Health Watch - Sleep: Restless Legs

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting a good night’s sleep — as well as things that keep us from sleeping well and what we can do about them. Adequate sleep is important for health and performance at work or school. One problem that disrupts sleep is restless leg syndrome. This condition causes overwhelming, “antsy” urges to move the legs, particularly when sitting or lying down. All that thrashing about keeps both the sufferer and anyone else in the bed from getting any rest.

Dr. Shilpa Chitlis, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center who specializes in movement disorders, says there are many causes for restless leg syndrome. It could be something as simple as a nutritional deficiency. Up to 10 percent of the population may be affected. Next on Health Watch we’ll talk about how it can be diagnosed and treated.

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January 2009

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