Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder characterized by a tingling, twitching, and crawling sensation in the legs.  They tend to occur at the time of sleep, in the evening or when lying down for extended periods.  The unpleasant sensaton makes it hard to lay motionless.  RLS creates a powerful urge to move to alleviate the sensations.  RLS is often very disruptive to sleep onset and continuation.

RLS is defined as both a sleep disorder and a neurological disorder but remains a mystery as to actual cause.  There seems to be a strong genetic component and RLS is associated with a number of other health conditions including hypertension, coronary heart disease, and depression.

For a more complete discussion of recent research I recommend an article by Michael Breus, PhD at [email protected] on November 2, 2012.

RLS is believed to be dramatically under-diagnosed.  Treatment options include:

Physical therapy: bath, massage, and excercise

Lifestyle changes: reducing or eliminating the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco

Prescription medications: there are several medicaitons that can treat the symptoms of this disorder.  Consult a sleep physician for best results.

At DesertSmiles we help many patients from Phoenix and Scottsdale with their snoring and sleep apnea with dental devices (oral appliance therapy).  Although CPAP or oral appliances may not alleviate RLS, they can greatly improve sleep breathing and eliminate apnea which can have tremendously harmful effects upon your health.  Visit our Glendale dental office for a complimentary consultation if you snore or have been diagnosed with a CPAP and do not successfully wear it.  Visit for more information.


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