RLS is so closely associated with sleep disorders that it is sometimes placed in the same category as Insomnia. A good night’s sleep is vitally important for everybody. It recharges a person’s battery and provides energy for all their daily activities. A person suffering from RLS suffers from frequent disruptions of sleep. While trying to sleep the feelings of itching, burning and crawling start growing in the legs and a person is left with no choice but to get up and move about. Although this may provide some temporary relief but the sensations may return as soon as the person is in the bed.
The problem of sleep deprivation interferes with the brain’s ability to process information. This slows down the thought process and affects a person’s concentration and ability to learn. This has a profound effect on their efficiency and task performance. In severe cases this condition may result to industrial errors and vehicle crashes.
The lack of sleep can also have a negative effect on a person’s mood and behavior. Such individuals are generally found to be easily irritated, volatile, depressed and complaining of reduced libido. One of the important things that a patient of RLS must do is to make sleep a priority in life. It has been observed that a regular sleep pattern can help in reducing disruptions. Retiring to bed at a fixed time, putting in enough hours and then getting up at a regular time is very important in ensuring good night’s sleep.
For RLS patients, it may also be advisable to change their sleep cycle so as to get up late in the morning. It will be helpful to maintain a sleep diary, wherein a record of diet, medication, sleep habits and disruptions can be maintained. This dairy can help the doctor in making required changes to help you sleep better.