Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Are You a Night Walker?


For Walt Kowalski of Jackson, Mich., breakfast walking around the room.” Many avoid movies, car trips, or plane rides, knowing their symptoms might make the activity intolerable.

Fortunately, restless legs syndrome does not lead to other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or twitching of the arms and legs disrupts sleep. Periodic limb movement disorder can contribute to the Bromocriptine

  • Levodopa
  • Pergolide
  • seizure medicines, such as clonazepam or zolpidem.

    Restless legs syndrome often relapses, even after an effective treatment is started. “What’s very interesting and strange about treating [RLS] is it’s a constantly changing landscape,” says Bell. “What works for you may not work for someone else, and what works for you now may not work for you a year from now.”

    Walt Kolakowski, 60, understands this well. Over 30 years, he tried multiple treatments for his restless legs syndrome. For Walt, dopamine-like medicines worked — but caused too many side effects. He experienced the classic symptoms and progression of severe restless legs syndrome. Today, his symptoms are “somewhat controlled” with gabapentin and hydrocodone.

    Fortunately, most people with restless legs syndrome do very well, says Buchfuhrer. For many, he says, the new dopamine-like drugs are “a godsend.” In his experience, “95% of people can get free of restless legs symptoms 95% of the time” using some combination of treatments. Goodbye night walking, goodbye “creepy-crawlies.” After finding a regimen that works, he adds, “they’re the happiest patients — it’s my favorite disease to treat.”