What to do for restless legs?
If you’re one of those people who find it impossible to stay still or comfortable at night, then you might be suffering from restless legs syndrome (RLS). It’s real, and it can be frustratingly uncomfortable. But if you’re tired of tossing and turning in bed all night long like a hotdog on a grill, read on to discover some solutions that actually work.
Let’s Begin with Understanding RLS
According to medical experts,restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes an overwhelming urge to move your legs continuously. It results in pulling, throbbing, or unpleasant sensations in the limbs that make movement necessary even while sleeping when the body should ideally rest.
Symptoms of RLS Bad Enough?
You probably have RLS if, like most sufferers, you experience these symptoms:
- A strong urge to move your legs frequently.
- Discomfort lasting from minutes until several hours.
- Discomfort relieved by moving or walking about
- A sensation ranging between itching and pins-and-needles
The good news? Treatments are available! The bad news – this disorder has no cure as yet – but don’t let that stop us!
Prescription drug options such as dopaminergics can help reduce RLS symptoms; they work by increasing dopamine levels, which is lacking in patients who have restless leg syndrome. Other classes of drugs include iron supplements (for treatment due deficiency), muscle relaxants (to relieve spasms) pain-relieving medications etc.
Note: Please do not attempt self-diagnosis; always consult your doctor first before purchasing any medication.
2. Gentle Massages
Pamper yourself with regular massages! Solicit professional help for deep-tissue massages targeting affected muscles and specific pressure points around the Leg area – or try one of those foot massagers that come highly recommended by many RLS patients.
You could also try a DIY approach using devices such as foam rollers, tennis balls or yoga blocks to relieve muscular tension.
Pro Tip: A warm bath before bed coupled with a massage will help your muscles relax better.
3. Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly has been linked to numerous health benefits including reduction of leg cramps and promoting restful sleep. However strenuous workouts that strain the affected area may further worsen RLS; low-intensity exercises such as swimming, walking are generally more beneficial in soothing symptoms.
Did you know? Even just stretching for five minutes before bedtime can help increase blood circulation throughout the body which helps reduce discomfort associated with restless legs
4. Lifestyle Changes
Minor lifestyle changes could have significant outcomes on managing RLS; consider these:
- Diet: Diets rich in vitamins and minerals (especially magnesium) effective at combating stress (which triggers bouts of Restless Leg Syndrome), should be incorporated into daily meals.
- Weight management – Being overweight puts additional pressure on lower limbs magnifying muscle tensions leading to increased episodes
- No-No: Avoid caffeine, nicotine or alcohol-containing substances nearer than three hours before bedtime. They weaken the quality duration of sleep characterized by stimulating nerve activity which is dually amplified if combined with Insomnia caused by RLS
Table/Figures: Ingesting whole foods high in Iron content coupled with reducing refined sugar intake.
|Snacks High in Iron||Potential Meal Options|
|Pistachios||Lean Red Meat|
|Dried Apricots||Spinach & Mushroom|
|Canned Tuna||Oatmeal/Cocoa Powder|
No doubt this ailment brutalizes us but finding solutions doesn’t have to be an unending nightmare. Make a conscious effort to modify your lifestyle choices or take advantage of the many tried and tested medications available today to manage RLS.
Remember – what works for you may not necessarily work for another person but trying these treatments, even with slight modifications can bring great relief.
Say Goodbye to Leg Discomfort Nights!