Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Restless Legs Syndrome Center

Font Size

Diagnosing Restless Legs Syndrome

Exams and Tests

In most people with restless legs syndrome (RLS), poor sleep and daytime sleepiness are the most bothersome symptoms. Many people do not link their sleep problem with the strange sensations in their legs. If you are having these sensations, be sure to mention it to your health care provider. This provides a very important clue to what is causing you to sleep poorly.

Sleep disturbances have many different causes. Your health care provider may ask you detailed questions, including current and prior medical problems, family medical problems, medications, work history, travel history, personal habits, and your lifestyle. Your health care provider will look for signs of an underlying cause for your sleep problem.

There is no lab test or imaging study that can prove that you have RLS. 

Recommended Related to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Sleep and Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that affects movement of the legs. Because it usually interferes with sleep, it also is considered a sleep disorder.

Read the Sleep and Restless Legs Syndrome article > >

However, certain tests can help identify underlying medical conditions such as anemia and metabolic disorders (diabetes or kidney disease, for example) that may be linked to RLS:

Polysomnography (sleep testing) may be necessary to diagnose the sleep disturbances and determine if you have periodic limb movements. This is especially important in people who continue to have significant sleep disturbances despite relief of RLS symptoms with treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 20, 2015
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman asleep foot hanging out
Is it nervous or sleep disorder?
woman knitting
Warm baths, exercise, and nixing caffeine will help.
woman stretching leg
We’ve got four ideas to try and four to avoid.
patient and doctor
If you think you may have RLS, see a doctor for an exam.
woman asleep foot hanging out
pharmacist with a client
woman walking her dog
patient and doctor