According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 10% of adults in the U.S. are affected by Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation believe that RLS is commonly unrecognized or misdiagnosed as insomnia or other neurological conditions. RLS also affects about 2% of children in the U.S.
RLS is a disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest. The urge to move legs is usually accompanied by unpleasant sensations. RLS symptoms occur during inactivity and they are temporarily relieved by movement or pressure. Symptoms of RLS are most common usually in the evening and nighttime hours. These symptoms can profoundly disrupt your sleep and daily life.
The symptoms that follow RLS affect sleep patterns and the overall quality of sleep. Since the only way to relieve RLS symptoms is to apply pressure or to have the urge to move the legs while at rest, it can be very difficult to be able to achieve a good night’s rest.
There are some proven remedies to reduce symptoms from RLS before going to sleep. First, start moving before bedtime. Try to avoid sitting on the couch and watching TV or sitting at a desk finishing work. Instead, try to take a walk before bed. Moving around stimulates the brain and forces it to concentrate on moving your whole body. This can be an easy way to make RLS symptoms less severe.
Another remedy includes timing your medications. Be sure to take your RLS medication before your symptoms occur. If you know that your symptoms begin around bedtime or dinnertime, take your medications a little before. This will allow your body to have more time before hopping into bed.
Cut out alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. These are known to worsen RLS symptoms. Alcohol also disrupts sleep, so you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and be bothered by RLS symptoms.
Last, try to manage your stress. Studies show that RLS symptoms get worse when you are anxious or overwhelmed. Anything you can do to try to manage your stress or relieve a little bit of it can make a noticeable difference. Trying relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing are known to help with controlling stress.
If you are experiencing RLS symptoms, contact the experts at Somnas for an evaluation.