Sleep In America Poll Data About Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
From time to time, the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep In America PollTM tracks information relating to specific sleep topics and diseases.
- 15% of the adult population responding to the NSF Sleep in America poll have symptoms of RLS a few nights a week or more, which could include unpleasant feelings in the legs such as creepy, drawly or tingling feelings, and 10% met the criteria for being at risk for RLS because – of those who experienced these symptoms -- such feelings were worse at night Of those who have symptoms of RLS, 86% are also likely to have insomnia symptoms and sleep just 6.3 hours per weeknight, which is less than the mean for all respondents of 6.8 hours.
- Almost half (47%) of those experiencing RLS symptoms also take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep at night.
- Although 28% of all adults state that they missed work because of being too sleepy, 52% of those with RLS symptoms reported missing work or other events due to a sleep problem.
2005 Adult Sleep Habits and Styles Sleep In America PollTM
- Even though 40% of adults polled rated their sleep as very good/excellent, just 20% of those with RLS symptoms reported the quality of their sleep this way.
- Of the total number of adults polled, 16% report experiencing RLS symptoms at least a few nights per week; however, just 4% have been diagnosed with the disorder. 32% of those with symptoms have used a sleep aid while 46% of those diagnosed used a sleep medication.
- Persons with RLS symptoms are more likely (60%) compared to the total (37%) to have daytime sleepiness a few days a month or more.
- Quality of life is affected by RLS symptoms. Those with these symptoms report being tired (35% vs. 20%), pessimistic (16% vs. 10%), prefer to be alone (34% vs. 22%), stressed (37% vs. 21%) and be angry (15% vs. 6%) during a typical day.