Your doctor will diagnose restless legs syndrome based on your symptoms, medical history, family history and a physical examination. Your doctor also will do a neurological examination to look for nerve damage, and he or she will order routine blood tests to check for anemia, iron or vitamin deficiency, diabetes and kidney problems. If the body's stores of iron are low, iron supplements may relieve the restless legs syndrome symptoms. In some cases, an overnight sleep study at a sleep clinic may be necessary.
Many people with restless legs syndrome also have involuntary, periodic, jerking leg movements during sleep. The movements occur 1 to 10 times per minute. A sleep study can determine how much this is happening and how it is affecting your sleep.
In women who first develop restless legs syndrome during pregnancy, symptoms often disappear after delivery. In other people with restless legs syndrome, the disorder may be a lifelong problem.