Sleeping with Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome, or Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs, typically occurring at night when someone is trying to sleep. It causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs that keep people up for hours on end. Restless Leg Syndrome is actually considered a sleep disorder, since trying to rest is what triggers the symptoms. Commonly people who suffer from RLS have decreased work performance and suffer significantly during the day from their lack of sleep. Trying to sleep with Restless Leg Syndrome is a challenge, but hopefully, the following tips can help you or a loved one who is suffering get some much-needed rest.

  • Exercise- Try working out with a moderate level of exertion early to mid-day. You don’t want to push yourself too hard, and you don’t want to exercise too close to bed either. Working out a moderate amount early in the day may very well relieve some of the symptoms of RLS.
  • Take a Hot Bath- Take a bath with magnesium Epsom salts before bed. The hot water and magnesium will both release tension in your muscles. To further release muscle tension, use a thick lotion or body oil to massage your legs after the bath. 
  • Wean Yourself Off of Caffeine- Caffeine is a known trigger for RLS. Stay away from coffee and chocolate. You may be used to needing caffeine due to your loss of sleep if you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, but if you persevere through a few tired days, you will help your sleep in the long run.
  • Heat and Cool the Muscles- Try cycling between a heating pad and cold packs on your legs. Doing so may lessen the sensation in your legs and provide temporary relief to get you to sleep.

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