Friday, September 30, 2016

Sleep Disorders and Their Adverse Health Effects

Insufficient Sleep Cited as Public Health Problem

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third of adults in the United States fail to get a sufficient amount of sleep on a regular basis. In fact, many of these people are actually suffering from sleep disorders.

A sleep disorder is defined by any change in the way you normally sleep. Some of the more common examples include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome (RLS) .

Symptoms of a sleep disorder involve irritability upon awakening and problems concentrating, and can lead to an overall decreased quality of life. Specifically, restless legs syndrome can prevent falling and staying asleep, resulting in unrefreshed sleep cycles and serious daytime fatigue.

Read the full article from Oklahoma Magazine here .

Thursday, September 29, 2016

RLS Foundation Memberships expire 9/30

We want to give a HUGE shout-out to YOU, our incredible members, for your ongoing support of the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation! Thanks to your loyalty and generosity, we are nearly 4,500 members strong and growing every day! 

If you're not sure you've renewed yet for our 2017 fiscal year (starting October 1st), check your membership "expiration date" that is now printed on the back cover of NightWalkers, right above your name and address. If it says "9/30/2016" on your Summer 2016 issue and you haven't yet paid your renewal dues by mail or through our website in the past 30 days, your membership may lapse as of October 1st ... disrupting your NightWalkers subscription as well. 

To make sure you won't lose your exclusive RLSF member benefits -- including 24/7 online access to publications, NightWalkers archive, educational webinars & more -- and to continue receiving NightWalkers, our acclaimed quarterly magazine ... please RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY! Thank you. 

If you have any questions about your RLSF membership, please contact Faith at

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate RLS Awareness Day:

  1. Change your Facebook picture to our ‘RLS Awareness Day’ image (see RLS Foundation Facebook page) and tag us! You will be entered to win an RLS T-shirt and goodie bag! Win a Bravelet with the MOST LIKES on your post. 
  2. Write a letter to the editor about your experience with RLS and send it to your local newspaper, TV station, or send it to us to post on our blog.
  3. Tell your RLS story in video, photo or write a poem using the hashtags #RLSAwarenessDay2016 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
  4. Order an RLS Bravelet for you or someone you care for and support! A portion of each Bravelet sold in support of RLS is donated to the RLSF! 
  5. Become a Support Group Leader! Visit the volunteer page on our website or email Chiara at for more information.
  6. Everybody knows somebody with RLS. Download our postcard and send to four of your friends telling them about RLS Awareness Day, September 23, 2016 … the day the RLS community stands together with hope for a cure!
  7. Download the RLS Quick Guide and share it in your community. Send it in emails. Post it at schools, places of worship, grocery stores, libraries, community centers and other public billboards. Bring it with you to appointments and leave copies in doctor's waiting areas – GET THE WORD OUT … YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
  8. Gift or be gifted an RLS Foundation membership!  Give the gift of membership to a friend or family member (a $35 value). Or ask that a membership, or donation, to the Foundation be gifted to you for a special occasion, like your birthday! Membership includes our quarterly magazine, NightWalkers and access to the 'Members Only' section of our NEW website, where you can download any publication, access archived editions of NightWalkers and educational webinar archives.
  9. Kids and teens have RLS too. Ask your school or sports league to announce RLS Awareness Day in morning announcements or during half-time! Be sure to share the RLS Teen Guide or Children's Booklet with your school nurse.
  10. Purchase an RLS Awareness Ribbon magnet for your bumper.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Statement from the American Heart Association

The Link Between Sleep Disorders and Cardiovascular Health

On Sept. 19, the American Heart Association released a scientific statement confirming that sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, are associated with negative cardiovascular health.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults get in at least seven hours of sleep every night. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, roughly 50 - 70 million adults in the U.S. each year report insufficient sleep or suffer from a sleep disorder.

With these new findings in mind, it was suggested that the AHA focus on sleep behavior through a public health campaign concerning proper sleep habits, as well as educating clinicians on how to screen for sleep disorders. Additionally, it was recommended that the impact of other sleep disorders, like restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement , be tested for their relation with cardiometabolic risk.

To read more about the AHA's statement, check out this article featured on Cardiovascular Business.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Celebrating our RLS Foundation Family

Zibby and Faith

For the last two years, the Foundation has had the privilege of working with two exceptional employees - Faith and Zibby! Read more about these members of our RLS Foundation family below.

Meet Zibby

Every organization has one individual with a vast set of experiences that makes them a “jack of all trades.” At the Foundation, Zibby Crawford, the Foundation’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator is this individual. Zibby covers many areas of responsibility, from planning and coordinating the RLS Foundation's presence at meetings and conferences to compiling our eFriends mailing and managing our technological upgrades … It’s a good thing she is the ultimate multi-tasker! Her thirty years of marketing experience has enhanced our outreach.

Before the Foundation, Zibby worked in the high tech industry but fell in love with the nonprofit sector when she served as Board President for the National Charity League, Capital of Texas Chapter. Zibby's warm, bubbly and outgoing personality make her a joy to work with. She is always ready to teach a new skill or lend a hand. She has raised four kids, is waiting patiently on grandkids, but until then has a chihuahua rescue dog, Daisy.

Zibby’s motto is “Spread joy!” and she carries that spirit with her each and every day.

Meet Faith

When calls come in to the Foundation with questions, concerns or requests, they are answered with a positive, friendly voice ready to help. Faith Duncan is usually the first to greet callers, ready to help with any and all issues. Many times it's as simple as helping members log on to the Members Only section of our website. But, Faith has fielded any number of calls ranging from despair about this often debilitating disease, to requests from volunteers wanting to share knowledge with others in their community.

Faith put aside a career as an engineer to be a stay at home mom for many years. She became an active member of a non-profit where she served on the Board of Directors at the National Charity League, Inc., Capital of Texas Chapter, a mother-daughter service organization. Now, with her youngest in college, Faith has taken on her position as Member Services Coordinator and tackled some difficult software and processes with her very analytical, engineering approach and problem-solving abilities!

We are very fortunate to have her very sharp mind as well as her compassionate spirit - Faith has made such a difference here at the Foundation. We wish her a Happy Birthday this month, and hope you have the opportunity to experience her uplifting, positive attitude in the future ... you are not alone!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Requip Labeling Update

New Warnings and Dosing Information

New warnings and dosing information have been added to Requip (ropinorole), a medication used to treat RLS and Parkinson’s disease. The makers of Requip, GlaxoSmithKline, implemented FDA approved changes in the packet insert which include updated dosage and warning information. The update indicates healthcare practitioners and patients to taper off of Requip slowly to prevent neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a potentially serious adverse reaction. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome symptoms include high fever, muscular rigidity, and autonomic dysfunction.

In the event of discontinuing Requip or augmentation, this update reflects important precautions in gradual reduction of dosage. For a highlight of prescribing information, click here.

Speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions regarding your medication. Do not make changes to your medication without the advise of your physician.