How To Stop Restless Legs Immediately (2021)

Updated May, 2021
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For some immediate remedies to restless legs syndrome, try walking around, applying a cold or hot pack to your legs, and stretching your calves. While these can help provide some immediate relief, you may need to speak with your doctor to help get the condition under control.

What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

RLS involves itching, aching, or tingling sensation in the legs. This often results in the individual wanting to constantly move their legs to relieve the discomfort.

While anyone can develop RLS, it's more common amongst older adults. Researchers believe the condition is the result of low iron in the brain. However, an imbalance of dopamine could also play a role.

RLS tends to manifest when you try to go to sleep. You lie down, expecting to relax, except your legs start to feel out of control. While it's occasionally painful, most people describe it as disturbing or uncomfortable.

What causes restless legs?

Low levels of iron is just one explanation behind RLS. There are other potential sources, and you should speak with your doctor if you want to learn more about what could be contributing to your condition.

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pregnancy

Ways to treat restless legs

For many people, the symptoms of RLS are mild. But that doesn't mean they can't interfere with your nightly rest. There are various ways you may be able to manage your restless legs. You may need to try several until you find one that works for you.

Take an iron supplement

Iron deficiencies are commonly associated with RLS. A blood test can show whether you, in fact, have insufficient iron in your body. If that's found to be the case, your doctor is likely going to recommend taking an iron supplement.

Exercise regularly

The National Institute of Health found that moderate aerobic exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of RLS. Even just 15 minutes of light exercise a day can help. Plus, exercise is beneficial when you want to go to sleep easily.

Practice yoga and stretching

While it's unclear why it's beneficial, people with RLS who practice yoga usually have reduced symptoms. Try focusing on stretches that target your calves for best results.

Implement pneumatic compression

When you stay at the hospital, you're adhered with a sleeve over your legs that gently inflates and deflates. This is to help with blood circulation as you lie down. You can rent or buy your own to help relieve tension in your legs.

Take prescription medication

In some cases, medication is the only way to relieve RLS. Your doctor may suggest dopaminergic drugs, which increase dopamine release in the brain. Other potential medications you may be prescribed include Gabapentin and Benzodiazepine.

Get a new mattress

One reason why your legs may be uncomfortable at night is due to the fact you're sleeping on an old mattress. As mattresses age, they begin to sag and develop bumps. You may toss and turns for hours trying to get in the perfect position.

Even if you don't have RLS, it's a good idea to replace your mattress once every 10 years. This ensures it stays resilient and cradles you to sleep in the evening.

When can I expect my restless legs syndrome to end?

The timeframe you can expect RLS to go away depends on what caused it in the first place. You may need to take iron supplements for several weeks before seeing the effects. Pregnant woman can expect symptoms to disappear about 4 weeks after giving birth.

In the event you need medication, you should prepare for some experimentation. Some medications work for some people but not others. You may need to take several to find one that helps you. In total, expect to spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to getting RLS under control.

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