If you have never suffered from what is known as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) then it is difficult to understand just how drastically this condition can affect those suffering with it. RLS can affect the ability of an individual to relax, and fall asleep, and can also affect their ability to stay asleep. The medical community is not entirely sure what causes RLS and there is currently no cure. Millions of people suffer from the condition every day, and its impacts go far deeper than just loosing a good night’s sleep. In fact, getting a good night’s sleep is often something those with RLS have all but given up on achieving. I know, because I have suffered with this syndrome for the last 20 years of my life. As a boy it was difficult for me to sit still for long periods of time and often I would lie awake for hours trying to get my legs to stop tingling. Over the years, I have developed some habits that seem to have offered some degree of relief when it comes to getting a good night sleep. I would like to offer them to you in the hopes that they may help you, or someone you know who suffers from RLS.
I don’t know why this works, but for me it does. I have found that a good ten to fifteen minutes of stretching my legs before bedtime significantly reduces the occurrence of RLS. In all of the research I have done on the subject, there is nothing I have found to support why this should work, but then, there is very little known about effective treatment options to begin with. While stretching, focus specifically on stretches that target the area or areas of your legs that are most prone to the sensation. For me, that is the area behind my knees. I find stretching my hamstrings and calf muscles is quite effective.
Avoid Extreme Fatigue if Possible
Again, in my experience, the onset of RLS happens most frequently when I am physically exhausted or have been on my feet for many hours at a time. When my legs begin to ache during the day, I know I am in for a rough night. The answer, for me, is to try to mitigate fatigue as much as possible. This is quite difficult in a busy world, but I have found that there are things I can do. For example, I might take a nap on my lunch hour, or right before dinner. I take the time to relax during the day and get off my feet if at all possible. I also invested in a good pair of shoes with sufficient padding and arch support. Anything that minimizes leg fatigue seems to help.
Get Up and Move
For years, I would lie in bed and fight against the symptoms. I have since learned that it is better to get up and move around for a few minutes, rather than lying in bed. For some reason, when I get up and walk around, go to the bathroom, or even just sit on the couch for a few minutes, I am then able to go back and lie down and fall asleep. There are some people who believe that RLS is a problem with circulation. If that is even true for some, it might be the reason that moving around a bit can help. Getting the blood pumping again before laying down seems to be effective for some people, and I know it is for me.
While all of these techniques may not work for you, I encourage you to give them a try. I have found that often one will work better than another for a little while, and then there is a need to change things up. I know that RLS is quite distressing, and hopefully my experience can bring some relief to you. Using these tips in conjunction with Calm Legs® to work on other solutions at the same time just makes sense. It is the combination of strategies that will help you win the battle of Restless Legs.