Do Hot Baths Help With Restless Leg Syndrome
For people living with restless leg syndrome it can feel like almost nothing really helps and theyre just doomed to be up all night, walking around.
The various treatments for restless leg syndrome may have different levels of effectiveness for each person, and it can be a series of trial and error to determine what works best for each person.
Many people living with restless leg syndrome have mentioned that having a hot bath before bed can help with the feelings of restlessness and discomfort.
So, is there any real proof that having a hot bath can help with restless leg syndrome? The short answer is yes there has been research showing that a hot bath can really help.
Heres what youll need to know.
Symptoms Make It Hard To Fall Asleep Or Stay Asleep
A substantial number of people who have RLS also have periodic limb movements in sleep . PLMS are repetitive movements that occur every 20 to 30 seconds on and off throughout the night and can cause partial awakenings that disrupt sleep.
If you feel like these symptoms or others make it hard to fall or stay asleep, you’re not aloneit’s often one of the chief complaints among people with restless legs syndrome.
It’s not, however, one of the four criteria necessary for diagnosis.
Does Drinking Water Help Restless Legs
Its 2:00 am and youre lying in your bed. Your shaft is hot, your legs are restless, and youre having terrible trouble falling asleep. What do you do? If youre like millions of Americans, you reach for a hot water bottle or other hot-water-related product to soothe your symptoms. These so-called hot water therapy products are merely hot water bottles, but anyone whos ever used one can attest to the soothing benefits.
If you have restless legs syndrome , you may be wondering whether it is safe to drink water if you suffer from RLS. This article will address this question. Water is beneficial to the human body, but it should be consumed in moderation. Water can help to relax the body, which is helpful for people suffering from RLS, but water alone is unlikely to be sufficient to relieve RLS symptoms. Water should not be used as a substitute for medication like RLS medications.
It is not difficult to find a massage therapist, but it is difficult to find a good one. A good massage therapist will listen to what you say, and will understand your needs and concerns.
Massage therapy helps prevent and treat a variety of health conditions. The benefits of massage therapy include relieving stress, aiding sleep, and relieving pain. Massage therapy can prevent and treat a number of medical conditions, including:
Read Also: Garmin Venu Sleep Tracking Accuracy
How Do I Know If I Have Restless Leg Syndrome
The diagnosis of restless leg syndrome is established on four criteria established by The National Institutes of Health.
Treatment of restless leg syndrome is first directed toward any underlying illness, if known. For example:
- Blood testing to reveal underlying iron deficiency anemia may reveal the underlying cause.
- If varicose veins are thought to be the cause, then surgery to repair the circulation may be considered.
- Reduction or elimination of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from a person’s diet can be very helpful.
- Stopping smoking can significantly diminish or prevent symptoms.
- Getting better sleep and exercise can help some persons affected by restless legs.
- Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night and other people with sleep disorders may develop RLS.
There is no cure for restless leg syndrome however, the condition usually responds well to home remedies and medications. The outlook is excellent for people with restless leg syndrome as long as it does not weaken or damage the function of the legs.
Give Your Legs A Massage
Treating your legs to a regular, or even daily, massage can help to relieve the discomfort felt from the overactive nerves.
You can do this with your hands, if you want, or you can purchase a massage gun. A massage gun can apply more pressure than hands can, usually, so if you have a lot of discomfort then this might be a better way for you to go.
People living with restless leg syndrome have reported that leg massages can really help with the symptoms theyre experiencing and allow them to enjoy a good nights sleep.
Don’t Miss: Va Asthma Claim Denied
The 11 Best Treatments For Restless Legs Syndrome
What is restless legs syndrome?
Restless legs syndrome , also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes uncomfortable sensations, most often in the legs. These sensations have been described as tingly, crawling, creeping feelings, and cause the overwhelming urge to move the affected limb.
RLS symptoms typically occur when the person is sitting, resting, or sleeping, and often happen at night. The movements caused by RLS are called periodic limb movements of sleep . Because of these movements, RLS can cause serious sleep problems.
For most people with RLS, symptoms are mild. But if your symptoms are moderate to severe, RLS can have a big impact on your life. It can prevent you from sleeping enough, and thus cause problems with daytime focus and thinking, your job, and your social activities.
As a result of these problems, RLS can lead to anxiety and depression. And the longer you have the condition, the worse it can get. It can even spread to other parts of your body, such as your arms .
Here we list the best treatments for RLS. Some of these you can try on your own. Others you can discuss with your doctor, who can help you create a treatment plan to help relieve your RLS symptoms.
Tip : Get Daily Exercise
Daily activity, including aerobic exercise and lower-body resistance training, can significantly reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome in most people. Choose activities you enjoy, especially those that emphasize using the legs. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days, although not too close to bed time.
The exercise doesnt need to be intense. Simple daily activities such as walking can often deliver all the benefits youre looking for. In fact, highly vigorous exerciselike training for a marathoncan sometimes backfire and make RLS symptoms worse.
Recommended Reading: Hypersomnia Va Rating
Drugs That Increase Dopamine
These medications help decrease motion in your legs.
Drugs in this group include:
Side effects may include mild lightheadedness and nausea. These medications can become less effective over time. In some people, they can cause daytime sleepiness impulse control disorders, and worsening of RLS symptoms.
What Are More Natural Alternatives To Treat Rls
- Warm baths and massages to relax muscles
- Warm or cold packs to reduce sensations in the legs
- Reducing or cutting out caffeine, since this can make symptoms worse
- Exercising early in the day
- Getting enough sleep, since exhaustion can make symptoms worse
Don’t Miss: Insomnia Cookiewich
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a very misunderstood disorder. What causes it is not fully understood. One thing seems to be certain, it is likely to be genetic since those that have it usually have somebody in the family that also suffers from it.
From the studies that have been done, these are the main factors that coincide with RLS:
Those with some chronic diseases have symptoms that include RLS. Iron deficiencies, Parkinsons disease, kidney failure, and diabetes usually include RLS. When these diseases are treated, the RLS usually subsides, giving patients much needed sleep.
Many people taking antidepressants report feeling Restless Leg Syndrome after taking the drugs.
Sometimes, antihistamines can bring on symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome. If you are taking an allergy medicine and find yourself suffering from RLS, then that is likely the cause.
One of the most common complaints among pregnant women is RLS. There are so many things going on in a pregnant womans body that keep them uncomfortable and awake. RLS is not typically the worst of the ailments however, it is one that definitely can impact how much sleep a woman gets.
A vicious cycle associated with RLS is that it can be brought on by sleep deprivation. But, ironically, it can also be the cause of the sleep deprivation. Its a difficult cycle to break.
Urban Armor Gear Uag Designed For Iphone 12 Pro Max 5g Rugged Lightweight Slim Shockproof Pathfinder Se Protective Cover Forest Camo
- Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
- Promotion Available. Get Glass Screen Protector for $10 with qualifying case purchase by URBAN ARMOR GEAR®
You May Like: Does Apple Watch Do Sleep Tracking
What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Legs
People with RLS feel the irresistible urge to move, which is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs that are unlike normal sensations experienced by people without the disorder. The sensations in their legs are often difficult to define but may be described as aching throbbing, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping. These sensations less commonly affect the arms, and rarely the chest or head. Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they most often affect both sides. They can also alternate between sides. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.
Because moving the legs relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.
A classic feature of RLS is that the symptoms are worse at night with a distinct symptom-free period in the early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time. Some people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They may also note a worsening of symptoms if their sleep is further reduced by events or activity.
People with RLS can sometimes experience remissionsspontaneous improvement over a period of weeks or months before symptoms reappearusually during the early stages of the disorder. In general, however, symptoms become more severe over time.
Avoid Caffeine Where Possible
We all enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, and thats completely fine. However, drinking caffeine later into the day or even in the couple hours before bed can cause the symptoms to get worse.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and restless leg syndrome is a result of overactive or overstimulated nerves. Reducing the amount of caffeine can greatly help with the symptoms experienced.
Don’t Miss: Garmin Vs Fitbit Sleep Tracking
Does Massage Help Restless Leg Syndrome You Should Know 2022
Restless legs syndrome is a sleep-depriving condition that makes it hard to move the lower limbs. Theres no known cause of restless legs syndrome, and most of the time, it happens almost before sleep. It can grow to be an intolerable condition due to its severity that comes with strange sensations and a lot of pain. Massage is said to help in restless leg syndrome causing significant relief.
How does massage help restless leg syndrome? Massage helps relieve patients from RLS symptoms, mostly if the massage is done regularly right before bed. Massage therapy is one of the RLS treatments that are quite effective. To promote better sleep, massage is highly recommended for restless leg syndrome. To relieve your pain, rub your muscles regularly more so your calves before going to bed for a good nights sleep.
- Unable to sit for a long time
- Feeling fatigued all the time
When you start having unusual feelings in your legs, it may be because of restless legs syndrome. The feeling does not go away quickly, for it feels like throbbing and aching. This can be felt on one side only or might be felt on one side, and then it moves to the other side.
Why Are Restless Legs Worse At Night
If nerve cells become damaged, the amount of dopamine in the brain is reduced, which causes muscle spasms and involuntary movements. Dopamine levels naturally fall towards the end of the day, which may explain why the symptoms of restless legs syndrome are often worse in the evening and during the night.
Also Check: Fitbit Surge Sleep
Surgery For Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels, often in the legs, that overfill with blood. This increased amount of blood can lead to superficial venous insufficiency , which means your body cant properly circulate blood. As a result, the blood pools in your legs.
In a 2008 study, 35 people with SVI and RLS had a procedure called endovenous laser ablation to treat their varicose veins. Of the 35 people, 84 percent of them had their RLS symptoms significantly improved or completely eliminated by the surgery .
Again, more research is needed on this surgery as a treatment for RLS.
If youre interested in any of these less-researched treatments, ask your doctor about them. Of course, you can try hot and cold treatments on your own, but your doctor can tell you more about the other treatments and whether they might be able to help you.
Tip : Improve Your Sleep
The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can make it hard to get to sleep. When youre sleep deprived, you not only feel terrible, but youre more vulnerable to stress. Stress and fatigue can worsen RLS, making it a vicious cycle, so doing what it takes to get enough sleep is crucial.
Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. It may prevent nerves in your legs from compressing and result in fewer nighttime RLS symptoms.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your bodys natural sleep rhythms by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day .
Optimize your bedroom for sleep. Make sure the room is dark , quiet, and cool.
Wind down with a relaxing bedtime routine. Try curling up in bed with a book, listening to calming music, or taking a hot bath .
Power down electronics 1-2 hours before bed. The blue light from screens suppresses sleep-promoting hormones and stimulates your brain.
Keep a sleep diary of RLS symptoms
Logging changes in your diet, lifestyle, sleep habits, and routine might help you make helpful connections between your daily activities and the quality of your sleep at night..
Also Check: Midnite Sleep Health
What To Do When You Have Restless Legs
The first thing you should do when you think youre having signs of restless leg syndrome is to seek a medical evaluation. A doctor will take a look at your medical history to make sure there isnt another medical or psychological reason for your symptoms. Then, he or she will evaluate your case according to four criteria, specifically dealing with pain and urge to move the legs that:
- Are accompanied by unpleasant or abnormal sensations
- Begins or worsens during rest
- Can be partially or totally relieved by movement
- Begins or worsens in the evening
He may check your legs for signs of varicosity and other symptoms of venous insufficiency, which can contribute to RLS. He may use a combination of a physical exam coupled with a painless, non-invasive ultrasound scan to check the condition of your veins. You may be asked to keep a symptom diary to determine the frequency, severity, and onset of symptoms over time.
Finally, lab tests for conditions that contribute to RLS, such as kidney disease, low iron levels, and other neurological disorders may be ordered to give a comprehensive understanding of your overall health and possible contributing factors. If your doctor determines you are suffering from RLS, these tests and standards will give him a clearer understanding of your individual case when recommending a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
What About Using A Hot Tub
Many people have a hot tub for their personal use in their home, and if you have restless leg syndrome soaking in it daily can be really helpful.
If you have a mild form of this condition, you may only need to soak occasionally to get the relief you need. However, for those who have a more severe form of the condition they may need to soak for 20 minutes, or more, daily.
A hot tub would be the same as soaking a hot bath, too. So depending on which one you have access to either can help give you the relief youre looking for.
Recommended Reading: Stomach Ache From Lack Of Sleep
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
While the direct cause of RLS is often unknown, changes in the brains signaling pathways are likely to contribute to the disease. In particular, researchers suspect that impaired transmission of dopamine signals in the brains basal ganglia may play a role. There is a relationship between genetics and RLS. However, currently there is no genetic testing. NINDS-supported research is ongoing to help discover genetic relationships and to better understand what causes the disease.
The NINDS also supports research on why the use of dopamine agents to treat RLS, Parkinsons disease, and other movement disorders can lead to impulse control disorders, with aims to develop new or improved treatments that avoid this adverse effect.
More information about research on RLS supported by NINDS or other components of the NIH is available through the NIH RePORTER , a searchable database of current and previously funded research, as well as research results such as publications.