It seems like your legs just won’t stop moving even when you try to sleep. Restless leg syndrome can lead to many a sleepless night. If you have been experiencing something like this, it’s time to get help.
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome or RLS is the term used to describe the movement of your legs when your body is at rest. Those who have this condition often say that they have an uncontrollable urge to move their legs even though they want to go to sleep.
The only thing that seems to make the legs feel better is to move. But, if it is midnight, you’d rather be asleep than walking around. What can you do?
Millions of people are affected by this condition. Some have inherited it, but the incidence of RLS can increase as you get older. In any case, as the day winds down, your legs are just ramping up.
What is it about this condition? There are many different words used to describe the sensation, but here are just a few:
* Electric feeling
* Creeping feeling
This occurs throughout the entire leg. It is often felt in the calves and thighs. Some people even feel these sensations in their hands and feet.
No one exactly knows why restless leg syndrome occurs.
Could be linked to the level of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls muscle movement in the body. Low levels of it are believed to lead to problems like this.
Could also be low levels of magnesium or calcium.
RLS is associated with a decrease in oxygen so folic acid is another option because it will help build red blood cells, which helps oxygenate the blood.
You can reduce the incidence of discomfort in your legs with a few tips.
* Get exercise. Muscles change and grow as they respond to stress placed upon them. This is what happens when you get the body pumping with exercise like aerobics and weight training.
The muscles need time to rest and repair after a good workout and this can lead to a calmer night for you.
* Give those legs a good rub, massage and stretch your muscles, which might send signals to your brain to override these sensations.
* Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. If you need to feel refreshed in the morning, then by all means, have a cup of coffee. But, try to avoid drinking it too late in the afternoon.
Caffeine can overstimulate you and even increase your leg movement at night.
* Engage your mind. If the body has to sit, then let the mind stay busy.
In the evenings, try reading a stimulating book, engage your mind with crossword puzzles or try a hobby like sewing, model building or painting.
* Take a relaxing bath. Muscles become more pliable and relaxed in the presence of warmth.
Try a nightly soak in the bath with infusions of lavender or chamomile. Both are herbs that are used to relax the body.
* Try drinking tonic water which does relieve symptoms in some people.
Restless leg syndrome can disrupt your sleep cycle and your entire life. Use the tips above to help alleviate as many symptoms as you can to get your life back under control.