Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in
which your legs feel extremely uncomfortable while
you're sitting or lying down. The condition usually
makes you feel like getting up and moving around. In
doing so, the unpleasant feeling goes away.
The disorder affects both sexes,
can begin at any age and may worsen as you get
older. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep -
leading to daytime drowsiness - and make traveling
A number of simple self-care steps and lifestyle
changes may benefit you. Medications also help many
people with restless legs syndrome.
For very mild symptoms, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
such as ibuprofen when symptoms begin may relieve the twitching and
Try baths and
Soaking in a warm bath and massaging your legs can relax your
Apply warm or
You may find that the use of heat or cold, or alternating use of the
two, lessens the sensations in your limbs.
techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
Stress can aggravate RLS. Learn to relax, especially before going to
bed at night.
Fatigue tends to worsen symptoms of RLS, so it's important that you
implement a program of good sleep hygiene. Ideally, sleep hygiene
involves having a cool, quiet and comfortable sleeping environment,
going to bed at the same time every night, arising at the same time
every morning, and obtaining a sufficient number of hours of sleep
to feel well rested. Some people with RLS find that going to bed
later and arising later in the day helps them obtain an adequate
amount of sleep.
Getting moderate, regular exercise may relieve symptoms of RLS, but
overdoing it at the gym or working out too late in the evening may
Sometimes cutting back on caffeine may help restless legs. It's
worth trying to avoid caffeine-containing products, including
chocolate and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soft
drinks, for a few weeks to see if this helps.
Cut back on
alcohol and tobacco.
These substances also may aggravate or trigger symptoms of RLS. Test
to see whether avoiding them helps.
alert in the evening.
Boredom and drowsiness before bedtime may worsen RLS.