Tips On How To Stop Restless Legs Syndrome Naturally
Restless legs syndrome , thought to be a neurological disorder, is exactly what it sounds like. The condition gives sufferers an irresistible urge to move their legs. Sometimes RLS feels like there is something crawling on the legs. It may feel like pulling, throbbing or itching. The disorder can cause deep aches, too. And especially unlucky RLS sufferers may feel these symptoms all over their body.
Because RLS is relieved by moving the affected limbs, it often means sleepless nights, uncomfortable plane rides, and miserable days at the office.
Scientists arent sure what causes RLS. Its believed to be genetic, and is often found in families where the onset of symptoms is before age 40. Research suggests that RLS is related to a dysfunction in the brains basal ganglia that use the neurotransmitter dopamine. RLS is commonly found in patients with Parkinsons disease, which is another disorder of the basal ganglias dopamine pathways.
Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney failure, and peripheral neuropathy are associated with RLS. Some medications have also been found to aggravate restless legs syndrome antipsychotics, anti-nausea drugs, and cold and allergy medications are big offenders. Pregnancy also seems to trigger RLS, particularly in the last trimester.
An Instant Sense Of Relief
The blankets arrived and my kids took to them nicely. When it came time for me to hit the sack, I slid under my heavy blanket and enjoyed the cool, smooth texture. I wasnt sure if it was too heavy, though.
As I snuggled up under my 20-pound blanket, I felt an instant sense of relief. My joints all over my body felt nicely compressed, like I was getting a hug from a big, strong, loving force.
Weighted Blanket From Calmforter Deluxe
With its exclusive Evenflor technology, this deluxe sleeping blanket is designed specifically for the purpose of calming you down. The exterior of this blanket is two-sided and available in five color combinations. Silk-like material adorns one side, and green sensadots cover the other. For easy cleaning and durability, this weighted blanket has a two-part construction with a zippered cover. One of its negative aspects is its size and weight it is only 60*80 inches and weighs 12 pounds.
- Advantages. Features SensaDot texture on both sides, durable 2-piece construction with even weight distribution, 7 colors available.
- Disadvantages. The only size and weight available is one, so it may seem too warm for some users
There is a great deal of desperation associated with restless leg syndrome sufferers. A study showed that weighted blankets can ease restless leg symptoms and reduce anxiety symptoms without having any adverse effects. Our top-rated weighted blankets will appeal to you if that is your preference!
Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety in 2021
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Weighted Blanket For Restless Legs
Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as RLS, is a chronic condition thats hard for the layperson to understand.
Basically, those who suffer from this condition experience an overwhelming urge to move their legs, especially at night.
Now, while uninformed folks might say that Restless Leg Syndrome is imaginary, or that its all in the mind, this is very much a real condition that affects people from across the globe.
In this blog post, we tell you all you need to know about Restless Leg Syndrome, and share how you can use a weighted blanket for restless legs.
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Causes Of Rem Sleep Behavior Disorder
The nerve pathways that typically prevent muscle movement during normal REM sleep stop working in those with this sleep disorder. Why this occurs is unknown, but there are some common risk factors. Men over 50 tend to experience this disorder more frequently, as do those with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinsons or dementia.
Natural Ways to Overcome REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
- Melatonin is often prescribed by doctors as it can reduce dream-enactment.
- Use stress-relief techniques like meditation, exercise, massage, and weighted blankets to improve brain function.
- Make your bedroom a safe environment and remove objects that could be harmful during an episode.
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Get Supplements Such As Iron And Magnesium
Some symptoms of RLS can also be linked to the diet you are following. In particular, individuals with RLS have been seen to suffer from an iron or magnesium deficiency. This linking factor is something to consider when crafting a nutritional plan to address RLS symptoms.
You should introduce the best foods into your diet to limit such deficiency are spinaches, beans, and fortified cereals. However, if your blood tests have shown that you have an iron or magnesium deficiency, you might need to consider whether a consultation with a nutritionist can help.
Indeed, these experts might be able to indicate the right foods and portions to add to your diet. They might also suggest you add ingredients such as:
- Other dark green leafy vegetables
- Iron-fortified cereals
Additionally to these ingredients, it is also recommendable to implement a drastic change in lifestyle and reduce smoking and drinking, which are among the primary triggers for RLS. Indeed, especially if consumed just before bed, these substances can have a significant effect on your nervous system, making RLS symptoms even more severe.
How Can You Relieve Your Rls Symptoms
Staying active is extremely important when trying to combat the symptoms of restless legs.
We recommend have a regular exercise routine to help reduce the symptoms, says Stahl. Because restless legs symptoms usually come into effect after periods of inactivity, moderate exercise can help kick those sensations to the curb.
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Incorporating aerobic activity and leg stretches into your daily routine can help support important muscle movement. A 2016 study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who suffered from RLS saw a decrease in symptoms after eight weeks of consistent stretching.
As Runners World has previously reported, regular stretching can help to increase elasticity and reduce stiffness in your body. Doing any type of quad, calf, and hamstring stretches will move the focus to your lower half and could help ease the tension in your legs. Creating a short stretching routine that you can do before bed may help ease the sensations your feel with RLS.
Certain lifestyle changes can help relieve RLS symptoms as well.
Sleep is very importantsleep deprivation is a big aggravator, Stahl says. Getting a full seven to eight hours each night is essential to restoring your body, she says.
The National Institutes of Health recommends consuming the following amounts of magnesium, iron, and folate per day:
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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.
Causes Of Restless Leg Syndrome
There is no one known cause for RLS, but doctors believe this sleep disorder may be tied to imbalances in the brains dopamine levels. RLS can be a hereditary condition, transferring through a specific gene. RLS can also be developed during pregnancy, but in most cases disappear after delivery. In general, however, researchers are unsure of the causes or risk factors for developing RLS.
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Adding One More Blanket To The Cart
Then, before I hit checkout, I toggled the little size button on the product and saw that there was a 20-pound twin-sized weighted blanket, aka the size Id want for myself.
It was more expensive than the 7-pounder but I let my finger linger over the button, deciding if the experiment was worth the money, before adding one more gray blanket to the cart. I could return it if I hated it.
The 5 Top Sleep Disorders And How Weighted Blankets Help
From insomnia to narcolepsy, weve got the run-down on the five most common sleep disorders and the natural strategies that can help you reclaim your sleep.
Sleep disorders are a common issue in America, leading to millions of restless nights and tired days. As people who care deeply about the quality of sleep, the Bearaby team wanted to take a closer look at some of the top sleep disorders that are wreaking havoc on our quality of life.
From insomnia to narcolepsy, weve got the run-down on the five most common sleep disorders and the natural strategies that can help you reclaim your sleep.
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Weighted Blankets And Rls
The simplest answer Yes. Weighted blankets can help multiple cases, RLS being one of them. The easiest way to relieve yourself of your RLS is to move your legs. But this will interrupt your sleep since such aggressive movements will jerk you awake, as well as the constant irritation to your legs.
When you use a weighted blanket, your legs are hugged in place. The blankets help calm down the nervous nerves and soothe the disturbed area. RLS also flares up when youre anxious. With a weighted blanket, your levels of serotonin will increase, and your anxiety wont escalate while you sleep. This allows your RLS to rest easy even when youre lying down or sleeping.
RLS can kick-start multiple outcomes, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and constant recurring pains. Weighted blankets tackle not only your nerves but all of the other effects of RLS to give you are more restful sleep each night.
Leverage Deep Touch Pressure Therapy
Wonder why massages are so therapeutic and healing? They are the innovators of deep touch pressure therapy. DTP is essentially a firm touch, like that of a hug or the feeling of being swaddled, that has a calming effect.
The pressure soothes the nervous system and allows the body to relax. More specifically, it eases the physiological responses, taking you out of fight-or-flight mode, and allows for deeper breathing, a lowered heart rate, and muscle relaxation.
If you perked up at muscle relaxation, thats one of the main reasons why weighted blankets are great for those with restless leg syndrome. The weight eases the parasympathetic nervous system, controlling involuntary movement, and the sympathetic by soothing the mind as anxiety can go hand-in-hand with RLS.
The continuous pressure throughout the evening, provided by your weighted blanket, works with your body as long as its on.
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What Can You Do To Relieve The Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome
You can get temporary relief by deliberately moving, getting up, and walking around or stretching . Distraction with puzzles and games can be effective make sure they are engaging and challenging but they wont help you get to sleep.
Regular sleeping habits and enough exercise helps a hot or warm bath can be effective in reducing the symptoms. A balanced diet is important. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can bring about a dramatic improvement for some people. Learn more about food that will help you improve your sleep quality and overall wellbeing.
See your doctor if you are worried about your health, if the symptoms continue, or if you think you may be deficient in iron. There are drugs your doctor can prescribe, these include drugs acting on dopamine and anticonvulsants. Some doctors may prescribe a vibrating pad which has seen mixed results.
Why Theyre Touted To Work
Weighted blankets have been used for many years to calm people with anxiety, autism and attention problems.
Ever swaddle a newborn baby? Its a little bit of the same concept.
This type of pressure is called deep touch pressure, and when its evenly distributed to your bodys touch receptors, its believed to help you switch from a heightened fight or flight stress response to a rest and digest mode.
Deep touch pressure is also thought to increase levels of two hormones in the brain serotonin and oxytocinthat are associated with calm. Serotonin helps produce melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. Oxytocin decreases blood pressure and heart rate. Both may also help boost mood, promoting an overall state of well-being that in turn may be more conducive to a good nights sleep. The theory, at least, is that sleeping with a weighted blanket has these same effects.
A small 2015 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine and Disorders found that people who used a weighted blanket for two weeks slept longer and reported better sleep qualityand less movement during sleepthan when they didnt use the blanket. A 2008 study published in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that after 32 adults tried a 30 pound blanket, 63% reported that it reduced anxiety and 78% felt it helped them calm down.
Those That Struggle With Sleep Disorders
As weve mentioned, weighted blankets are helpful when it comes to inducing sleep and improving sleep quality. For this reason, many people with insomnia find weighted blankets helpful. Studies show the use of a weighted blanket improves sleep in some children, and there is even a little evidence that it may improve sleep in adults.
Should You Try A Weighted Blanket For Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is distressing and not uncommon. A severe case can disrupt a persons life. Fortunately, there are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and this includes a visit to your doctor or health practitioner! Also, using a weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome can be of great help.
The benefits of a weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome include the calming effect on the muscles and nerves in the legs, as well as on your mind. The Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation helps your leg muscles to relax and eases the tension away, just like a pleasant massage. There is also an effect on the brain, the serotonin level is increased and this in turn helps the brain to synthesize melatonin our sleep hormone.
More than anything, a person suffering from restless leg syndrome wants to get a sound and uninterrupted sleep and a weighted blanket will help provide one with the perfect environment for settling into a relaxing and peaceful sleep.
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How Weighted Blankets Can Help Restless Legs
If you have Restless Leg Syndrome, then you will be all too familiar with the debilitating insomnia that the Syndrome causes.Because it is literally impossible to sleep if your legs are twitching or you feel like they are pulsing with mild electric shocks. And you just cant help but move them
Some researchers think that its not just the physical movement thats keeping you awake. They have found that the people theyve studied with Restless Leg Syndrome also have low levels of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate sleep.
Sadly, there is not a cure for Restless Leg Syndrome. But there are some interventions that help, including some drugs.
Experts also recommend exercise, relaxation exercises and stretching.
And weighted blankets also seem to help both with quieting the legs movement and with getting to sleep.
How can weighted blankets help people with Restless Leg Syndrome?
Weighted blankets help people who have Restless Leg Syndrome in two ways. They apply Deep Pressure Touch to your body.
The Deep Pressure Touch:
- Calms the leg and other body muscles to stop the legs moving
- Soothes the mind and help you drift off to sleep.
This is because Deep Pressure Touch works on your central nervous system.
First of all, it switches off your fight or flight mode or sympathetic nervous system.
This all makes you feel physically relaxed and able to sleep.
Deep Pressure Touch also causes your body to release helpful hormones and neurotransmitters
What Is A Weighted Blanket Heres Why You Need One
A recent study shows that sleepers who add a weighted blanket to their sleep routine experience reduced stress and calmness. Research also suggests that weighted blankets help sleepers with anxiety, autism, and insomnia among other conditions.
Lets find out what is a weighted blanket and dive into the world of weighted blankets in our detailed blog.
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Other Natural Treatments For Rls
Lifestyle changes, or treatments, related to Restless Legs Syndrome should always be made in consultation with a doctor, but you can find some non medical treatment options for Restless Legs Syndrome on the RLS-UK website here.
The NHS suggests the following measures may help relieve restless leg symptoms:
- massaging your legs
- taking a warm bath in the evening before bed
- applying a hot or cold compress to your leg muscles
- doing relaxing activities, such as meditation, or yoga.