Re: what exactly is restless leg syndrome?
It's not clear what causes the disorder, but there is some suggestive evidence. It is believed to involve a deficiency in Dopamine, or Dopamine's receptor in the basal ganglia of the brain. An absence of dopamine, or a mutated receptor, or non-responsive receptor causes a sensation in the legs. Upon movement - kicking, walking, stretching - the sensation goes away. For me, 30 minutes after I fall asleep, I am woken up by a shooting sensation down my lateral thigh. If I don't move my leg, it gets worse. It's definitely real, and can be much worse than my case.
For me, doing squats, stretching, or jogging before bed helps. Massaging the muscles also helps. There are medications, such as Requip (Ropinirole) however there can be long term side-effects. It sucks.