Restless Legs Syndrome Health Center

Currently, there is not a specific test for Restless Legs Syndrome.

When diagnosing, physicians usually focus on the person’s descriptions of the symptoms and ask specific questions about their symptoms such as:

  • How would you describe your sleeping problems and how long have you had trouble sleeping?
  • On average, how long does it take you to fall asleep and do you wake up multiple times during the night?
  • How often does this sleeping problem occur on a weekly basis?
  • What do your leg problems feel like, can you describe them?
  • What kinds of medications are you taking, including antidepressants, herbal medicines, alcohol, and over the counter or prescription drugs?

Sometimes, people who have Restless Legs Syndrome find it helpful to keep a journal or some sort of record of their sleep. A bed partner can help one keep track of their sleeping habits. This can be helpful for doctor visits and keeping a track on the severity of a person’s symptoms.

There is a set of four basic criteria to determine if one has RLS:

  1. Symptoms are worse at night and virtually unnoticeable in the morning or during the day.
  2. A strong, overwhelming urge to move or shake the affected part of the body.
  3. Symptoms seem to be triggered by rest, relaxation, and sleep.
  4. Symptoms that are relieved by movement.
Review Date: 
October 7, 2013
Last Updated:
June 2, 2014