If you’ve experienced the unpleasant irritation of restless leg syndrome, you know how hard it is to manage. Home remedies for restless leg syndrome are the best option to get you a good night’s sleep.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological syndrome that causes an uncontrollable and irresistible need to move the legs. It is also called Willis-Ekbom disease and the attacks usually occur while the person is trying to sleep.
Occasionally, the arms may also be affected but in most cases, this syndrome affects only the legs. Restless leg syndrome can be chronic, with periods of relative ease and no symptoms.
Home remedies for restless leg syndrome is a great way to manage this long-term condition. These remedies are often combined with medications and therapy for a more holistic approach to treat the chronic condition.
Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome
The characteristic symptom of restless leg syndrome is an urge to move the legs due to apparent feelings of discomfort or pain. The strange sensations subside when the legs are moved and resume when the legs are at rest.
The sensations have been described as an ‘itch you can’t scratch’ deep in the legs. This symptom can occur with varying severity in different people, from a mild annoyance to cause major disruptions to a person’s life. This sensation is alleviated with movement and worsened with rest. Symptoms typically occur at night and not during the day.
Causes Of Restless Leg Syndrome
Most cases of restless leg syndrome have no discernable cause. This is known as idiopathic or primary restless leg syndrome.
In 20% of cases, the condition is caused by an iron deficiency. Kidney failure is another common cause. This is called secondary restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome also tends to worsen during pregnancy.
Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome
The first step to treat a restless leg syndrome is to identify any underlying cause. This strategy works best for secondary restless leg syndrome, which has an identifiable underlying cause. In idiopathic or primary cases, home remedies for restless leg syndrome are a better option.
Apart from supplementation to treat any deficiencies, few other medications can be taken to help reduce the symptoms. Dopamine agonists like levodopa and rotigotine are effective. However, these medications can have unpleasant side effects. If you prefer more natural alternatives, home remedies for restless leg syndrome are the best way to go.
Home Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome
Here are a few home remedies for restless leg syndrome that you can try:
- Hot and cold compresses
Heat and ice packs applied to on the muscles of the leg can help reduce the uncomfortable sensations. This is particularly helpful if done before bed.
Massaging the lower legs and feet can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by restless leg syndrome. The massage is most effective when done by another person but can also be self-administered. Regular massages help the muscles to relax and reduce cramping and tension.
- Dietary changes
Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help a lot in decreasing the symptoms. Since iron and folate deficiencies commonly cause restless leg syndrome, make sure to include plenty of these in your diet.
- Good sleep habits
Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Keep your sleep environment quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions. Do something relaxing before bed so that your mind is relaxed and uncluttered.
- Regular exercise
Doing some light to moderate exercise on a daily basis helps to reduce muscle tension, mental stress, and muscle fatigue. This can reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome but try not to exercise too close to bedtime.
- Avoid triggers
Smoking, drinking, stimulant drugs, and irregular sleep schedules can cause your restless leg syndrome to worsen. Quit smoking, and practice meditation or yoga to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
- Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
It can be beneficial to take iron and vitamin B complex supplements as a way to reduce the severity of restless leg symptoms. Before starting supplements, it would be better to consult a doctor and check blood levels of these vitamins and minerals to prevent overloading.
- Stress Reduction
One of the best home remedies for restless leg syndrome is practicing mindfulness-based meditation. This helps in reduction of stress and anxiety thus making it easier for you to fall asleep faster.
- Stop Taking Certain Medications
Medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, antiemetics, etc. can exacerbate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Always consult a doctor before stopping any prescription medication.
- Tonic Water
Tonic water has traces of quinine that can help reduce the severity of the muscle cramps. This is a helpful home remedy for restless leg syndrome.
- Poppy Seed Tea
Poppy seed tea is very relaxing sedative which can help you fall asleep faster without having to deal with the discomfort of restless leg syndrome symptoms.
- Vibrating Pads
Vibrating pads can help reduce the feelings of restlessness associated with restless leg syndrome.
These home remedies for restless leg syndrome are good for controlling the condition without medications.
Living With Restless Leg Syndrome
Home remedies for restless leg syndrome may seem to be simple measures, but they can go a long way towards controlling, minimising, and even eradicating the symptoms.
Restless leg syndrome is unpleasant, but it is not an insurmountable obstacle; combine home remedies for restless leg syndrome with routine health check-ups for the best results.