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7 Surprising Ways to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is a nervous system disorder that causes the urge to move ones legs. If you're predisposed to this condition, we've got 7 tips to help you prevent an episode. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
April 14, 2017

How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

Take a Pre-Slumber Soak

Before you hit the sack, prepare a hot bath and soak for 10-15 minutes. Also try alternating hot and cold: Soak your legs in the bath for a few minutes, then remove them and place an ice pack on them. Go back to the bath, and continue the process a few times.

See Also: Grammar Girl and House Call Doctor Discuss Restless Leg Syndrome

Don’t Buy That!

A drug called quinine was once a top treatment for RLS. But after reports of serious blood-related side effects (including death), in 2010 the FDA banned the use of quinine to treat leg cramps. The good news? There are low-dose “homeopathic” quinine products marketed to people who suffer from leg cramps. But even better news: You can get a low dose of quinine without buying any of them! Tonic water—yep, the light carbonated beverage—contains quinine, and just one glass before bed can help relax your muscles and encourage blood flow. Money saved: $10.

Snack Before Bed

Treat yourself to a small, high-protein snack before you go to sleep. Opt for sugar-free foods: A small cube of cheese or a few bites of chicken should do the trick. Research shows that a nightly nibble might reduce the frequency of your Restless Leg Syndrome, since the condition can be linked with low blood sugar.

Low Temps

Cool down your body temperature to encourage deep sleep. To do this, simply lower the thermostat to around 65 degrees.

Take an Evening Stroll

Enhance your chances of getting a good night’s rest by taking a stroll after dinner. Even a short, relaxed walk can calm your legs and make you more likely to catch those Zs.

Vet Your Vitamin Intake

Folic acid, a type of vitamin B, is essential for forming new cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. A folic acid deficiency can play a role in RLS, so get your recommended daily dose from spinach, asparagus, lentils, and pinto beans, and other foods. Also speak with your doctor to find out if you have a vitamin deficiency that might be affecting your condition.

See Also: Which Nutrients Help Treat Restless Leg Syndrome?

Massage

Give your legs a calming massage every night before turning in to prevent those frustrating tingles later. If you feel the RLS kick in (literally), extend your legs straight and stretch them all the way down to your pointed toes.

For everyday tips and lifehacks, tune in to the Who Knew podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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