25 Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is when you feel the need to move your leg because there’s an uncomfortable or sometimes even painful feeling in it. This condition usually gets worse at night and is known to get better for a short while if you reposition the hurting leg. This condition can appear at any age and has a tendency to get worse as you age.
There are a handful of symptoms that you can mark to see if you have RLS. The pain will normally come after you’ve been off your feet for a while; the pain comes the at night, the uncomfortableness/pain lessens or dissipates when you move your leg around some; your leg twitches and or kicks during your sleep.
Another symptom is the pain itself. Many people feel different things, but a few examples are aching, throbbing, crawling, electric, creeping, and itching.
While a good number of people suffer from RLS, there’s not one sure cause. Some doctors think that RLS is the result of a chemical imbalance related to the chemical that controls muscle movements called dopamine. Other causes are linked with RLS either as a preset or something that is known to cause RLS are genetics, kidney failure, pregnancy, and anemia.
Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is by no means life-threatening, but it can interfere with your sleep since the pain and issues mostly happen at night. If sleeping gets hard or impossible and other home remedies for getting sleep doesn’t work, talk to your doctor to get safely prescribed sleep-aid.
Take a warm bath and massage your legs afterward to help relax the muscles before you go to bed. If after a few nights massaging your legs doesn’t work, try some yoga instead.
Exercise is important and can help to toughen the muscle and can sometimes help with the production of dopamine. Try to exercise between half an hour an hour a day to see the best results.
Warm and Cold Compresses
Using heat and ice packs can help your leg not to hurt nearly as much. Most people recommend twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off. Use whichever type of compress feels best for you. Different people have different preferences.
Sleep habits are important with RLS because if the pain in your legs is keeping you awake, it can mess up your sleep habits which can poorly affect your daily life. Try setting a designated time to sleep. If you fall asleep before the pain normally sets, then it might not affect you sleep all that much.
Iron and Vitamins
Deficiency vitamins D, E, and C as well as in iron can worsen your RLS. You can these vitamins in pills, capsules, or you can get it from foods. Below are some natural foods sources that can consume to take in these vitamins and iron.
Iron: shellfish, liver/organ meats, blackstrap molasses, spinach, legumes, pumpkin seeds, red meats, poultry, legumes, tofu, broccoli, and dark chocolate.
Vitamin D: Fish, egg yolks, liver, shiitake mushrooms, dairy, almond milk, cereal, oatmeal, orange juice, and eggnog.
Vitamin E: Almonds, leafy greens, raw seeds, hazel and pine nuts, avocado, olives, and papaya.
Vitamin C: Chili and yellow peppers, parsley, rose hips, kale, guava, strawberries, citrus fruits, thyme, broccoli, lychees, and papaya.
Wrap Your Foot
For this remedy, you get foot wraps over the counter specifically for RLS. These foot wraps can help immensely because they put pressure on certain points in your feet that trigger your brain to send out dopamine better.
Don’t Drink Caffeine
Caffeine, even after the hype has trailed off, can keep you awake. RLS Already affects your sleeping, so drinking caffeine is just adding fuel to the fire. Avoid soda, energy drinks, tea, and coffee.
Keep Yourself Busy
Distracting yourself from the pain or from knowing that you have RLS can do some good as well. It could do you good to get into a new a book series, get an addictive game or two on your phone, get in touch with some friends, or to get some puzzle books, find a new tv show, or take up a new craft.
Stress is bad for you in general but stress and RLS don’t go well together at all. When you think about it, most people, when stressed bounce their legs. The bouncing of your leg can trigger your RLS.
Deep and mindful breathing can help you to stay calm. Try 4-7-8. You inhale through the nose for the count of four seconds, hold for seven, and exhale from your mouth for eight. If you do this a few times before you go to bed each night and a few times when you first wake up, it can help your stress hormones to stay down during the day. If you start to feel stressed, try a couple 4-7-8’s.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and cigarettes both have chemicals that can trigger RLS because of how they affect your brain functions. Alcohol can also affect how well you sleep and RLS does that on its own. Tobacco is known for triggering the nervous system and triggering the nervous system can worsen your anxiety levels.
Magnesium helps your muscles to relax by working through your body’s calcium. When calcium builds up in your muscles, it can cause cramping and make the pain of your RLS worse.
Most food isn’t very high in magnesium because the magnesium stores have been all but depleted. The best way to get magnesium is to get it in pills or capsules.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This sour liquid can do wonders for helping your body to break down nutrients. You can add a small amount of apple cider vinegar (between one and two tablespoons) to a glass of water and add some honey to taste if you can’t stand the taste of the vinegar. If you absolutely detest the taste of the vinegar, talk to your doctor about what the correct dosage of apple cider vinegar tablets would be for you.
This oil relaxes the body. Lavender oil can calm your nerves from stress but it can also calm your muscles. Put a couple drops into a bathtub and soak in it, or something people even put some oil on a cotton ball or swatch by their pillow so it will keep them relaxed during their sleep.
- Teas to Drink Before Sleep
If you’re feeling stressed or having a trouble sleeping, there are a couple of different teas that can help you to fall asleep or calm down.
Chamomile is good for sleep and de-stressing because it has antioxidants and it helps to soothe inflammation. Lavender helpful in relaxing the body. These two floral teas are often mixed to tag team their effects to induce sleep faster.
Lemon Balm tea is good for reducing inflammation and lowering anxiety levels. Valerin is often made with lemon balm because it’s also good for leveling anxiety. If it’s midday, you might not want chamomile because it induces sleep. Lemon balm and valerian aren’t.
Try a fourth of a cup of this every night and sip it over a half hour block of time. If a fourth of a cup doesn’t work, try a half cup. The tonic water helps to relax the muscles more.
Coconut oil improves blood flow and henceforth is used to improve or lessen the symptoms of RLS. You can get coconut essential oil and add it to the lavender oil or you can warm the oil slightly and massage it into your leg after a warm bath.
This is another oil that you can rub into your leg like a lotion before bed that can lessen the inflammation. Camphor oil also comes with the warning of a tingly feeling that dissipated after a few minutes.
The tryptophan in milk helps to soothe aching muscles. Milk is also known for helping people to fall asleep. Have a warmed cup of milk before bed.
Fix Your Posture
Loose or constricted posture is terrible for your body. When sitting, standing, and walking, have a straight back rather than slouching forward or being inclined backward. By having correct posture, it slows your muscles from tiring too quickly and it’ll lessen the uncomfortableness you might feel in your legs when you’re resting.
Epsom salts can be added to a warm bath to help loosen and relax your muscles. All you have to do is soak in a warm bath with two cups of Epsom salts mixed in for twenty minutes.
There is a warning against people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or other heart problems using Epsom salts. If you have any of these conditions, ask your doctor if you can safely use Epsom salts.
While icing your aching muscles can be good, being out in the cold for too long isn’t good and causes the muscles to contract. RLS can make the contracting even worse and lead to painful crampings.
Symptoms of RLS can also relate to a lack of potassium. To get potassium back into your system, you can just add potassium-rich foods to your diet. Some foods to try are bananas, broccoli, potato/sweet potato, cantaloupe, winter squash, and white beans.
Relaxis is a fairly new device. It’s a pad that vibrates in a timed setting to counteract your body’s stimulation. While this available with a prescription, it should be able to help you as its helped others.
Soap in the Sheets
Some people report that this really does while some people its complete nonsense. You take a bar of soap and put it by or between your legs under your bottom sheet. People claim that it helps to reduce the pains they get a night. Whether it’s a science or placebo, it is worth a shot, right?
Boost Your Melatonin and Tryptophan
Some people like a bedtime snack before they get cozy under their covers. If you’re going to snack, there are some foods that kick start your melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical in your brain that helps you to sleep.
It’s best to eat your snack for at least half an hour before you go sleep. Eating before bed releases a stress hormone to digest the food which can make it harder to sleep. Making it harder to sleep isn’t fun anyone, let alone someone already suffering from RLS.
Here is some food that can get your brain to produce more melatonin: oats, sweet corn, banana, ginger, radish, barley, and tomatoes.
There are also foods that are found to be high in another natural chemical called tryptophan (it makes you drowsy). Try some soy products, dairy (except cheese), chicken and turkey, nuts, eggs, seafood, grains and beans, as well as sunflower and sesame seeds.
Which of these home remedies are you most likely to try? Comment below!