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5 Tips to Ease Restless Leg Syndrome

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HELEN WAKEFIELD

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Today is Restless Legs Awareness Day – we wanted to get involved and help to increase knowledge of this condition.

 

An estimated 5% to 15% of adults have restless legs syndrome (RLS), and up to 19% of pregnant women develop RLS symptoms during pregnancy. The condition can interfere with sleep and lead to severe fatigue, however there are treatments available that may help to relieve the symptoms or stop them recurring.

 

Since the disease was first recognised in 1946, many advances have taken place although there isn’t currently a known primary cause – it is believed it may be associated with dopamine or blood iron levels.

 

Here are our top tips to help relieve the symptoms of RLS. 

 

1. Take a Hot Bath

 

A hot bath before bed can help to calm and relax the muscles as well as the mind, taking thoughts away from restless legs whilst also enabling the heat to get your blood moving. This isn’t only great for circulation but can also help sore or tight muscles to relax, easing the symptoms of RLS. 

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2. Boost Your Circulation

 

Yoga is another method that can help both the mind and body to relax. Deep breathing and gentle stretches are great for soothing stress and anxiety and may also help the nerves in the legs to relax too.

 

The legs up the wall pose is particularly effective for easing symptoms of RLS as it allows the lymphatic system and circulatory system to drain out of the legs, and the 90 degree position causes less nervous stimulation which helps the legs to relax.

 

3. Chill Out

 

Some people experience relief from restless legs syndrome with the application of heat, others may feel better from applying cold. If heat doesn’t work that well for you, try applying an ice pack to your legs instead to ease the symptoms. 

 

Cold therapy from ice packs or frozen gel packs reduces blood flow, which lessens pain and calms overactive nerves. 

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4. Iron Up

 

Iron deficiency is thought to be one of the main causes of RLS. Several studies have shown that iron supplements can help to ease the symptoms. To find out if you’re deficient in iron, see a doctor for a blood test.

 

5. Meditate

 

Stress and anxiety often play their role in agitating RLS, so any methods that help to reduce stress levels such as meditation can help to alleviate symptoms. This relaxation technique works in a similar way to yoga, refocusing the mind and body in a positive way. 

 

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Do you suffer with restless leg syndrome? What methods work best for relieving your symptoms? Leave your comments below.

 

If you’re looking to build up great sleep hygiene, read our blog for 4 quick tips to improve your sleep quality.

 

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