If you have restless leg syndrome (RLS) you know it. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep because of an odd tingly feeling in your legs and a feeling that you simply can’t lie still, chances are you may be dealing with RLS.
What is restless leg syndrome and who gets it?
It is a condition, that unfortunately, isn’t always easy for your doctor to diagnosis and that’s because the symptoms manifest when you’re in bed at night and are hard to replicate in the doctor’s office. Many people who deal with RLS find that it’s worse if they’re pregnant, have arthritis, diabetes or anemia. The condition can effect individuals without these health issues as well and the causes of RLS are unknown.
Those who suffer this condition describe the feeling as:
Regardless of the label you put on it, it is more than annoying and can also negatively impact your sleep. The symptoms of RLS make it difficult or impossible to not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep. Those who have RLS may also have periodic limb movements (PLM) and that can occur every 30 seconds or more and can also lead to sleep disruption.
One of the ways that sufferers get relief is to move or shake their legs, but again, when you’re doing this, you’re not getting a good night’s sleep. Even the act of moving your legs will only alleviate the issue for a brief time.
How to treat RLS
While there is no cure for restless leg syndrome there are medications that may treat the symptoms and you may be able to get a better night’s sleep. You may also find relief if you:
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Stop smoking
- Lose weight
- Walk every day
- Drink beverages that have quinine (tonic water has quinine)
- Take iron supplements if you are anemic
If you feel you’re suffering with RLS, talk with your doctor and also make note of when the symptoms are at their worst and what, if anything, you have done to alleviate the symptoms.