If you have a tingling sensation or a constant urge to move your legs, especially at night, you may have Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS can severely disrupt your sleep.
Step 1: See if you have any other health-related conditions Work with your doctor to see if you have underlying conditions, like Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, anemia, kidney disease, or are pregnant. Medicines commonly used to treat Parkinson’s are often used to lessen the affects of RLS.
TIP: Some pregnant women in their last trimester experience RLS, but symptoms usually go away within a month after delivery. Drugs used to treat RLS are harmful to pregnant women.
Step 2: Determine if your diet is low on iron, folate, or magnesium, and supplement Determine if you have any nutritional deficiencies. Supplementing your diet with iron, folate, and magnesium may give you some relief.
Step 3: Reduce caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. These stimulants can put RLS into overdrive.
Step 4: Tell family and friends Tell your family and friends about your condition so they know what to expect and can offer support.
Step 5: Exercise and stretch Work out regularly and stretch daily. Yoga and Pilates are great techniques to incorporate into your exercise regimen.
TIP: Stretching before bed is a great way to reduce RLS symptoms but cardio or weight training too close to bedtime can aggravate your condition.
Step 6: Take baths, massages, and cold/hot packs Take warm baths or massage your legs for temporary relief, along with alternating between hot and cold packs.
Step 7: Occupy your mind Find an activity that occupies your mind during the tough times like reading a book, working on puzzles, knitting, or watching TV. There’s no cure for RLS but researchers are working on new treatments every day.