Restless legs syndrome is a nerve-wracking neurological disorder that directly affects your lifestyle. It is not just a petty issue that you can live with, without treating it. It is something such horrible that your whole lifestyle can be awfully disturbed. It is a type of sleep disorder because its every impact starts with insufficient sleep.
Imagine a day when you come back to your home after a long and frenzied day with an urge to just fall on your bed and fancy a peaceful nap. But just a few minutes later you started feeling burning, crawling, pulling, itchy, throbbing and tingling sensation in your legs. You just can’t resist moving your legs to find a position that could alleviate this horrible feeling.
At that time when your longest desire was to sleep and you wanted that no one should disturb you, sadly now you have to wake up! Come back to your senses and start to walk or massage your legs or just keep moving your legs until you find peace.
Then imagine that this devastating sensation just won’t stay on your legs! What if someday it will budge from your legs to your feet, arms or may be to your chest?
Can you even just imagine tolerating all this pain? Well, almost 1 out of every 10 Americans suffers from this malady every day. There are millions of men and women out there who are suffering from this condition and still are unaware of it. And the rest who knows about it can’t find any cure to Restless Leg Syndrom. This condition occurs in both men and women but is mostly diagnosed in women. There is no age limitation of this heinous disease; it can attack any toddler or any aged old man.
But, don’t you worry! We aimed to offer you with every cure to this disease. Our list of home remedies for restless legs syndrome will definitely help you to deal with your restless legs.
Restless Syndrome Symptoms- Watch Out
- The main symptom of RLS is throbbing, tingling, pulling, burning, crawling or itchy sensation in your legs (mainly in calf muscles).
- Secondly, restless legs syndrome primarily targets your sleeping habits and causes insomnia because it is the type of ailment that usually occurs when you lie down to relax or sleep. The peak time when the symptoms appear is usually evening or late at night.
- While sleeping or relaxing there is an urge to move legs, and you just can’t resist the feeling otherwise, the ache accelerates and become worse. You can’t find any other solution than moving or stretching your legs.
- A study has revealed that the people suffering from RLS make jerking movements during sleep. Their bed partners often complain about the jerking or shuddering.
- Do you feel difficulty in concentrating on any task assigned to you? In class or office, it becomes hard for you to put all your strength into your work and come up with something extraordinary?
- Feeling depressed and stressed out? Maybe it’s a symptom of RLS! Restless legs syndrome often make people depressed and stressed out. It is very obvious that when one can’t sleep peacefully and have to wake up tons of times in his sleep then, depression and stress can occur.
- Disturbed and inadequate sleep due to RLS can also cause fatigue.
- People suffering from RLS generally become irritated because they stay tired throughout the day because of insufficient sleep.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
- It has been seen that those people who suffer from a severe underlying disorder are more likely to get RLS. For example, patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, anaemia, obesity, diabetes, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease or any other chronic illness mostly suffer from restless leg syndrome.
- Those women who are 7 to 8 months pregnant are reported to have RLS. It is not necessary that every pregnant woman would have this problem because different women have different symptoms during their pregnancy, this condition occurs in almost 16% pregnant women.
- Iron or Magnesium deficiencies are also responsible for this traumatic disorder.
- Excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine, drugs or tobacco also causes RLS.
- It is always necessary to check all your medicines before starting them because sometimes it happens that any component of the medicines can also be the cause of this irresistible sensation.
- Some cases have been reported that RLS might be transferred from any family member to the other. But it is not significant that every patient would encounter any genetic history associated with RLS, only half of its sufferers have any genetic or family history.
- Lower levels of blood sugar can also contribute to increasing the burning or tingling sensation in your legs.
- The symptoms may get worse when you continuously stay in one position for example during a flight, in a movie theatre or spending long hours of sleep.
How To Stop Restless Legs?
Nothing in this world is impossible! If once you are determined to do something somehow, you might find out any solution to your endless and bleak problems. RLS can be cured even at home if some remedies are continuously performed.
Any irresponsibility will cause you a lot of loss of your sleep. You simply have to follow the given home remedies and make some changes in your lifestyle to get rid of restless legs syndrome.
Massaging Legs & Feet Before Bedtime
Sometimes poor blood circulation can cause an ache in any part of your body. Similarly, when blood is not supplied to your legs efficiently it results in an irresistible pain in calf or thigh muscles. The tissue density among the RLS sufferers increase and the muscle become stiff and lead to
The tissue density among the RLS sufferers increase and the muscle become stiff and lead to pain or tingling sensation. At times, the plaque has accumulated in the tissues which make the muscles more rigid.
Massaging your legs before going to bed will help to boost the blood circulation in the legs. It helps in easing the tired/ stretched muscles. You can massage the affected areas on a regular basis before going to sleep to avoid any restlessness during sleep.
Use of Peppermint
Peppermint contains methanol which has always helped in dealing with pain issues. Methanol relaxes the stressed muscles and gives fast relief from restless legs syndrome. So, you can use peppermint as one of the ways to tackle with restless leg syndrome. It can be used in two ways;
- Firstly, you can apply it topically on the aching area or where you feel the burning and tingling sensation. Let it absorb into your muscles completely to ease the pain. Apply this oil daily before going to bed to relax your body and enjoy a peaceful sleep.
- Secondly, another way is to ingest it by boiling few leaves in 2 cups of water, let it shift all its benefits to your peppermint tea and wait for few minutes. Strain it and drink this tea daily before going to bed.
Breathing Exercises at Night
Our muscles need oxygen to stay slack; otherwise, muscles may become exaggerated, and muscle tension will result in restless leg syndrome. Try to do this simple exercise to keep your muscles oxygenated and prevent yourself from having horrific sleepless nights.
Sit peacefully and inhale and exhale at the ratio of 1:1. Keep doing this for a few minutes then increase the rate of exhalation at 1:2. Perform breathing exercise daily before going to sleep.
This minor technique will help your brain relax by supplying an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain and will bring peace to your mind.
Using Heat or Ice Packs
Alternating temperatures will help you ease the pain! This remedy is also effective for people who tends to get tired. Get two water tubs, one filled with cold water and the other filled with warm water (according to your tolerance).
Put your feet in warm water for 2-3 minutes then dip them in cold water for several seconds. Repeat this twice or thrice to relieve your leg pain.
Sometimes alternating temperatures help with alleviating the symptoms giving you relief from the unbearable pain. You can also use water bags for this purpose but switch the water bags according to the specified time to lessen the creepy crawling sensation.
Walking, Yoga or Exercise
Keep your legs busy if they don’t like rest!
Walk, run or do any other exercise that you can do to fatigue your legs but don’t go beyond your limits. Excessive muscle tension will make matters worse. It can increase the intensity of pain to such a point where trying to relief your pain will get much tricky.
Fatigue yourself up to your limit so your body would crave rest for itself.
Yoga is also beneficial for those people who are suffering from Restless legs syndrome. Pick a yoga posture that you can easily do in the morning to relieve pains from the body.
Increased Iron intake
Some studies have shown that mostly patients with RLS have some sort of deficiency. Generally, anaemia becomes the number 1 cause of RLS. Iron and folate deficiency goes hand in hand.
To combat such deficiencies it is necessary to follow a proper diet plan with a maximum intake of iron rich food items. Take an appointment with your health care provider and ask him to suggest a better diet plan for you considering all your deficiencies.
Eat food crammed with iron and folate to compensate for all the losses. Eat green veggies such as broccoli, spinach, kale, brussels and sprouts. Add pumpkin seeds, asparagus, tomatoes, greens peas, apricots, almonds, dry fruits, red meat, seafood and liver.
The Divine Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is thought about as the supernatural salt that can assist you with heaps of troubles in your everyday life. Dealing with RLS using Epsom salt is very simple but requires enough strength to get up and prepare a bath of Epsom salt no matter how much exhausted you are.
Epsom salt contains magnesium which absorbs into the muscles releasing the muscle tension and lowering the muscle density. The absorbed magnesium will ease the pain and will aid you in having a peaceful sleep.
- Prepare your bathtub with warm water.
- Add 2cups of Epsom salt or the required quantity mentioned on the packet.
- Soak yourself for 10-15 minutes before going to bed.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Normal
Keeping a check on blood sugar levels has forever been a tiring job but sadly it is essential to ensure your normal blood sugar levels to save you from further complications.
Restless legs syndrome can also be caused if your blood sugar levels are not sustained to normal. When sugar level lowers, it becomes necessary to bring it back to normal not just to treat RLS but also to prevent from other ailments caused due to low sugar level.
Try to consume foods that contain sugar or glucose to balance your meal
Try to add cinnamon, proteins, nuts, coconut, grains, almonds, walnuts, beans, fibre and spinach to your diet plan to normalise the lowered sugar levels.
Increase your Magnesium Intake
Muscle spasms and cramps frequently arise due to low levels of magnesium in the body. It also contributes towards being insomniac. Patients with restless legs syndrome are generally found to have magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium not only relaxes your muscles but also aids neurons to relax which fights anxiety and sleep disorders.
Low levels of magnesium can excite neurons which lead to neuronal imbalance leading to tingling sensation in the legs. Increasing your daily magnesium intake can help to combat with its insufficiency. Coco, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, basil can be used as magnesium rich foods.
Stress is the chief foundation of growing symptoms of any disease. Stress is such a mood disorder that can entirely sabotage anyone’s mental condition.
Similarly, stressful condition triggers RLS and arouses the sensations of ache, throbbing, burning and so on… For those who have to deal with RLS, pains should avoid stressful environments.
Consult your doctor about your condition and share with him each and every single aspect so that they could decide that if any analgesic should be proposed to you or not. Because at an initial stage of restless leg syndrome painkillers are not given but if the condition is occurring due to an underlying disorder then sometimes it becomes necessary to go towards analgesics.
There could be many medicines or pain relieving creams that your doctor might suggest but the most common medicines used during RLS are as following:
- Dopamine agonists which is the most frequently used medication for the treatment of RLS
- Ropinirole (Requip)
- Benzodiazepines (it is a sedative used to help patients with sleeping problem)
- Rotigotine (Neupro)
- Opiates (these medicines should not be taken without the supervision of your doctor because opiates are very addictive, Vicodin is an example of Opiates).
- Anticonvulsants for those patients who suffer from RLS symptoms during the daytime.
Increase Your Water Intake
Water has always been considered as an important part of our life, and it is imperative to maintain the water content in your body to abstain from ailments.
Medical studies divulged that drinking at least 3.7 litres of water for an average adult male and 2.7 litres of water for an average adult female is vital. Water helps to remove all the toxicities present in your body that might be triggering the symptoms of RLS.
Anyone who is suffering from restless leg syndrome should drink 6-7 glasses of water before going to bed because water prevents from muscles contraction which can initiate the symptoms of RLS.
Stretching Exercise Can Help
It has been observed in some patients that those who perform stretching exercise after waking up in the morning experience RLS lesser than the others. So it is a good practice for the people who are suffering from RLS to do stretch the body daily when they get up in the morning. For this purpose you can follow the below-mentioned exercise:
- Stretch your arms 10-20 times and hold each time for almost 10 to 20 seconds in the morning.
- Similarly, stretch your legs approximately 10-20 times each holding for 10 to 20 seconds. Keep your feet flat and switch legs after every stretch.
Things to Avoid
- You should avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and caffeine. These items can increase the probability of getting frequent RLS.
- Exercise in a moderate manner. Refrain from excessive exercise and stretching otherwise you may have to bear the pain.
- While on medication, always check your medicines or ask your health care provider that if any ingredient in the medicine would make the symptoms worse.
- Discontinue the use of any antidepressant as it can also aggravate your RLS symptoms and condition.
- Also, avoid cold beverages and energy drinks that contain a high amount of caffeine as they tend to accelerate the symptoms of RLS.
You can read more articles here. When you just can’t sleep why not get into the kitchen to give a treat to your tummy. Find out some scrumptious recipes of mashed potatoes, oatmeal and strawberries especially when you are on a diet.