10 Ways to Relieve Restless Legs at Night
Does tingling, itching, or burning sensations in your legs keep you up all night? Do your legs throb, jerk around, and cramp up at night when you are trying to sleep? Do your legs ache or feel creepy-crawly when you are supposed to be resting? Are you sick and tired of missing out on countless hours of sleep because your legs just will not stop fidgeting all night? If any of this sounds familiar, then chances are you are amongst the millions of people who suffer from restless leg syndrome. However, you don’t have to put up with this. You can alleviate your symptoms of restless leg syndrome via various methods, such as the ones listed below.
Use a footrest to elevate your legs at night. You would think that your legs and feet are resting enough when you lay down in bed, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While those lower limbs may be in rest mode when you lay down, it doesn’t mean they are circulating properly or resting at their maximum potential. If your legs can’t stop fidgeting and if you are suffering from pain and annoyance as a result of your restless legs, then using a footrest to elevate your legs at night could be your best bet. When you rest your feet on a footrest, you are keeping your feet and legs propped up, which increases blood flow in your limbs without sacrificing your comfort. Using a footrest at night takes stress off of your feet and legs and deters them from acting up, enabling you to get the quality of sleep you deserve. To do this, place a foot rest at the end of your bed each night and comfortably rest your feet on it to keep your limbs elevated and to keep the creepy-crawly feeling (along with the aches and pains) of restless leg syndrome away. My personal favorite footrest is the Pure Journi Foot Rest, which has a very soft cushion to maximize your comfort and isn’t too bulky for the bedroom.
Get more exercise during the day. It’s no secret that regular exercise can help you sleep better. All of that exertion tires you out and sets the scene for sounder sleep. However, exercise not only helps you sleep better in general, but can deter your symptoms of restless leg syndrome from acting up. With restless leg syndrome in mind, you want to concentrate more on specific types of exercises, such as lower body resistance training and aerobic exercise. On the opposite hand, you do not want to exert yourself too much, such as to the point where you are in pain or exceptionally achy from exercising, as this can worsen your symptoms from restless leg syndrome. The key to using exercise as a remedy for restless leg syndrome is to exercise in moderation.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Your health is at risk when you consistently aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep at night. While your aching legs can certainly take away precious hours of sleep, did you know that not getting enough sleep in the first place can actually cause your restless leg syndrome? Start hitting the sheets earlier (or budget in enough time in the morning to sleep in later) to ensure you will be getting about eight hours of sleep each night. You may also want to try to go to bed and awaken at the roughly the same time each day and limit any distractions (such as television, cell phones, other electronics, etc.) from your bedroom. Doing so can improve your quality of sleep and offset some of your symptoms of restless leg syndrome immensely.
Visit your doctor. Millions of people each year seek out professional medical help to stop the undesirable effects of restless leg syndrome. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, and kidney disease, have been linked to restless leg syndrome and may be to blame. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any and all of your leg issues and to rule out any other health conditions that may be causing the restlessness of your legs. Seeing a physician will also allow you to see what prescription medications may be available to keep the symptoms of your restless leg syndrome at bay.
Consider taking vitamins or supplements. Many people don’t like the idea of taking prescription medication or would simply prefer a more organic approach. If this applies to you, then have no worries as there are many natural vitamins and supplements out there that can aid in relieving the effects of restless leg syndrome. Just be sure to check reviews and do your research on the products before taking or buying any vitamins or supplements so you don’t waste your money.
Check your current medication. Did you know that there are certain types of medicine that can both cause and increase the severity of restless leg syndrome? Specific antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, and more are amongst some of the medications that can cause restless leg syndrome or worsen it for those who were already suffering with restless legs. If you are on any prescription medication and have been dealing with the pain and annoyance of restless leg syndrome, consult your physician or do some research on your medicine to see if it may be the culprit.
Alleviate stress on your legs during the day while you’re at work so they will be less restless at night. As previously mentioned, using a foot rest at night can help alleviate your restless leg syndrome overnight, but did you know that resting your feet during the day can also help calm your restless legs at night? This is especially true if you work in an office or an environment where you are sitting at a desk for the majority of your day. When you are sitting stationery you may feel as if your feet are in a resting position, but this is not necessarily true. Even when we aren’t standing or walking around, stress is put on our feet and legs. Such stress carries on throughout the day and into the night, thus causing your legs to be more restless when you are in bed and trying to sleep. How often do your feet feel restless and fidget around during the day when you are sitting at your desk? How many times have you noticed that your feet don’t feel so great when they are pressed against the hard floor or that your legs and/or feet ache when you stand up or walk around? This is due to the straining of your feet and legs. To alleviate such strain, add a footrest under your desk. By using a footrest during your work day, you will enhance the blood flow and reduce the amount of stress on your legs and feet. When your lower limbs have better circulation and aren’t carrying the pain of such stress throughout the day you are far more likely to sleep easy at night.
Watch what you eat. It has been suggested that consuming an abundance of sugar can aggravate your restless legs and can send your symptoms into overdrive. Refrain from overindulging in sweet treats or foods with a high sugar content to avoid worsening your symptoms. You especially want to avoid eating sugary foods before bedtime.
Be conscious of what you wear, specifically on your legs and feet. Wearing tight clothing or shoes on your legs and feet can be very restricting on your limbs and can prohibit proper blood flow. Even if you aren’t sleeping in the tight clothing, wearing it earlier in the day can still cause issues at night with restless leg syndrome. Be sure to wear pants, socks, and shoes that aren’t too tight or restrictive on your legs and feet so that it doesn’t ignite or intensify the effects of restless leg syndrome.
Use a footrest when you are lounging at home. You now know that using a footrest at night and while you are at work can deter your legs from being restless at night, but using a footrest while you are lounging at home will also help. Pretty much any time you are sitting or lounging about, resting your feet on a footrest will reduce the amount of strain on your body and will help keep your feet and legs healthy. It’s also worth mentioning that you can find great footrests on Amazon, for all of you prime members out there! Just don’t forget to bring your footrest back into the bedroom when you are ready for bed.
If you suffer from restless leg syndrome then you are aware of just how unbearable it can be. Give your body a break and give some (or all) of these ideas a try. You will be amazed at just how much implementing the usage of a footrest into your daily regimen can improve your quality of life, both day and night.
About the Author: My name is Mandy Meyer and I am a freelance writer and crafter from the Cincinnati, OH area. I am engaged to a wonderful man and am proud to be the step-mom of our two wonderful children. I love doing just about anything creative and am always game to get my hands dirty, whether it's in paint, glitter, various crafts supplies, or even mud from playing in the rain and jumping in puddles with my family. I am a recent college graduate who enjoys writing in all genres and creating a variety of fun, unique gifts for all ages. To check out my handmade items, please visit Marshall Arts By MJ, my Etsy shop.