Nighttime And Sleep Tips To Ease Restless Legs Syndrome
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome
More often than not, the cause of RLS is a mystery. There may be a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger.
More than 40 percent of people with RLS have some family history of the condition. In fact, there are five gene variants associated with RLS. When it runs in the family, symptoms usually start before age 40.
There may be a connection between RLS and low levels of iron in the brain, even when blood tests show that your iron level is normal.
RLS may be linked to a disruption in the dopamine pathways in the brain. Parkinsons disease is also related to dopamine. That may explain why many people with Parkinsons also have RLS. Some of the same medications are used to treat both conditions. Research on these and other theories is ongoing.
Its possible that certain substances like caffeine or alcohol can trigger or intensify symptoms. Other potential causes include medications to treat:
Primary RLS isnt related to an underlying condition. But RLS can actually be an offshoot of another health problem, like neuropathy, diabetes, or kidney failure. When thats the case, treating the main condition may resolve RLS issues.
There are certain things that may put you in a higher risk category for RLS. But its uncertain if any of these factors actually cause RLS.
Some of them are:
Having RLS can affect your overall health and quality of life. If you have RLS and chronic sleep deprivation, you may be a higher risk of:
- heart disease
Enjoy A Soak In The Tub
Try taking a warm bath or shower, one of the more useful home remedies to help reduce restless leg syndrome. Warmth relaxes muscles and helps prevent spasms and twitching. Adding Epsom salts can reduce aches and pains. A warm bath can also help you wind down and set the stage for a restful night.
Relaxing Bath Additions
There are several essential oils, bath crystals, and other ingredients to add to bath water to make it a more relaxing experience. Lavender essential oil is known for its ability to ease you into slumber. Rose, chamomile, and eucalyptus can be similarly soothing. Baking soda and bentonite clay are other bath additives you might find beneficial. Experiment to find the bath add-ins that reduce your RLS complaints and help you get a relaxing night’s rest.
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Tips To Ease Restless Leg Syndrome For A Good Nights Sleep
If you toss and turn at night because of aching, creeping, prickling or crawling sensations in your legs when you lie down, you could have restless leg syndrome. According to WebMD, between five and 15 percent of adults suffer from this condition. Although it doesnt always signal a deeper health problem, it can cause you to lose out on much-needed sleep, leading to exhaustion and daytime sleepiness. In turn, this can lead to problems with mood, concentration, job performance and even depression.
Restless legs syndrome is also referred to as Willis-Ekbom Disease, causing unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs coupled with an irresistible urge to move them, points out the National Institutes of Health. Symptoms typically show up in the late afternoon or evening hours, culminating at night while resting, sitting or lying in bed. Symptoms can make it hard to fall asleep initially and fall back asleep later in the night. RLS is essentially classified as a sleep disorder, movement disorder, and neurological sensory disorder in one.
The National Sleep Foundation says RLS is a serious but treatable condition that can be made better through lifestyle changes, iron supplements, hot baths and more. Always talk to your health care provider or home care provider before trying any treatment.
Five Bodywork Tips For Rls
Massage therapy is one of the most well known approaches for helping RLS. While concentrating on bodywork for the lower half of the body is the general rule, below are five specific tips for the administering therapist:
Although there is no surefire way to get rid of RLS, bodywork is one of the most effective ways to deliver relief and reinstate a healthy sleep schedule. Being familiar with the symptoms, possible causes and treatment options for this condition will help bodyworkers deliver topnotch care to the many suffering from restless legs syndrome.
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How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Treated
RLS can be treated, with care directed toward relieving symptoms. Moving the affected limb may provide temporary relief. Sometimes RLS symptoms can be controlled by finding and treating an associated medical condition, such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, or iron deficiency anemia.
Iron supplementation or medications are usually helpful but no single medication effectively manages RLS for all individuals. Trials of different drugs may be necessary. In addition, medications taken regularly may lose their effect over time or even make the condition worse, making it necessary to change medications.
Treatment options for RLS include:
Lifestyle changes. Certain lifestyle changes and activities may provide some relief in persons with mild to moderate symptoms of RLS. These steps include avoiding or decreasing the use of alcohol and tobacco, changing or maintaining a regular sleep pattern, a program of moderate exercise, and massaging the legs, taking a warm bath, or using a heating pad or ice pack. There are new medical devices that have been cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration , including a foot wrap that puts pressure underneath the foot and another that is a pad that delivers vibration to the back of the legs. Aerobic and leg-stretching exercises of moderate intensity also may provide some relief from mild symptoms.
What You Can Do
- Write down your symptoms, including when they started and when they tend to occur.
- Write down key medical information, including other conditions you have and any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements. Also note whether there’s a history of RLS in your family.
- Take a family member or friend along. Someone who accompanies you may remember information you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor about RLS include:
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What tests do I need?
- What treatment options are available for this condition?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- What self-care steps might improve my symptoms?
- Do you have educational materials I can have? What websites do you recommend?
- Where can I find a support group for people with RLS?
Causes Of Restless Legs Syndrome
In many cases, the exact cause of restless legs syndrome is unknown.
When no cause can be found, it’s known as “idiopathic” or primary restless legs syndrome.
Research has identified specific genes related to restless legs syndrome, and it can run in families. In these cases, symptoms usually occur before the age of 40.
At Home Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms
Are you anxious about your restless leg syndrome symptoms? Do you want to know which natural remedies can help you in reducing your symptoms fast and safely without any side effect? If your answer is Yes, then you should read this writing. In this article, VKool.com will show you top 10 at home remedies for restless leg syndrome symptoms quickly and effectively. The writing is a collection of safe and natural solutions to get rid of symptoms of restless leg syndrome from reliable sources. However, it is not intended to give medical advice and it is solely for the informational purpose. Keep reading this writing to learn more!
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Get More Iron In Your Diet
Using your diet to safely correct any iron deficiency can help alleviate RLS symptoms. The catch, Dr. Berkowski says, is knowing what your iron levels are. Iron supplements are certainly one way to get those levels up but youll need to be sure to consult with your doctor about that. If your iron levels are already normal or even too high, more iron wont help you give you those benefits, he adds.
If you are iron deficient, though, there are plenty of healthy ways to get iron through your diet. Eating red meat can really boost iron levels, Dr. Berkowski says, and if youre vegetarian, eating tofu, legumes, lentils and spinach is a way to get that iron.
Other foods that are rich in iron include eggs, fish and nuts, like cashews and almonds.
Restless Legs Syndrome: Seeking Help
Studies estimate that one out of 10 people suffer from restless legs, yet its not always easy to find help and support. Many people with RLS never receive proper treatment. Part of the problem is that its hard to explain and sufferers are often dismissed as being nervous. Those who havent experienced the distressing symptoms may not understand how severely they can impact the quality of your life. Even doctors may not take restless legs seriously, recognize the symptoms, or realize that they point to a real medical condition.
The good news is that recent research has increased our understanding of restless legs syndrome, leading to more effective treatments. At the same time, RLS is becoming more widely recognized. If you or your partner suffers from restless legs, theres never been a better time to find relief.
A night in the life of RLS
If you have restless legs syndrome, a typical night might go like this: You lie down in bed, ready to go to sleep, and just as your body begins to relax, the crawling, tingling, or itching in your legs begin. You try to ignore the uncomfortable sensations, hoping they will go away, but eventually the urge to move is too much. You get out of bed to stretch and pace the floor and, for a moment, you find relief. But when you lie down again, the restless sensations in your legs start all over again.
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How To Stop Restless Legs Immediately
Once again, it is time for bed but instead of falling asleep, youre tossing and turning, trying to get your legs comfortable and relaxed. Your partner sighs, obviously aware of your near-constant wiggling. You wonder if either of you will ever get another good nights rest.
This is a story I hear regularly in my vascular clinic, although many people see multiple specialists before winding up in my office. Restless legs are not always a result of circulation issues, but for many people, it is the main cause of their symptoms. Deciphering those symptoms will help you determine how to stop restless legs, now.
Solving The Mystery Of Restless Legs Syndrome: Acid
Its been called the most common disease nobodys heard of and also one of the big mysteries in medicine.
Its restless legs syndrome , a neurological and sleep disorder that causes discomfort and sometimes pain in the legs, particularly at night. It triggers a constant urge to move the legs that makes falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. And it can lead to other serious health problems, including depression.
RLS affects about 5-15% of adults in the United States. It shows up more as people age, occurs almost twice as often in women than men, and tends to run in families. Some studies have found a higher incidence of RLS among people with iron deficiency.
Yet for all that researchers know about it, RLS can be difficult to diagnose, in part because its symptoms overlap with other common conditions, such as nighttime leg cramps. Its also difficult to treat, as there are few effective medications or therapies for relieving the symptoms of the disorder, which has no known cure.
But a recent observational study found a link between the development of RLS and the use of certain prescription medications commonly used to reduce acid reflux. The study, published in the journal SLEEP, was funded in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute .
For now, he encourages anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of restless legs syndrome to see their doctor.
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Check Your Medicine Cabinet
There are many common medicationsboth prescription and over-the-counterthat can trigger the symptoms of RLS or make them worse. Medications to watch out for include:
- Cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines .
- Anti-nausea medications .
- Calcium channel blockers .
- Antidepressants .
- Antipsychotics .
Get checked for iron and vitamin deficiencies
A number of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are linked to restless legs syndrome.
Iron. Iron deficiency is a well-known cause of RLS, so ask your doctor to test you for anemia. However, supplementing with iron can also improve RLS symptoms in those who arent anemic.
Magnesium. Magnesium can improve sleep and some studies have shown it to be beneficial for restless legs. Try experimenting with a magnesium supplement at bedtime to see if your symptoms improve.
Vitamin D. Recent studies show that RLS symptoms are more frequent and more severe in people with vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor can easily test your vitamin D levels or you can simply make it a point to get out more in the sun.
Folate . Folate deficiency has been linked to RLS, which may explain why restless legs are so common in pregnant women . When folic acid is low, B12 is often low as well, so you may want to try supplementing with a B-complex vitamin.
What Are The Symptoms
The most prominent symptom of RLS is the overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially when youre sitting still or lying in bed. You might also feel unusual sensations like a tingling, crawling, or pulling sensation in your legs. Movement may relieve these sensations.
If you have mild RLS, symptoms may not occur every night. And you might attribute these movements to restlessness, nervousness, or stress.
A more severe case of RLS is challenging to ignore. It can complicate the simplest activities, like going to the movies. A long plane ride can also be difficult.
People with RLS are likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because symptoms are worse at night. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sleep deprivation can harm your physical and mental health.
Symptoms usually affect both sides of the body, but some people have them on only one side. In mild cases, symptoms may come and go. RLS can also affect other parts of the body, including your arms and head. For most people with RLS, symptoms worsen with age.
People with RLS often use movement as a way to relieve symptoms. That might mean pacing the floor or tossing and turning in bed. If you sleep with a partner, it may well be disturbing their sleep as well.
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How Is Restless Leg Syndrome Diagnosed
Tell your doctor about the restless sensations. He or she will ask you questions about your symptoms, such as when they start and whether youre able to do anything to make them go away. He or she may also ask if any other people in your family have similar symptoms. Tell your doctor about any medicines youre taking. You could be taking a medicine that makes RLS worse. If so, your doctor may be able to recommend another medicine.
Medications For Restless Legs Syndrome
Daily medication is usually recommended only for people who have symptoms of restless legs syndrome at least three nights a week, or as determined by your doctor. Keep in mind that drugs used to treat primary RLS do not cure the condition, but only relieve symptoms. People whose RLS symptoms occur sporadically may be prescribed medication to take only when they have symptoms.
The following medications are the most widely prescribed to treat RLS. They may be given alone or, in certain cases, in combination. Your doctor will prescribe the best treatment plan for you.
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Restless Leg Syndrome In Children
Children can experience the same tingling and pulling sensations in their legs as adults with RLS. But they may have a hard time describing it. They might call it a creepy crawly feeling.
Children with RLS also have an overwhelming urge to move their legs. Theyre more likely than adults to have symptoms during the day.
RLS can interfere with sleep, which can affect every aspect of life. A child with RLS may seem inattentive, irritable, or fidgety. They may be labeled disruptive or hyperactive. Diagnosing and treating RLS can help address these problems and improve school performance.
To diagnose RLS in children up to age 12, the adult criteria must be met:
- overwhelming urge to move, usually accompanied by strange sensations
- symptoms worsen at night
- symptoms are triggered when you try to relax or sleep
- symptoms ease up when you move
Additionally, the child must be able to describe the leg sensations in their own words.
Otherwise, two of these must be true:
- Theres a clinical sleep disturbance for age.
- A biological parent or sibling had RLS.
- A sleep study confirms a periodic limb movement index of five or more per hour of sleep.
Any dietary deficiencies must be addressed. Children with RLS should avoid caffeine and develop good bedtime habits.
If necessary, medications that affect dopamine, benzodiazepines, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed.