how to ease restless legsRestless Legs Syndrome can stop you falling asleep and staying asleep. We all know that getting enough sleep is vital for health. If you suffer from this condition, then take a look below to find out how to stop restless legs at night

You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Suddenly you get an irresistible urge to move your legs. You move your legs, but the sensations are only partially relieved. Sound familiar?

You may have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, a neurological disorder in which you feel an uncomfortable sensation in your legs Although symptoms can occur when you’re relaxing or resting during the day, they often strike at night when you’re trying to sleep. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and include general discomfort, aching, prickling, throbbing, creeping sensations or pain.

How to Stop Restless Legs at Night

Before Going to Bed

The following strategies can help ensure you’re relaxed which promotes deep sleep so you will not be woken by RLS:

  • Take a warm bath or shower before going to bed.
  • Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or cola in the evening as they contain caffeine. They are known triggers of RLS.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol in the evening.
  • Take time to wind down. Read a book or magazine, do crossword puzzles, or do some other mind-engaging activity before bedtime.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Having a regular sleep pattern means your body will be ready for sleep at that time every night.
  • Maintain your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. If you ‘re too hot or too cold at bedtime, RLS symptoms can be aggravated. If you suffer from cold feet, use a heat pad or wear socks. Note: make sure they are loose-fitting; wearing tight socks in bed can have serious health consequences.
  • If you like a warm bed consider getting a heated mattress pad.
  • Do some calf stretching exercises for 5 minutes before getting into bed.  Make sure you stretch the back of your lower legs. This helps to relax and loosen your leg muscles.
  • Meditate to relieve any stress you may be feeling at the end of the day. Anxiety and stress may trigger or increase RLS symptoms according to some research.

 

When In Bed

If RLS strikes while you’re trying to sleep or wakes you, try the following:

  • Gently rub or lightly massage your legs.
  • Walk around the house. Often just getting out of bed and moving about can make symptoms disappear.
  • If you have occasional mild to moderate RLS, take medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. However, avoid long-term use of NSAIDs as they can have bad side-effects.
  • If RLS is waking you up most nights or preventing you from falling asleep, talk to your doctor.

People with RLS often don’t get enough sleep. This leads to feeling tired and sleepy during the day and reduced quality of life. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to make RLS symptoms worse. If you are trapped in this cycle, why not try some of the above tips and advice on how to stop restless legs at night? Consult your doctor if needed.