If you’ve ever tried to sleep while your legs have the irresistible urge to move, you may have restless legs syndrome (RLS). It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in the UK suffer with the disorder, which can interrupt rest and disturb sleeping patterns.
Though it is common in pregnancy, and women in general are twice as likely to be affected, RLS can affect anyone. The exact causes are not clear; however, some neurologists believe that the symptoms may have something to do with the levels of dopamine, the chemical in our brains used to control muscle movement. RLS has also been linked to iron deficiency anaemia and kidney failure.
While there are no scientific treatments available for those suffering with RLS, it can be managed by adopting a few good habits.
Move as much as possible during the day
Take a walk on your lunchbreak, do some star jumps when you wake up or unwind after a long day by stretching and holding some yoga positions to make sure your muscles are relaxed. Getting exercise is key to easing the symptoms of RLS, but make sure you don’t overdo it as this can increase the symptoms.
Stock up on supplements
RLS has been linked to iron deficiency and dopamine levels, so consider adding a supplement to your diet to help the body produce the amount that it needs.
Massage the muscles
Grab some lavender or chamomile essential oil and give yourself a relaxing leg massage before you go to bed.
Maintain a sleep routine
It may be difficult to manage a routine if you are working shift patterns, but if not then you should maintain the same bed time every night. Create a calming bed time ritual to let your body know it is time to rest.
Avoid caffeine and sugar
When you start to feel the afternoon slump coming, try to avoid pick-me-ups like sugar and caffeine. Try jogging on the spot for 5 minutes, or carrying out some simple leg stretches to boost your endorphins and keep you focused.
Ask for an aisle seat
Flying long haul can take its toll on RLS sufferers. Asking for an aisle seat means you will have more space to stretch your legs out without disturbing your fellow passengers.
Soak in the tub
Fill the bath with warm water and try to focus on relaxing the body as much as possible before you go to bed.
Naps during the day can cause difficulties getting to sleep later, so avoid taking one unless it is absolutely necessary.
Drink chamomile tea
Steer clear of any stimulating drinks in the evening and stick to chamomile tea, which has relaxing benefits for the mind and body.
Meditate on it
Meditation has been proven to help the mind and body in many ways and may help to alleviate the symptoms of RLS. Using a smart pillow such as Zeeq means you can wirelessly play your meditations through the pillow, helping you drift off to sleep.
Investing in a sleep tracker or sleep monitor will give you a greater insight into how your daily practices affect your sleeping patterns, and whether the steps you are taking to alleviate RLS are actually working. They monitor your movement during the night to give you a better look at your sleeping habits.
If you would like to find out more about how REM-Fit sleep monitoring technology can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget, you can stay updated by liking our Facebook page.