How to ease Restless Leg Syndrome

How to ease Restless Leg Syndrome

There are many different suggestions to ease Restless Leg Syndrome, from stretching, basic lifestyle changes and some medication. There are also different products that you can purchase that would be beneficial to easing RLS.

Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid stimulants in the evening – such as caffeine, tobacco and alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly – but avoid exercising near bedtime
  • Good Sleep Routine – for example, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
  • Avoid medicines that trigger the symptoms or make them worse

Exercises and Stretches to ease Restless Leg Syndrome

Gentle exercise is known to help with Restless Leg Syndrome, the emphasis is on gentle. Don’t overdo it! It’s important to find a healthy balance and to not push your body. Experts recommend that 30-60 minutes of exercise per day is enough and to avoid exercise when your joints are aching as this could worsen your restless leg syndrome.

Add gentle exercises such as yoga or swimming to your daily routine. Simple stretching may help to ease your Restless Leg symptoms. Here are a few simple stretches to help you get started;

Calf Stretch

  • Stretch out your arms so that your palms are flat against a wall and your elbows are nearly straight.
  • Slightly bend your right knee and step your left leg back a foot or two, positioning its heel and foot flat on the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Next, bend your left knee while keeping your heel and foot flat on the floor. For a deeper stretch, move your foot back a bit farther.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Front Thigh Stretch

  • Standing parallel to a wall for balance, pull one of your ankles toward your rear while keeping the other leg straight.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Place the back of a chair against the wall for support and stand facing the chair.
  • Raise your left foot up and rest it flat on the chair, with your knee bent.
  • Keeping your spine as neutral as possible, press your pelvis forward gently until you feel a stretch at the top of your right thigh.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat.1

Products that can help

It is suggested that applying hot or cold pads to the legs can ease symptoms. Here at SlumberSlumber we have a range of heated blankets that can help provide heat therapy for restless legs, find out more here2

There is no exact cure for Restless Leg Syndrome, but finding ways and products to help to relieve symptoms is the perfect way to make a start. Trying out different products is helpful, everyone will respond to treatment differently so what may work for others mightn’t work for you. Find out more about support and help for dealing with your Restless Leg Syndrome here.

Night-time and sleep tips to ease Restless leg Syndrome

Night-time and sleep tips to ease Restless leg Syndrome

Night-time is that great time of the day when you know that bed time is drawing near after a long day. A time that should be filled with rest and renewing your energy. Living with Restless Leg Syndrome can massively affect your sleep, affecting your mood and energy the next day. By trying out different methods around bed time may help you on your journey back to a peaceful night’s sleep. In this article we will cover basic sleep tips to ease Restless Leg Syndrome.


Having regular, moderate exercise may help you sleep better. A gentle walk is a great way to relax before bed, but don’t undertake vigorous exercise within four hours of bedtime. Moderate work outs can relieve RLS symptoms but excessive exercise may cause them to worsen.

Your Bedroom

Your bedroom environment should be relaxing. Keeping your bedroom as cool as possible and using cotton sheets has been known to relieve RLS. Also, warming up to bedtime can also be a helpful factor, especially using an electric blanket as it may soothe away symptoms of restless legs.

You’ll sleep better, and feel better, if you maintain a regular sleep routine. Avoiding a day time nap.


Some people find sleeping with a pillow between your legs helpful, it may prevent nerves in your legs from compressing relieving some pressure. Some others benefit from a hot or cold bath before bed too to help them wind down into relaxation.

It is important to stay hydrated as it plays a key factor in many different conditions. RLS can be aggravated by dehydration from a lack of water intake. So as well as avoiding diuretics such as caffeine, you may also want to avoid night-time alcohol intake, and drink sparkling water, filtered water, or decaffeinated teas throughout the day.

Signs you may have Restless Leg Syndrome

Signs you may have Restless Leg Syndrome

Diagnosing Restless Leg Syndrome can be difficult. It is important to visit your GP for diagnosis and to discuss treatment options so that you can be treated effectively.

Signs of Restless Leg Syndrome

The signs of Restless Leg Syndrome can range from mildly annoying to severely disabling. You may experience the symptoms only once in a while or they may plague you every night. In severe cases of Restless Leg Syndrome you may experience symptoms in your arms as well as your legs. Restless Leg Syndrome causes a severe need to move the legs, usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable, unpleasant sensations in the legs.

Symptoms vary, ranging from “painful” to “burning” sensations inside patients legs or arms. Sometimes the need to move is present without the uncomfortable sensations and sometimes the arms or other body parts are involved in addition to the legs.

The need to move and unpleasant sensations are exclusively present or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying or sitting. These feelings can be partially or totally relieved by movement such as walking or stretching at least as long as the activity continues. The sypmtoms and unpleasant sensations are generally worse or exclusively occur in the evening or night.

Not only are the signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome different from person to person, but they can be tricky to describe. Common descriptions include: a “creepy-crawly” feeling, tingling, itching, prickling, burning, pulling, tugging, and aching. Some have said it feels as if bugs are crawling up their legs, a fizzy soda is bubbling through their veins, or they have a “deep bone itch.” Sometimes the symptoms are painful, but most often they are simply uncomfortable and disturbing1.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome and who is affected

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome and who is affected

It is truly hard to pinpoint the causes of Restless Leg Syndrome, which makes that just as frustrating as the actual condition. In the majority of cases, there’s no obvious cause.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

Some neurologists believe that the symptoms of restless legs syndrome may have something to do with how the body handles a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is involved in controlling muscle movement and may be responsible for the involuntary leg movements associated with restless legs syndrome.

Restless Leg Syndrome affects as many as 1 in 10 people in the UK at some point in their life. The condition is more common in women, and in middle age. Women are twice as likely to develop restless legs syndrome as men1.

In some cases, restless legs syndrome is caused by an underlying health condition, such as iron deficiency anaemia or kidney failure. This is known as secondary restless legs syndrome.

There’s also a link between restless legs syndrome and pregnancy. About 1 in 5 pregnant women will experience symptoms in the last three months of their pregnancy, although it’s not clear exactly why this is. In such cases, restless legs syndrome usually disappears after birth2.

In most cases, doctors do not know the cause of restless legs syndrome; however, they suspect that genes play a role. Nearly half of people with Restless Leg Syndrome also have a family member with the condition. This has led them to believe that the condition may run in families.

Other factors of Restless Leg Syndrome may include alcohol use and sleep deprivation, may trigger symptoms or make them worse. Improving sleep or eliminating alcohol use in these cases may relieve symptoms.

What is restless leg syndrome?

What is restless leg syndrome?

There are many different disruptions that may cause your well-earned sleep to be disrupted. There are also many factors that can affect the quality of your sleep. External factors can be a nightmare when they are out of your control, but how frustrating is it to be kept awake at night by an internal factor that you cannot control?

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a neurological disorder characterised by an irresistible urge to move to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations.​​ As it usually interferes with sleep, it is also considered a sleep disorder.

RLS can also create the bizarre and unsettling feeling that resembles a crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. This feeling is often found to be worse in the evening or during the night. Sometimes, the arms are affected too1.

One of the most frustrating things about RLS is that the most distinctive or unusual aspect of the condition is that lying down and trying to relax actually is what activates the symptoms. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Left untreated, the condition causes exhaustion and daytime fatigue.

Restless Leg Syndrome Facts

  • RLS affects as many as 1 in 10 people in the UK at some point in their life. The condition is more common in women, and in middle age.
  • Women are twice as likely to develop restless legs syndrome than men2.
  • Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep.
  • Periodic limb movements in sleep are repetitive movements, most typically in the lower limbs, that occur about every 20-40 seconds3.
  • The movements are when you have episodes of simple, repetitive muscle movements. You are unable to control them. They usually do not keep you from falling asleep. Instead, they severely disrupt your sleep during the night.


Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movements are often linked. It is important to visit your GP if you think you may be suffering from either condition.

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