Restless legs syndrome

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Restless legs syndrome is a bullshit disease reminscient of sleepwalking, except that only a part of the body is involved in the process. The disorder mostly affect humans, but can affect other species as well, such as sheep and ostriches.

The disorder[edit]

There's a pair of restless legs out on a nocturnal walkabout, but unfortunately, nobody cares.

The symptoms of the disorder manifest themselves after the sleeping person has entered deep, dreamless sleep, after which twitching, itching and other uncomfortable sensations begin to affect the leg. Soon the legs will start to move on their own and break free from the rest of the body, causing the person with the disorder to faint out of pain, after which he/she will sleep to the morning while the legs are out in the night sleepwalking on their own. Some doctors say that this is because the legs simply doesn't want to sleep like the rest of the body and decides to go renegade during nighttime while the person is asleep. Some say that RLS is the origin of all ghost stories, when someone has seen a couple of legs walking around during the night without a body attached to them.

However, the legs always, somewhat miraculously, manages to return to their owner in time before awakening in the morning, leaving the person with the disorder with no memory of what happened during the night. Unless another person has witness the nocturnal escapade, a person can live through his/her entire life without knowing what their legs did last night.

Thankfully, RLS is not an infectious disease but a genetically transmitted disorder and so cannot infect another person through touch and/or other physical contact. It is normally carried over by the father through the Y-chromosome and can lay dormant throughout several generations.

The physiology of the disorder[edit]

For laymen, and even for intermediate scholars on the subject, it may be difficult to comprehend how a couple of legs can go about wandering on their own without the rest of the body. After all, walking is a difficult process which requires many muscles to be moved, all of which needs to be controlled by a central nerva system. The problem is, since the legs detach themselves from the rest of the body during nighttime, it shouldn't be possible for them to actually move unless the brain can somehow be involved. The remains of the nerva system in the legs alone cannot account for the movement, since they are too undeveloped to do this alone. However, Dr. Sigmundheimer F. Rhoid, a leading expert on the disorder, has come up with a theory that this is all based upon a very complex system of somatic reflexes, like when a doctor hits his/her patient lightly on the knee with a rubber hammer or something similar, upon which the leg will automatically move a bit without the patient having moved the leg consciously. It is theorized that after a whole lifetime (more or less) of walking around, the legs may have evolved reflexes complex enough to actually moving around by themselves without any brain or body there to control them.

I have RLS - how do I stop my legs from sleepwalking?[edit]

Oh, and they're also known as the Jimmylegs according to Wikipedia...

You don't. No, but seriously, the only way to stop your legs from becoming restless and take a nighttime walk on their own is to tie yourself to the bed firmly, both your legs and upper body. Otherwise you're pretty much screwed. Sorry, but you'll probably do better in your next life.

The dangers of Restless legs syndrome[edit]

There are many dangers with restless legs being on the loose, not just personal dangers but also dangers to society. Sometimes the person with the disorder can be kicked violently by his/her own legs when they go on their own and thus wake up the following morning with bruses all over his/her body, a very unpleasent experience that may look like a poltergeist's work for a layman. In fact, poltergeist activity has been theorized to have originated from cases of restless legs syndrome. Since legs technically have no eyes or ears to guide them, they may also walk into stuff and break them, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. They can cause great destruction in traffics as car drivers has to drive off the road in order to avoid hitting the legs.


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