Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition wherein a sufferer has the near-irresistible urge to move their legs while laying down. It is a lifestyle encumbrance that is, in fact, often the product of other lifestyle factors. Here, we take a look at those factors, and suggest some natural products that can be effective in preventing or reducing RLS symptoms.
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Formally known as Willis-Ekbom disease, restless leg syndrome manifests itself when sensations occur in the legs while a person is lying down, compelling them to move their legs or to get up and walk. The sensation is one that urges movement and is usually described as a “crawling,” “pulling,” or “aching” feeling. This is clearly a disturbance to sound, continuous sleep.
Health and Lifestyle Factors and RLS
There is no singular known cause for RLS. Certain factors can precipitate it, including heredity (it can run in families) and pregnancy. It can also correspond to some conditions such as peripheral neuropathy and iron anemia.
RLS is often the reaction to certain stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Avoiding these substances could help rid restless leg syndrome in those who experience it after consuming such products. Conversely, getting some exercise during your day can reduce the chance of experiencing RLS.
Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome
The following products are natural and touted for their potential for reducing the symptoms and occurrence of restless leg syndrome. We recommend talking to your doctor before using any of these supplements for the first time.
Iron comes to the forefront when looking to address restless leg syndrome with a healthy, natural product. Iron deficiency has been proven to be linked to RLS. Iron helps in the production of dopamine, which can alleviate RLS symptoms. Taking iron can help reduce the severity and incidence of restless legs at night.
Magnesium is another nutrient that can be critical when addressing RLS. Magnesium helps relieve cramps, muscle throbbing, and soreness. It assists in the recovery of muscle. Magnesium is critical in supporting proper nervous system functioning. For some, supplementing with magnesium could make the difference in reducing restless legs at night.
Coconut oil, when applied thoroughly and consistently, might help reduce incidence of restless legs at night. It is recommended that a small amount of coconut oil be warmed and then applied to the legs and massaged into the skin, starting from the ankles going up. Do this 1 or 2 times per day.
Vitamin D can potentially reduce RLS symptoms. It is important to get sufficient vitamin D each day, and it should not be altogether difficult if you spend at least 15 minutes outside. However, a portion of people are still deficient. Supplementing with vitamin D might help reduce RLS symptoms.
Valerian root could help relieve RLS in a couple of ways. Valerian root has been shown in one study to reduce RLS symptoms at night. Valerian root also has qualities that can calm nerves and the nervous system, which can precipitate healthy sleep.