What Causes Restlessness?

Restlessness, also known as akathisia, is a feeling of inner chaos and agitation that can cause feelings of discomfort and distress. It is characterized by an inability to stay in one position or maintain an activity for long periods of time, and is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as pacing, fidgeting, or repetitive movements. The exact cause of restlessness is not known, but it is likely due to an interplay of psychological and biological factors.

People who experience restlessness often report feeling an inability to relax, incessant worrying, or the need to move in order to reduce distress. Other common symptoms can include the following:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Agitation
  • Impatience
  • Irritability

While the exact cause of restlessness is not known, certain factors may increase a person's risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Lack of exercise
  • Certain medications, such as stimulants and certain antidepressants

Treatment is also tailored to individual cases, and may include psychotherapy, lifestyle modifications, and medication. If untreated, restlessness can have a serious impact on quality of life, so it is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms.