Increasing age and being female are two risk factors associated with developing restless legs syndrome, or RLS, states Mayo Clinic. People with peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency and kidney failure are at greater risk of developing RLS.
While doctors are not sure what causes RLS, they suspect that there is a genetic component because approximately half of all RLS sufferers have family members who have it as well, explains WebMD. Women sometimes develop RLS late in pregnancy, and drinking alcohol and sleep deprivation may trigger RLS. Certain antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants and allergy medications that contain sedating antihistamines can make RLS symptoms worse.