Restless Leg Syndrome, also referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a neurological disorder characterized by intense restless sensations in the legs. Initially, the restlessness appears as a mild, discomforting sensation in the legs.
Slowly and gradually the discomfort grows and the person is compelled to incessantly move the legs. The person experiencing restless leg syndrome gets a brief moment of relief after moving the legs, but the relief is short-lived as the restlessness creeps back in.
Ajeet, 30-year-old, joyful man, experienced Restless Leg Syndrome a year ago for the first time. He first thought it was a side-effect of his gym sessions. He took a break from the gym but the restlessness persisted and grew stronger with every passing night.
Nisha, a 26-year-old active lady, experienced the same discomforting sensation in her legs night after night.
And there are many more people like Ajeet and Nisha who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. It is not a common problem; however, only those who suffer from it can understand how discomforting it can be.
What causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
The chief cause of this problem is yet unknown. Medical practitioners, have associated it with other health problems such as iron-, or other mineral deficiencies, Diabetes, Kidney malfunction, Parkinson’s Disease, arthritis, Peripheral neuropathy and even pregnancy. It can also be triggered by some prescription medicines.
Restless Leg Syndrome leads to sleeping disorders
This health condition aggravates at night leading to sleeplessness and other sleep disorders. Before RLS leads to sleeping problems and triggers a horde of other sleep-related problems it must be treated. There are no exact medications to treat Restless Leg Syndrome. Hence, treating it with the help of natural ways or home remedies is likely the best solution.
Natural ways to cope with Restless Leg Syndrome
1. Reduce Stress
Many people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome also suffer from high levels of stress. Take steps to avoid stressful situations in your everyday life. Try meditation, yoga and other relaxation methods to keep stress at bay.
2. Treat nutrient deficiencies
Many experts have associated Restless Leg Syndrome with iron, magnesium and even vitamin deficiencies. Switch to a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables. Have foods that are rich in iron, vitamins and magnesium.
3. Stay away from alcoholic drinks and caffeine
Stimulating drinks have been associated with increased intensity of Restless Leg Syndrome. Avoid foods or drinks which are stimulating in nature such as alcohol, coffee, and tea as well as carbonated drinks. Do not have such drinks especially before bedtime.
4. Stretch your legs daily
Stretching exercises improves the blood circulation. So start your day with simple stretching exercises, especially those of the legs.
5. Soak legs in hot and cold water
Soaking your legs in cold or hot water relaxes your leg muscles. You can even soak your legs first in hot water for five minutes then in cold water for five minutes and repeat the process again once more to ease the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.
6. Extra pillow
Sleep with an extra pillow between your legs; it keeps the legs calm.
7. Check your medications
Some medications have stimulants in them which may be the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome. I myself used to take Fish oil supplements which caused Restless Leg Syndrome every night.
The symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome disappeared the day I stopped taking the supplements. (A study published by EHealthMe on Oct 1 2012, states that out of 16268 Fish oil users 53 complained of restless legs syndrome.) Similarly, the medications that you are taking might be the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome. Check with your medical provider before discontinuing the medicines.
8. Take a walk
If you are unable to sleep due to restlessness in your legs, then get up and go for a walk. If you do not wish to leave the house then take a stroll inside the house, it helps the symptoms subside.
9. Massage the legs
A warm oil massage helps calm down the leg muscles. It helps in reducing the discomfort in the legs.
10. Relax yourself before going to bed
If your mind and body are relaxed then the Restless Leg Syndrome will not be so discomforting. Drink chamomile tea, have a warm glass of milk, listen to meditative music or read a book . . . whatever helps you sleep better at night.
If you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, please do not ignore it. Try the above natural cures, these will most definitely help treat your condition.