According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one in every ten people suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). For starters, RLS is a movement disorder whose primary symptom is an urge to move the legs accompanied by unpleasant, tingly sensations.
Typically, RLS symptoms get worse at night and in extreme cases the symptoms may be accompanied by pain making it virtually impossible to sleep. Nonetheless, easing pain associated with RLS can boil down to adhering to these 5 tips outlined below.
1. Move Your or Massage Your Legs
When the legs ache or twitch, moving them may help reduce the uncomfortable feelings. At times, all it takes is to simply shake or stretch them. Also, a calf massage a few minutes before going to bed can help reduce the intensity of RLS symptoms. You can do the massage yourself or seek help from a family member. Be sure to work your calves, thigh, and hamstrings as well as the Achilles’ tendons while you are at it.
2. Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Caffeine
Excessive consumption of alcohol aggravates the symptoms of RLS apart from interfering with your sleep. Equally, the nicotine in cigarettes or any other tobacco products intensity the pain associated with RLS and should be avoided.
While you may have a cup of coffee, tea, cola or chocolate once in a while, cut the consumption to not only ease RLS symptoms but also enable you enjoy a good night’s sleep.
3. Have a Regular Bedtime Schedule
Sleeping and waking up about the same time regularly can help just about anyone sleep better. A regular bedtime schedule can prove beneficial if you are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome specifically because it helps reduce fatigue, the pain, twitching and tingling that ruins your sleep. Doctors recommend that an adult should have between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
4. Take Iron Supplements
Research shows that people with RLS also suffer from iron deficiency. You may need to take an iron supplement to replenish your brain with dopamine, a chemical that helps control movement. Be sure to seek your doctor’s advice whether an iron supplement may help ease the symptoms. If so, take the supplement with a glass of orange juice or another source of vitamin C to help increase the absorption rate.
5. Review Your Medication
Some drugs particularly those indicated for the common cold and allergies are known to aggravate RLS pain. Also, some depressants and drugs used to treat nausea can cause the same problem. If you are on these medications and have RLS, it is imperative that you contact your doctor check whether he or she can recommend alternative drugs.
- Exercise Your Brain – Getting involved in activities that distract the mind can help reduce your symptoms. Instead of sitting down in the evenings to watch Television, read a book, play a video game or complete a crossword puzzle to keep your mind engaged.
- Take a Deep Breath – Stress is known to worsen RLS symptoms. One of the simplest ways to relieve stress is to take slow, deep breaths once in a while during the day or before going to bed. In line with reducing stress, you may also listen to cool, soothing music before going to bed.
If not addressed adequately, RLS can lead to insomnia. However, reducing the pain and other symptoms associated with Restless Leg Syndrome is relatively easy if you embark on the correct pain management regimen. As a matter of fact, the tips explained above come at a cost that is almost next to nothing.