing effect. The teaching according to Dr. Bach says that diseases can be cured by it.
  • Videos & self-tests

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) - the syndrome of restless legs - is a neurological disease. Around three to ten percent of Germans are affected, 80 percent of them while sleeping.

© Thinkstock
Restless legs syndrome is particularly common in women who have given birth to several children, as well as in older people. Restless legs syndrome can also be an accompanying symptom of pregnancy, anemia or kidney failure.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Tingling, pulling, tensioning and pain in the legs are typical symptoms of restless legs syndrome. The abnormal sensations occur especially before going to sleep, around midnight and in the morning around four o'clock. Often those affected are woken up by this and can only overcome the symptoms by walking around. But the abnormal sensations can also be felt unconsciously in between. This causes the sleeper to move his legs. He doesn't really wake up, but sleep is still disturbed in this case as well. The result is often severe daytime sleepiness.

Therapy with Parkinson's medication

If iron deficiency anemia is the cause of restless legs syndrome, iron replacement therapy can help. In other cases, long-term therapy with Parkinson's medication is advisable - the dopamine agonists in particular are effective. If these medications do not help the patient and if he is plagued by severe sleep disorders, therapy with opioids, anti-epileptics or tranquilizers (sedatives) such as benzodiazepines can be useful.

Positive pressure mask for the combination of sleep apnea and RLS

However, only around 25 percent of patients with restless legs syndrome require therapy, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Drug therapy is often only justified in the case of extreme daytime sleepiness, because dopamine agonists also have a relatively large number of side effects - such as psychoses and nausea.

Restless legs syndrome often occurs together with sleep apnea. In this case, therapy with an overpressure mask not only corrects sleep apnea, but mostly also relieves RLS.
  • Author: Kirsten Gaede, medical journalist, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin; medical quality assurance: Cornelia Sauter, doctor
  • Swell: Dr. Ingo Fietze, Thea Herold, The Sleep Quotient, Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg
  • Robert Koch Institute, Federal Health Reporting, Issue 27: Sleep Disorders, Berlin
  • Interview with Dr. Ingo Fietze, head of the Interdisciplinary Sleep Medicine Center at the Charité
  • Interview with psychologist Sandra Zimmermann from the Interdisciplinary Sleep Medicine Center of the Charité
  • Interview with Dr. Peter Geisler from the Sleep Medicine Center of the University Clinic Regensburg
  • Interview with Michael Maar, respiratory therapist at the Ilse Middendorf Institute in Berlin

You might also be interested in: