We’ve all had moments where our legs seems to have a mind of their own. While your brain and body may be filled with exhaustion from your busy schedule, your legs seem to ignore the pull to sleep. However, momentary sensations of needing to move your legs is not necessarily a cause of alarm. It’s when these sensations begin to overwhelm your peace and relaxation on a regular basis that you should begin to consider the possibility of restless leg syndrome.
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Before delving into restless leg syndrome home remedies, it’s important to understand this mysterious condition. Officially classified as a neurological disorder, the most common symptoms of RLS are pulling, creeping, throbbing sensations within your legs, which are often combined with an overwhelming desire to move them. These symptoms primarily occur at night when you’re trying to relax. The majority of RLS sufferers only find relief from these symptoms by thrashing their legs back and forth. Although the severity of these symptoms can range from barely noticeable to painful, the presence of RLS is unpleasant and can disrupt your normal sleeping cycle.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly 10 percent of the American population suffers from restless leg syndrome in some capacity, with over 5 million persons suffering from moderate to severe symptoms. Because of the proliferation of RLS throughout the American population, there are many treatment options in the form of prescription medications, such as dopaminergic agents, benzodiazepines, opioids and anticonvulsants; however, many of these medications feature adverse side effects.
If you’re searching for a natural way to find relief from this aggravating and painful conditions, then continue reading to uncover the most effective restless leg syndrome home remedies.
Restless Leg Syndrome Home Remedies – A Natural Approach
When it domes to restless leg syndrome home remedies, the approach to finding relief is slightly different than the pharmaceutical approach. There isn’t a “one size fits all” remedy. For example, what works great for one person may not produce the same quality of results. This being noted, the following restless leg syndrome home remedies are chosen for their ability to provide immediate and long-term relief from this annoying condition.
Yoga is one of the most effective remedies for restless leg syndrome
Exercise – Movement to Calm Your Legs
Perhaps one of the most effective restless leg syndrome home remedies is also one of the easiest – exercise. According to information outlined by the Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation, those who engage in 30 to 60 minutes of moderately-intense exercise per day experience:
- Less Fatigue
- Reduced Symptom Severity
- Higher Quality Sleep
Although any type of exercise is beneficial, research has shown yoga to be the best type of exercise for restless leg syndrome relief. It may be the gentle stretching action of yoga that helps calm the neurological attributes of RLS.
Reduce Your Stress – Calmness Begets Calm Legs
When dealing with neurological conditions, you must tackle these conditions through a combination of the physical and emotional tactics. As your body undergoes mental stress from work, school, social life – or practically any combination of the three – a complex biological process releases various hormones and enzymes to combat the internal mechanisms responsible for handling these stressors.
In the realm of restless leg syndrome, there is a direct connection between stress and symptom severity. Engaging in relaxation techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises can significantly calm not only your mind, but also RLS symptoms.
Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) helps calm restless leg syndrome
Supplementation for Calm Legs
Although many findings regarding supplements to reduce restless leg syndrome symptoms, initial findings are promising. In particular, a study outlined in the May 2015 edition of “Sleep Breath” found participants who took vitamin D supplements experienced a significant reduction in RLS symptoms and severity. This leads researchers to suggest a vitamin D deficiency may aggravate the various biological markers associated with restless leg syndrome. Other studies suggest low levels of vitamins C and E as well as iron are found among those with RLS. Consider taking a natural supplement for each of these nutrients to reduce the severity of restless leg syndrome.
Watch What You Eat – The Role of Diet in Restless Leg Syndrome
Eating a healthy diet not only promotes better overall health, but also the quality of your sleep. Avoid highly processed foods and limit your intake of caffeine. This is especially important during the four to six hours before bedtime. The stimulating nature of caffeine may trigger the various neurological markers of restless leg syndrome. You should also limit or completely avoid alcohol.
Soothe Legs With a Hot Bath
In many cases, the severity of restless leg syndrome is due to how the muscles feel during an episode. Before bedtime, or whenever you feel the uncomfortable symptoms of RLS begin to peak, soak for at least 20 minutes in a warm bath. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to further calm muscles and your nervous system.
Herbal Relief for RLS Symptoms
Many prescription treatment options call upon the power of relaxation agents to calm muscles and the nervous system. Although these can be quite powerful, they also produce a myriad of unwanted side effects. To achieve the same relaxation qualities without the use of harsh synthetic medicines, consider adding herbal supplements to your nightly routine. Kava Kava Extract, Valerian Root and Chamomile tea are some of the most potent herbs capable of calming your nervous system and muscles. When taken regularly, its active compounds may help stimulate long-lasting relief from RLS.
Alternate Temperatures on Your Legs
In many cases, changing the surface temperature of your legs can bring immediate RLS relief. Begin by wrapping a hot towel or a heating pad around your legs. If this does not bring on relief, drape a cold towel over your legs or submerge your feet in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Many find the simple change in temperature reduces symptoms.
Stretch Your Legs Before Bed
Immediately before bed, stretch your hamstrings, calves, buttocks and quadriceps. This restless leg syndrome home remedy may help calm muscles so you can sleep soundly throughout the night. As an added bonus, stretching keeps your bones and muscles healthy and strong.
So there you are – a number of natural restless leg syndrome home remedies to calm you legs and enable you to relax and get a good nights sleep.