Do you feel that sudden urge to move your legs when you’re lying or sitting down, especially at night when you’re about to sleep? If so, that’s restless leg syndrome (RLS), which occurs when your brain cells send false signals of discomfort, itchiness, and tingling sensations to the nerve endings of your legs. Moving your legs stops the false signals, but the weird sensation returns as soon as you stay still again.
Here’s what you can do if your legs won’t let you sleep at night.
1. Walk Around the House
If you can’t sleep due to the sensation, get up and walk around the house for 10 minutes. Walking stimulates the nerves in your legs, switching off the itching and jerking signals to your brain. Researches also show that moderate exercise helps ease the symptoms, but excessive exercise can make them worse.
2. Take Folic Acid
In a study, results show that women with RLS lack in B vitamins, which is required for proper function of the brain and nerves. Taking folic acid supplements helps to ease RLS symptoms. Take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid a day, along with 50 milligrams of B-complex supplement for more relaxed legs, especially when going to bed at night.
3. Do the Toe Circles
When the tingly sensations happen again, sit on the edge of your bed and draw circles on the floor with your toes. The action stimulates your leg nerves and stretches the legs and feet, killing the wrong signals sent by your brain to your nerves.
4. Apply Cold Compress
Before trying to sleep again, pack an ice bag or wrap frozen vegetables in a towel to serve as your cold compress. The compress numbs the nerve endings while you’re trying to fall asleep, blocking the weird sensations that keep you up at night.
5. Massage Your Legs
Knead your thighs, calves and feet with an oil mixture made with drops of lavender and a quarter cup of massage oil. The massaging action relaxes your leg muscle and the lavender scent from the oil mixture induces you to relax overall.
6. Quit Smoking and Reduce Caffeine Consumption
To prevent RLS, limit your caffeine intake as it increases the anxiety level of your body. Nicotine is also among the major culprit as it heightens your dopamine levels, so cutting back on it—or better yet quitting smoking—helps a lot, too.
Restless leg syndrome can happen to anyone, although there’s no need to worry as there’s nothing too serious about it. However, it can get uncomfortable and quite distressing especially when symptoms occur when we’re trying to get some rest. Fortunately, there are several ways you can easily do at home to get rid of the uncomfortable sensations.