Restless Leg Syndrome is a medical condition that causes some people to have uncomfortable sensations in their legs, typically manifest as an uncontrollable urge to move them. It can be challenging for some people who suffer from this condition to get good sleep at night because the symptoms of restless leg syndrome are often worse when they are trying to fall asleep after waking up during the night. However, there are many things you can do on your own, without needing any help from your doctor, which may improve these symptoms and make it easier for you to get quality sleep. 

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Symptoms of RLS include:

  • The familiar itching/creeping/prickling feeling that compels you to move your legs, or sometimes even your chest, is often attributed to crawling sensations. It’s almost like an irresistible urge for movement, but it doesn’t have anything at all illegal in mind!
  • The truth about leg cramps is often more complex than people think, so do your research before guessing what might be wrong with them once they start experiencing pain during movement.
  • Legs feeling twitchy can be a phenomenon that is called restless leg syndrome. It’s caused by an overactive nerve in our brain stem responsible for controlling movements throughout the body, including those below-the-neck parts! 
  • You may feel like you’re an irresistible force of nature, desperately wanting to get up and move around. This is because restless legs syndrome can make it hard for people with this condition to stay stationary for more than 30 minutes at a time without feeling restless or irritable- which makes sitting down on subsequent occasions even harder!
  • RLS is a disorder that causes people to experience uncomfortable twitches and sensations in their legs, usually after sleep. The condition can lead them to insomnia, which makes it classed as an illness, among other things such as mental or physical problems causing this adverse effect from certain medications used for treatment purposes. 

Causes Of Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a prevalent condition that affects around one percent of the population. It has genetic and environmental components, with those who experience symptoms at an early age having up to six times greater risk than someone without this type of inheritance pattern. RLS can also be divided into two categories based on what triggers it.

Primary RLS occurs when your restless legs syndrome symptoms don’t have any specific cause. Secondary Restless Legs Syndrome, or secondary RLS- a more serious condition that develops as a result of another disorder or an underlying condition such as: 

  • Pulmonary Disease:  lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and bronchiectasis can cause this condition as a result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain. RLS is more common in people with lung disorders, accounting for around half of the cases that are diagnosed.
  • Iron deficiency: Iron deficiency is a common problem that can lead to anemia. If left untreated, iron-deficiency anemia becomes more severe and difficult to treat over time due to the lack of nutrients needed for healthy red blood cells.
  • Parkinson’s disease may cause restless legs syndrome. RlS is a neurological disorder that causes an uncomfortable feeling in your feet and toes, making it difficult to sleep at night or rest during the day. These twitching sensations put pressure on muscles throughout the body due to rigidity from nerve damage.
  • Restless legs syndrome, also called RLS for short, is caused by impairment to the nervous system that affects how smoothly nerves send signals throughout your body. It can be extremely unbearable and disruptive when you feel these sensations in both feet or just one foot, but treatments are available!
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure can trigger Restless legs syndrome, a neurological disorder in which one feels the need to move their limbs when they are at rest.
  • Pregnancy can cause restless legs syndrome, an uncomfortable sensation that starts in your hips and moves up into the back of your head. It’s most commonly known as sciatica by people who have it. 

Impacts of Restless Legs Syndrome on Your Sleep?

If you’ve ever had that nagging, unpleasant sensation in your legs and can’t help but move them constantly throughout the day, then RLS may be affecting more than just how much time you spend sleeping. This repetitive movement during rest periods causes problems for those with PLMD as well. These individuals wake up from their restless leg syndrome multiple times each night without being able to fall back asleep easily because of these twitching/repetitive flexing movements happening while they’re unconscious or have slipped into a state called “sleepwalking.”

Women with sleep apnea are not only more likely to report RLS as one of their symptoms, but they’re also at increased risk for insomnia and nightmares when combined with other severe conditions like heart disease or diabetes. It becomes even more important to treat your night-time sleeping problem because treating the root cause may help address any underlying issues you might have too!

Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome

While restless leg syndrome may not be a significant health issue for most people, it can cause problems and create potential problems in your daily life. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this! If you or someone in your proximity has been struggling lately with RLS- try these treatments: 

Reduce Your Intake of Caffeine, Alcohol, or Nicotine.

Reducing or eliminating caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can help relieve restless legs syndrome symptoms. Cutting back on that too may be wise for some people who suffer from this condition due to the sharp jolts they feel while lying still during REM cycles, where dreams occur, which is when many dreams usually happen anyway. Still, these cause discomfort instead since there’s no need to move around anymore due to physical limitations.

Get As Much Exercise As Possible

There is so much evidence that regular exercise can help treat your symptoms. One study found that among an inactive control group and the one who exercised, those who exercised had significant improvement in their RLS! The best time for them was early morning because it helps with sleep onset as well. Try 30-60 minutes each day at moderate intensity (intensity doesn’t matter), then do it first upon waking up every morning. If you’re working late into the evening or trying to go straight home after work without stopping, make sure not to exceed 2 hours total of activity daily. Otherwise, this could interfere with our nocturnal periodicity, which controls body temperature, among other things, during REM cycles where dreaming occurs. 

If these treatments don’t work, then you may want to see your doctor for further treatment.

Healthy Sleep Habits

Sleep is a precious resource for many people, and those with RLS may be especially susceptible. If you have trouble sleeping due to your condition, it’s essential that not only do you get enough restful hours every night, but also try implementing these tips into your routine to make the most of what little nap time exists during day-to-day life!

  • It’s essential to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. It will help you have more energy, be healthier overall, and keep your appetite levels stable so that snacking isn’t an issue all the time!
  • To avoid interruptions, you should keep your sleeping area cool and dark.
  • Maintaining a consistent temperature and quietness throughout the night is essential when getting quality rest for everyone in any situation- whether you’re traveling across town or the globe!
  • It is important to keep distractions like the TV and phone out of your bedroom. These can easily distract you from getting a good night’s sleep, so make sure they’re out of sight by placing them against closed doors or turning off their sound volumes when possible!
  • The two to three hours before bedtime are a great time for you to catch up on sleep. It’s best not to use any electronic screens during this period, as the blue light from the device may disrupt your circadian rhythm and prevent natural cycles of restfulness or wakefulness!

Iron & Vitamin Supplements

RLS is a condition that many people struggle with, and iron deficiency may be one of the leading causes. Studies have shown that taking supplements can help ease symptoms for those dealing with this problem. 

A simple blood test will check if your levels are low on iron; talk to your doctor about getting tested to know what steps need to be taken next. If it turns out there is an issue-oral or IV solutions might be necessary!

In addition, a deficiency in vitamin D could be linked with RLS. A 2014 study found that supplements reduced symptoms for people who had it and were low on their intake of this essential nutrient. And those on hemodialysis may also find relief by taking vitamins C or E; these same nutrients are known as antioxidants, which fight off free radicals caused by pollution exposure (which can cause chronic health conditions).

Massage

Massaging your leg muscles could help ease RLS symptoms. Plenty of health organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, suggest it as an at-home treatment. Although there is not a lot of other research that backs up massage for this condition, one 2007 case study illustrated its benefits and how regular massages lowered serum serotonin levels in those who had them – which is linked to fewer stress hormones like cortisol. These improvements led researchers to say people experienced fewer effects from their restless legs syndrome (RLS). A 35-year-old woman reported having 45-minute sessions twice weekly over three weeks and eliminating her excessive feelings since starting treatments. 

Yoga & Stretching

These exercises have been shown to help people with RLS. Research in 2012 showed significant improvement in the muscle spasms for those on hemodialysis after completing a set regimen of postures every day.

To stretch your legs, start by putting both of your feet on the floor and bending your right leg so that you can place your right foot on top of your left knee. Gently press down into the ball underneath the bent knee for a few seconds before releasing it and doing the same thing with your other leg.

Use Sequential Compression Devices (SCD)

A sequential compression device is a mechanical sleeve that fits the leg and massages it by inflating and deflating with air (much like an armband used to measure blood pressure). It’s usually used in hospital patients who are at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis, but one small study has found those suffering from restless legs syndrome as well.

According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, it might work because “the body only appreciates so many simulations simultaneously,” which implies there was more than enough impact on RLS symptoms even though they didn’t receive any relief themselves.

Sleep Doctor in Flemington, New Jersey

Hunterdon Pulmonary & Sleep Associates, Flemington, NJ, is the best place to help with restless leg syndrome. Our team of experts has many years of experience in treating patients and will work closely with you to ensure that all your needs are met. If you live in the area or visit often, call them today to get started on a treatment plan that works for you!