What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

 Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition in which a person’s legs feel jittery or even in pain. Moving the legs can help relieve the symptoms. The symptoms most often occur while a person is resting or sleeping. Sitting or lying down seem to encourage the feelings associated with Restless Leg Syndrome.

Restless Leg Syndrome can affect the sleep of those who suffer from it. They are often woken during the night. Some may not even notice awakening during the night, but will often feel exhausted during the day. Restless Leg Syndrome can be diagnosed by doctors through ruling out other sleep disorder possibilities.


Once diagnosed there are several different treatment and prevention options. WebMD informs that medication may be prescribed for moderate to severe cases of Restless Leg Syndrome. However, not all people respond in the same way to the medication. For some people medication causes more severe symptoms while others may simply lose their effectiveness over time. Medication may provide some temporary relief for some people, but for others it is not a long term solution.

As an alternative to medication, there are some lifestyle changes that may alleviate the symptoms over time. Mayo Clinic suggests cutting out caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. You can test whether these substances trigger symptoms by removing them from your diet for a time. If your condition improves, you know to avoid these item permanently.

Mayo Clinic also recommends maintaining healthy sleep habits. Going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday and having a cool, dark, quiet place to sleep may help. Try to establish a regular bedtime routine and stick to it.

WebMD instructs that those who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome should get plenty of exercise, but avoid sudden bursts of energy or activity. Stick to a similar exercise routine everyday. Stretching exercises such as yoga may be particularly helpful.

Message and warm or cold packs may also help to relieve symptoms. Warm baths before bed can also help relax restless legs.

When to Get Help

When your Restless Leg Syndrome is leaving you exhausted during the day, see a doctor. Chronic sleep loss can have severe consequences and a doctor can help you get some rest.

If you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, you will have to try the individual remedies and determine what works for your symptoms. Ultimately, taking care of your body, by eating well, sleeping enough and exercising should relieve some of the symptoms.

Photo “fit for a princess” courtesy of Liz West

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