What is the Restless Legs Syndrome?
Also referred to as the Willis-Ekbom disease, the restless legs syndrome is a physiological condition that triggers uncomfortable sensations in the legs. These feelings in the legs have been described as creepy, crawly and tingly which urge the victim to twitch and move the affected legs.
This condition of RLS occurs when the person is sleeping, sitting or just resting and it mostly happens at night.
The brisk leg movements are termed as periodic limb movements of sleep and they seriously hamper sleep and are usually associated with pregnancy, nerve problems, chronic renal issues and deficiency of iron in the body.
What causes restless leg syndrome?
Several different medical conditions are linked with restless leg syndrome, two of the most common conditions being a deficiency of iron and damage to the nerves of arms and legs as a result of peripheral neuropathy(1).
A few general restless leg syndrome causes are enlisted below.
- Varicose veins
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hypo- or hyperthyroidism
- Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco
- Lyme disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Certain drugs like antipsychotics, beta-blockers, anti-depressants etc.
Is restless leg syndrome associated with pregnancy?
Restless leg syndrome is often linked with pregnancy in women. The occurrence of restless leg syndrome during pregnancy is perhaps due to the imbalance in the level of dopamine or is probably triggered by the deficiency of iron or folic acid in the blood.
What are the natural home remedies for restless leg syndrome?
The major and most uncomfortable symptom of the restless leg syndrome is the constant twitchy feeling in the legs accompanies with cramps. Elucidated below are 11 restless leg syndrome home remedies that can help to successfully cure it.
1. Develop Healthy Sleeping Habits:
Healthy and sound sleeping is an advice suited to anyone but if you are suffering from RLS, then the best way to feel well rested and restored would be to adhere to a fixed sleeping schedule. It is one of the best natural cures for restless leg syndrome if practiced regularly.
- Go to bed at a particular time and wake up in the next day at another particular time and stick to the same times on a daily basis.
- Keep your bedroom as quiet, cool and dark as possible
- Do not keep anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep like the television or music system and the like.
- Avoid looking at electronic screens of television or computer two hours prior to going to bed.
2. Exercise daily:
It has been proven time and again that regular stretching exercise(3) can resolve the twitching sensations in the legs in Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and help the patient sleep soundly at night.
The stretching exercises that can be done to get rid of the creepy crawly sensations include
- Calf stretching
- Front thighstretching
- Hip stretching
Relentless stress and anxiety aggravates the risk of RLS and worsens its symptoms. This is due to the release of stress hormones(4) in the blood that stimulate the muscles to stay constantly taut and active.
Meditation(5) and exercises that involve deep inhalation and exhalation are immensely helpful in getting rid of stress and thereby tackling the restlessness of RLS. It is one of the best restless leg remedies.
- Practice meditation for 20 to 30 minutes on a daily basis every morning on an empty stomach.
- On the first few days you might not be able to meditate for more than 5 to 10 minutes.
- However, your patience and stamina will increase day by day and soon you will be able to meditate for about half an hour daily.
You will feel calm and composed. Daily stress, tension, and anxieties will disappear into thin air. Overcome the restless legs syndrome and insomnia associated with it with serene and firm meditation.
Yoga is one of the most effective natural treatments of the restless legs syndrome. Yoga is involved with an ancient practice related to meditation, control of breathing and adaption of the body to a variety of easy to difficult postures that makes the body firm and works efficiently on nervous difficulties.
Regular yoga(6), especially if practiced for 30-40 minutes daily in the morning, will successfully help in curing the restless legs syndrome and enabling you to sleep better and feel calm and less tensed.
Regular yoga will stabilize your blood pressure, improve blood circulation and make your limbs firm and strong.
A few effective yoga postures for curing the restless legs syndrome are given below.
- Legs up the wall : Viparita Karani
- Stand and fold down forward: Uttanasana
- Seat and fold forward: Paschimottonasana
5. Drink Chamomile Tea:
- Boil a cup of water and add three to four leaves of chamomile to the boiling water.
- Let the concoction boil for about ten minutes.
- Strain out the tea and drink it daily until you heal.
Chamomile(7) tea helps to calm you down and soothes your senses. You may also drink a cup of green tea beside chamomile tea thrice daily as it is an efficient restless leg syndrome natural treatment.
Wondering how to stop restless leg syndrome immediately? For this massage the muscles of your legs to ease the symptoms of the restless legs syndrome.
The techniques of Swedish massaging and application of direct pressure on the leg muscles are highly effective in treating restless legs syndrome. Massaging also helps in relaxation of muscles and aids in sleeping well.
7. Healthy diet
Adhering to a healthy diet goes a long way in restoring firmness and strength of muscles and fights the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
A diet that consists of ample amount of essential fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals can overcome the nutritional deficiencies(8) that lead to the restless legs syndrome.
- Include in your diet the food items like green vegetables, beans, meat, seeds, eggs, dairy products and fruits that are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamin B-Complex.
- Consumption of spinach, pumpkin seeds(9), chard, almonds, avocado, beans, and figs are highly beneficial in the treatment of restless legs syndrome.
- Season your food with unrefined sea salt and eat bone broth with whole grain bread.
- Limit your intake of caffeine and replace that with green tea. Stay away from alcohol and tobacco.
8. Baking Soda:
How to get rid of restless leg syndrome with Baking Soda?
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda(10) and add it to a bucket of warm water.
- Stir well till the soda dissolves and the water looks translucent.
- Dip your legs in the warm soda water and keep them soaked for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do this daily before going to bed at night.
- You may also add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and stir well till the powder dissolves.
- Now smear your restless legs with the soda water whenever they feel tingly for instant relief from the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
- Add one-third a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water.
- Stir the water for about 20 seconds and drink it up whenever your legs feel restless.
- The creepy sensation will disappear within about 20 minutes of drinking the soda water.
This remedy improves blood circulation in your legs and keeps them from feeling twitchy and restless.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very common household item and is employed in a wide range of activities from killing weeds to pickling sour jams, polishing silver to dressing salads.
Apple cider vinegar is extremely beneficial amongst the other restless leg syndrome remedies. It is packed with minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper, and vitamins like B1, B2, B6, A, E, C, bioflavonoids and pectin.
In addition to this, the acetic acid contained in vinegar aids the body in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the food that we consume. Apple cider vinegar(11) is considered as a highly effective natural remedy of restless legs syndrome.
- Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and add it to a cup of warm water.
- Stir well until the vinegar gets dissolved.
- Drink this with slow sips at least half an hour before going to bed at night.
- Do this daily for the restless legs syndrome to heal.
- You may also massage your legs and leg muscles with apple cider vinegar just before going to bed.
- Massage with gentle pressure for the apple cider vinegar to get absorbed into the skin. This will keep the twitchiness at ease.
10. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is vested with incredible healing benefits and is especially beneficial in the treatment of the restless legs syndrome.
The oil contains a medium chain of fatty acids(12) like capric acid, lauric acid, caprylic acid which facilitate sound sleep and relaxes your nerves.
Coconut oil is also known for its capabilities of enhancing blood circulation and curing the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and warm it slightly.
- Massage all over your legs with the warm coconut oil by applying gentle pressure.
- Massage with gentle rubbing in a direction upwards from your ankles to your knees and thighs.
- Massage your legs twice daily to cure the twitchiness felt in the restless legs syndrome.
11. Parsley tea:
Parsley is an efficient reliever from the creepy crawly symptoms of the restless legs syndrome. It is loaded with minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium(13), manganese and vitamins like B1, B3, B2, B5, B6, A, E, C, K and antioxidants.
Parsley is also known for its antiseptic and anesthetic properties. Parsley helps in enhancing the assimilation of minerals like iron and calcium present in the body and increases the absorption of such nutrients.
- Take a teaspoon of parsley leaves and add it to a cup of water.
- Put this on the boil for a few minutes or so.
- Let the liquid simmer down and then strain it out and your parsley tea is ready.
- Add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the tea to make it sweet and savory.
- Drink this tea with slow sips twice or thrice a day until the twitchiness of your legs gets cured.
If you follow this remedy then make sure that you do not eat calcium-rich food otherwise this will not work and the condition might get aggravated.
1. Can restless leg syndrome be cured?
The symptoms can be taken care of by religious adherence to home remedies for restless legs by sticking to a proper diet, physical exercise, yoga and regular massaging.
2. Can anxiety cause restless leg syndrome?
Anxiety and tension stimulates the secretion of stress hormones. If the body is continually under stress then the excessive stimulation of stress
hormones can make the body feel weak and fatigued.
This weakness affects the limbs such as arms and legs and tends to make them twitchy. However, a cup of chamomile tea can relieve you of anxiety and make you feel much better.
3. How do they test for restless leg syndrome?
Doctors perform blood tests on the patient to determine the deficiency of iron and other medical issues that are usually linked with the restless leg syndrome.
4. Is Restless Leg Syndrome a mental illness?
No. It is a physical condition that might be induced by mental illnesses like persistent stress and anxiety issues but restless leg syndrome is not exactly a mental illness per se.
5. Is Restless Leg Syndrome a genetic disorder?
Restless Leg Syndrome is said to have genetic components that make the syndrome run within the family. The syndrome is associated with specific variants of a gene.
6. Can high blood pressure make your legs hurt?
High blood pressure, if left unchecked, puts the arteries in arms and legs under a lot of strain and causes painful muscular cramps in legs as the blood vessels become narrow and the pressure of blood on them increases with increase in BP.
7. What are the essential oils for restless leg syndrome?
Essential oils like rosemary, peppermint(14) and lavender are analgesic and antispasmodic in nature. Their warming and healing properties make them highly effective in treating the spasms, pains and muscle cramps associated with restless leg syndrome.