Restless leg syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that causes a strong or sometimes uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Symptoms usually occur at night and can be most severe when you are sitting or lying down.

Overview and Symptoms

Restless leg syndrome can begin at any age and is more common in women than men. To be diagnosed with restless leg syndrome, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have a strong, often irresistible urge to move your legs, usually accompanied by uncomfortable sensations typically described as burning, crawling, cramping or tingling.
  • Your symptoms start or get worse when you’re resting.
  • Your symptoms are partially or temporarily relieved by moving around or stretching.
  • Your symptoms are worse at night.

Treatment at BIDMC

BIDMC's Sleep Disorders Clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to your care with a team that includes neurologists, pulmonologists and psychologists. Treatment options may include medication, lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques.


The Department of Neurology provides a full range of both inpatient and outpatient neurological services through a variety of subspecialty clinics, including Cognitive Neurology, Epilepsy, Stroke, Neuromuscular Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Neuro-ophthalmology, Neuro-oncology, Neuro-HIV, Neurogenetics, Multiple Sclerosis, and Sleep Disorders.

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