Find Instant Relief For Restless Legs

Updated May, 2021
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While restless legs syndrome may require prescription medication to treat, there are ways to find instant relief. If you find yourself moving your legs a lot at night, then try walking around the house, stretching, or taking a hot bath. These actions can help alleviate some of the discomfort and allow you to fall asleep more easily.

What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

Restless legs syndrome is a condition that creates uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, sensations in the legs. The condition, which also goes by Willis-Ekbom disease, is often characterized as creating crawling or tingling feelings in the legs. This gives the person a sudden urge the move the legs, often at night.

RLS symptoms are more evident while a person sits or sleeps. Due to this, RLS can severely impact a person's ability to sleep comfortably.

While most people have mild symptoms, others experience severe RLS. Symptoms tend to get worse without treatment, and the sensations can spread to other parts of the body, like the arms. This is why you need to talk with your doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms of RLS.

What causes restless legs?

RLS can have several causes. To determine the best long-term treatment option for you, your doctor needs to conduct tests to determine the root cause. Some of the most common explanations include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Dopamine imbalance
  • Iron deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes

Ways to treat restless legs

Anyone who finds themselves struggling to sleep due to restless legs should try various treatments. Some provide short-term relief while others are designed to help you for a while. Talk with your doctor about which treatments would be best for you.

Practice healthy sleeping habits

With RLS, you need restful, restorative sleep when you can get it. You should avoid looking at your phone right before bedtime. You also want to keep the bedroom free of distractions, like a television, that could keep you up.

Change medications you're taking

RLS is sometimes a side effect of certain medications. Benadryl, Levoxyl, and Prozac have been known to cause restless legs. You should talk with your doctor if your side effects interfere in your life too much.

Take a new prescription

Depending on the cause of your RLS, your doctor may prescribe you a new medication to take. Dopaminergic drugs help release dopamine in the brain, so it helps immensely if you suffer from an imbalance. Gabapentin is an FDA-approved, anti-seizure medication that has had success in treating RLS.

Stretch or practice yoga

Studies have found yoga to be advantageous for individuals with RLS. While it's unclear why exactly it helps, it does seem to alleviate discomfort, especially when the stretches target the calves.

Exercise often

There are many health benefits to exercising regularly. One of them is that it can help limit RLS symptoms. Not only does it help with uncomfortable sensations, but exercise also makes it easier for people to fall asleep at night.

Get a new mattress

Restless legs make it hard to go to sleep. Old, worn out mattresses do the same thing. When mattresses sag, they don't contour to your body as well. This makes various positions uncomfortable. And you may find yourself waking up repeatedly throughout the night.

If your mattress is lump or over 10 years old, then it's time for a new one. A new memory foam mattress can work wonders in helping you get a good night's rest. You wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

When can I expect my restless legs syndrome to end?

Everyone's case is different. You may see symptoms decrease in several weeks while other people require several months.

The reason for this comes down to what exactly you need to do. If you need to take medication, then you should give it a few weeks to go into effect. However, not all medications are right for you. It may take your doctor prescribing several different ones to find the ideal fit. This takes time.

However, in the event RLS occurs from something else, then you can expect symptoms to decrease sooner. Pregnant women typically find that their RLS dissipates 4 weeks after giving birth.

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