6 Best Restless Leg Syndrome Home Remedies
If you’ve ever been kept awake at night by an irresistible urge to move your legs or experienced pain, burning, crawling, tingling, and other uncomfortable feelings in your legs at night, you’re not alone. These are some of the top symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS), which affects upwards of an estimated 10% of all people in the United States.
What can you do to alleviate these symptoms and help your body relax at night? While there is currently no cure for primary restless legs syndrome, various treatments often can help relieve symptoms. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best restless leg syndrome home remedies you can try at home for a natural approach to symptom relief.
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Before we dive into restless leg syndrome home remedies, what is RLS? Restless leg syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, is a neurological disorder that causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs along with an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms of this condition most commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening, with symptoms often being most severe at night. This can lead to difficulties relaxing and sleeping, causing sleep deprivation that could increase the risk of other health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
In honor of National Restless Legs Awareness Day, which is celebrated September 23rd, let’s consider a few natural remedies for restless leg syndrome you can try at home for symptom management.
Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome
Even though there may not be a current cure for primary RLS, there are various home remedies for restless leg syndrome you can try for symptom management and relief. For incurable conditions, finding the best way to alleviate symptoms is what can improve your quality of life and help you thrive.
While it’s important to consult your doctor before beginning any new treatment for RLS, some of the best restless leg syndrome home remedies you can try at home include:
- Applying heat therapy or cold compresses
- Adding more iron to your diet
- Avoiding stimulants before bed
- Staying active
- Engaging your mind to shift focus
- Adjusting your body positioning
Applying Heat Therapy or Cold Compresses
The benefits of heat therapy and cold compresses for a wide variety of ailments have a long history for use as home remedies. It makes sense, then, that they’d make our list of restless leg syndrome home remedies to try, as well. While there are arguments that it could be more of a placebo effect at work, patients have reported finding relief from restless leg syndrome symptoms with the application of heat and/or cold on their bodies.
For cold compresses, be sure to never apply them directly to your skin. Direct contact could damage surface tissue on the skin, doing more harm than good!
There are a number of ways to experience the benefits of heat therapy, however, ranging from taking a hot shower or bath to using a heated zero gravity chair. As you’ll discover as you continue reading, zero gravity chairs are excellent tools for combining multiple home remedies for restless leg syndrome, making them a popular choice amongst those living with the condition.
Adding Iron to Your Diet
Moving on to the next entry on our list of the best restless leg syndrome home remedies is adding more iron to your diet. Some studies show that upwards of one-third of patients can treat their RLS symptoms with increases in their iron levels. While you might consider an iron supplement, you could also opt for other ways to increase iron levels by adding iron-rich foods to your diet. These include foods such as red meats, legumes, spinach, quinoa, tofu, and even dark chocolate.
Avoiding Stimulants Before Bed
While it’s always a good idea to avoid stimulants before bed to get a better night’s sleep, stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine may exacerbate RLS symptoms. Avoiding these stimulants before bed makes for easy home remedies for restless leg syndrome. To improve your overall health and well-being, it’s best to safely stop nicotine use altogether and to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, anyway!
Staying Active and Exercising
While it may sound counterintuitive for a condition that keeps your legs moving, staying active and exercising are some of the best restless leg syndrome home remedies. How’s that work, you ask? Working out and being active may serve as natural remedies for restless leg syndrome by releasing endorphins within the body. These natural “feel good” hormones elevate our mood, alleviate pain, as well as help our minds and bodies relax. This deeper relaxation could help with symptoms of RLS, making it worth giving a try.
Engaging Your Mind to Shift Focus
Next up on our list of the best restless leg syndrome home remedies is engaging your mind to shift focus. Simply put: distract yourself! This can be easily achieved by finding ways to calm your mind and keep it focused on something besides your RLS symptoms.
For example, pairing a zero gravity chair with brain games, journaling, or listening to calming music can occupy your mind and subconsciously shift focus away from RLS symptoms. While it may not completely alleviate symptoms altogether, this shift in focus could help you relax and get to sleep more easily at night if symptoms flare up.
Adjusting Body Positioning for Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms
While research continues into the best restless leg syndrome home remedies, there are observations that suggest body positioning may help with symptom relief and management. For example, bed covers tightly tucked under the mattress may force your toes to point, which can trigger cramping in calf muscles and lead to RLS discomfort.
Others have suggested elevating the legs may help prevent symptoms of RLS. This is another moment where the benefits of zero gravity chairs come into view. By design, zero gravity chairs move a step beyond traditional recliners, elevating the legs above the heart level. This body positioning, known as the zero gravity position, reduces stress on the lower back and pelvic area while distributing weight evenly along the body. It serves as the catalyst for the many potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs and may also be ideal positioning for natural remedies for restless leg syndrome.
As you’ve learned, the best restless leg syndrome home remedies come in many different forms. From keeping active and monitoring your diet for iron levels to engaging your mind and paying attention to body positioning, consider giving these ideas a try. After all, it isn’t about what works, but what works best for you. As always, however, consult your doctor before you begin any new treatments.
Curious about how a zero gravity chair could enhance your lifestyle? Check out the Svago Newton Zero Gravity Recliner and see how this top-of-the-line chair makes the perfect addition to any home.