Let’s face it, restless legs syndrome (also known as RLS or Willis-Ekbom disease) is not exactly a household word in most American families. And the notion that children and teens may have symptoms of this condition is even less appreciated. But let’s take a closer look at what is actually a pretty common sleep disorder and an oft overlooked reason kids have difficulty falling asleep.
RLS is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by a nearly irresistible urge to move, mostly the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings. These feelings are often described as “creepy-crawly”, “ants crawling on my legs”, “pins and needles.”
The urge (and sensations if present) occur only at rest or are worst at rest/ in the evening. Symptoms are temporarily relieved by movements such as jiggling or jerking the legs, walking around, or rubbing the legs.
It’s not hard to imagine that these symptoms would interfere with falling asleep. …Read More