Restless Legs Syndrome
Los Angeles

Finally Get a Good night's sleep

Do you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs at night, especially while sleeping? Are you unable to lie down and rest comfortably for elongated periods? If so, you may be suffering from restless legs syndrome, a condition that’s often linked to other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia.

At Tower Sleep Medicine, we use cutting-edge diagnostic technologies to identify the root cause of your restless legs syndrome, identify other underlying sleep disorders, and curate the ideal treatment plan to address your unique sleep concerns. For relief from restless legs syndrome, Los Angeles clients come to Tower Sleep Medicine.

About Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition marked by an uncontrollable and overwhelming need to move your legs, especially in the evening or while resting. Patients with RLS often report uncomfortable sensations in the legs, such as itching, throbbing, burning, pulling, or aching sensations. These sensations may dissipate if you get up and walk around, but the resume soon after you lie down again. Persistent RLS disrupts your sleep cycle and may cause insomnia or daytime drowsiness.

Signs & Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

  • Uncontrollable desire to move your legs.
  • Restlessness usually occurs while lying down or resting.
  • The restless sensations recede with movement.
  • The symptoms and sensations worsen at night.
  • Periodic limb movement of sleep, a condition that makes your legs kick and twitch throughout the night while sleeping.
  • Unpleasant sensations in the legs, often described as burning, crawling, pulling, aching, electric, itching, throbbing, creeping, etc.

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Causes

  • Imbalance of the chemical responsible for muscle movements — dopamine.
  • Low iron levels, which may affect your brain’s ability to communicate with the muscles.
  • Diabetes may damage the blood vessels and nerves controlling the leg muscles, causing RLS.
  • Certain medications, including antidepressants, anti-nausea medications, and allergy medications, worsen the RLS symptoms.
  • Pregnancy can lead to RLS symptoms.

Risk Factors

  • Pregnant women, especially in the third trimester.
  • Individuals over the age of 45.
  • Family history of RLS.
  • Individuals taking certain medications.
  • Diabetes.

Long-Term Complications

  • Insomnia.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Inability to sit still in cars or long flights.
  • Poor quality of life.
  • Depression.

Diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome

During your initial consultation, your sleep specialist will review your medical history and current medications. They’ll ask you to describe all your symptoms, identifying RLS based on a set of criteria established by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. After the preliminary consultation, the doctor may recommend blood tests and sleep tests to identify possible underlying causes of restless legs syndrome.

Blood Tests

As mentioned previously, restless legs syndrome may be caused by iron deficiency, affecting your brain’s ability to send the correct signals to your muscles. The blood test allows us to rule out the possibility of iron deficiency.

Home Sleep Testing

Your sleep specialists may recommend home sleep testing as the first stage of your sleep study. During the home sleep test, we provide a portable electronic device with instructions on how to use it while sleeping. When you sleep, the device monitors your airflow, blood oxygen level, heart rate, snoring, and legs/hands movements. We gather all the data to determine if you have underlying sleep disorders.

In-Lab Sleep Study

Based on the home sleep test results, your sleep doctor may recommend an in-lab sleep study to finalize our diagnostic conclusions. We have luxuriously-appointed sleep diagnostic rooms where you can sleep while we monitor your brainwaves, heart rate, breathing, oxygen levels, limb movements, etc. The in-lab sleep study provides extremely accurate results to help us curate the ideal treatment plan.

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Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome

Your sleep doctor will discuss the results of all your diagnostic tests and evaluations. We’ll discuss all your treatment options for primary restless legs syndrome and other possible underlying sleep disorders. We give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Regular exercise.
  • Stress reduction techniques.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Massage your legs frequently.
  • Use hot and cold packs to lessen the uncomfortable sensations.
  • Apply pressure on your legs with a foot wrap.

Medications

If the lifestyle remedies don’t help, your doctor may recommend certain medications to minimize the restlessness in your legs. Your doctor may recommend medications that increase the dopamine in your brain, improve iron levels, facilitate muscle relaxation, or help you sleep better at night. It’s generally advisable to attempt lifestyle changes before relying on medications.

If your experiencing restless legs syndrome in Los Angeles, contact us for more information and how to treat it today.

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310-657-4337

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