View Full Version : RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)

07-16-09, 12:38 AM
I am a 39 year old female. Thinking I've had Adult ADHD for years, but thought "as an adult" I could keep things under control........At wits end and seeking help now. Not diagnosed yet tho....Anyone with ADHD, "also" have RLS..........If so, is this a side effect of ADHD?????


07-24-09, 12:44 PM
I have both. RLS really isn't a side effect of ADHD directly but some medications can make RLS worse. You need to have a sleep study to confirm RLS (which will look at your periodic limb movement index).

I've been on Requip for about 6 months now and it really helps the RLS. Sometimes I have to add on .5mg of Klonopin too.

Most people think RLS is no big deal but it is. If those arms and legs are twitching and moving while you are sleeping your brain isn't hitting the deep REM sleep it needs so you will still be tired during the day.

07-24-09, 05:38 PM
I too also suffer from RLS...I dont know if it is adhd related...

I tried requip but it made my RLS worse

I have a script for .5mg lorazapam in case I have a bad night

I have some weird med allergies..I cant take Benadryl...not only does it ramp up my RLS

It also extends the restlessness through my entire body and my heart feels

like its an outboard motor...anyone around that is familier with this?

07-24-09, 10:46 PM
sounds like potassium or some other type of ion channelopathy... do search in the forum quite a bit of info about it here,,, thats where i found it right here in the add adhd forums,,, led to my diagnosis of andersen tawil syndrome.. very rare form of a potassium ion channelopathy signs muscle twithches and jumps tiredness tightness of muscles with an inability to relax the muscles..comes with a dose of executive function disorder too!!

katts queen

10-01-09, 12:46 AM
Restless Legs Syndrome Has Complex Genetic Involvement

Yes there is a connection between RLS and ADHD/ADD
The Magic Word is "Comorbity"

Adults who have restless legs syndrome are more likely to also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than adults who don't have the sleep disorder, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology’s 53rd Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, May 5-11, 2001.
For the study, researchers tested 56 adults with restless legs syndrome for ADHD symptoms and compared them to 77 people who did not have RLS. Thirty-nine percent of the patients met the criteria for "possible" ADHD, compared to 14 percent of controls. Of those, 21 percent of the patients met the criteria for "highly probable" ADHD, compared to four percent of controls.
Twenty-one of the 33 patients and controls with possible ADHD underwent additional, objective psychological testing. Of those, 100 percentof the patients had a profile consistent with that of ADHD, as did 86 percent of the controls. RLS patients with ADHD also had greater anxiety symptoms than controls with ADHD.
Those patients who had both restless legs and ADHD also had more severe RLS symptoms than the RLS patients without ADHD.

Researchers have a few theories why the disorders appear to be linked.
"The leg discomfort from RLS could cause people to be more hyperactive and distractable," said study author Mary L. Wagner, Pharm.D., of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ . "And being tired from having your sleep disrupted could cause people to be more inattentive.
It could be that these disorders simply appear together frequently -- they may be genetically linked."

Another theory is that both disorders may be caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. A lack of dopamine can leave patients unable to control their movements normally.

Evidence for this theory is that both disorders respond well to drugs that promote dopamine action in the brain.

"People with RLS should also be tested for ADHD, and vice versa," Wagner said. "That way these disorders can be diagnosed and treated more effectively."

The risk of ADHD or RLS is greater in people with a family history of the disorder. "A patient with ADHD or his or her family may be more likely to also have RLS, but more research is needed on this," Wagner said.

10-30-09, 11:11 PM
Hmmm that's interesting. I havent been "officially diagnosed" w/RLS, but I do think I have it. It mostly rears it's ugly head w/certain medications.
Benadryl and over the counter sleep meds both have the main ingredient, Antihistamine Diphenhydramine and that triggers the RLS in my feet. Which is ironic really since it's typically helps others sleep.
Also some psychiatric meds did this too, so I had to take them during the day, cant remember which ones or if it was only the combination of them or what.

RLS is horrible, it happens when I lay down to go to sleep and I cant even fall asleep. I dont know that much about it but I thought I read that it was CNS related (central nervous system), Ive also read that certain supplements/vitamins/minerals could help, that it's related to a deficiency of somesort?

I use to roll around in the bed a lot when I was little, even fall out of bed, or end up rolled up in my sheets hanging off my bed like a hammock. I do end up in a different positions in the morning than when I went to bed now, but not sure how much I move in the night. My bf doesnt complain about me kicking or anything lol.

My dad said that my grandmother had RLS and my dad has undx'ed ADD, the symptoms are way too obvious.

The connection is really interesting.

02-09-10, 07:13 PM
I have ADD, Restless Leg Syndrome (, Insomnia ( and Disruptive Sleep Disorder ( (aka REM sleep behavior disorder) and sleep apnea. All with the exception of the ADD were diagnosed during 2 overnight sleep studies. I am seeing a neurologist that specializes in Sleep Disorders. At first the primary concern was sleep apnea since my O2 sat dipped to 82% at times. However, during both sleep studies that were 6 hours in duration I got only 10 minutes or REM sleep.

They prescribed a CPAP machine, but to tell you the truth, when you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep on top of ADD's "princess and the pea" syndrome I could not keep the head piece on for more than 10 minutes. I am now the proud owner of a brand new CPAP machine that has been used for no more than 3 times /10 minutes each. They were very adamant about the risk of sleep apnea, but I told them if I never fall asleep the risk of dying from sleep apnea is 0%.

So they started me on Requip for the RLS. I take 1 mg an hour before bed along with 30mg of Celexa, 20 mg of Simvistatin(high cholesteral) and 20mg of Lisinorpil (high BP). Requip holds me for most nights. Some nights I wake up at 5 a.m. and my legs are peddling away in bed. Also have the problem during the days so I have a prescription for .25mg of Requip as needed up to 3x per day.

Of course hind sight says I have had the ADD my whole life and my personal history, family relating my history confirms that I have had RLS my entire life. (Yes Irene..52 years of very poor sleep.) I have also had the Disruptive Sleep Disorder my whole life as well which is characterized by "by the acting out of dreams that are vivid, intense, and violent. Dream-enacting behaviors include talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing." For me I am the kicking type. I remember when I was younger and my bed was along a wall waking up in the morning with a sprained ankle or broken toe from kicking the wall. The kicks are very strong karate type kicks. (Ask my wife who got the full force of a kick one night.)

To help reduce the incidence of Disruptive Sleep Disorder and RLS I am now taking 1mg of Clonazepam before bed as well. The Clonazepam helps me from breaking out of my sleep by the RLS and reduces the violent kicking.

When attending a group ADD session or talking with my MD they ask me when I had my last restful nights sleep. I have to laugh because I have no idea what that would feel like. Never had one in my life. Is it good? Is a good nights sleep as good as they say it is? Weird isn't it.


03-31-10, 01:16 PM
I have RLS and tried Requip, but it gave me horrible reflux, which I had already. It works the opposite way on the same two dopamine receptors as the medication I was taking for motility (movement of food), hence the reflux. I take Wellbutrin now as an off-label med for RLS.

I can not take meds like Benadryl without getting terrible restless legs unless I fall asleep right away after taking it. I probably still do it in my sleep, though. Even without the meds like Bedandryl I do, which they saw in my sleep study, even though I do take the Wellbutrin.

And restless legs were the first sign of my pregnancy. Usually it shows up later in pregnancy, but it did with me right away.

I did not have an iron deficiency, though, which can cause restless legs. I think anyone with the condition should get their iron checked before starting any of these meds.