"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

When the feet don’t feel sleepy

Leg cramps at night can disrupt your sleep, but you possibly can take steps to alleviate them.

Is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) the Cause of Your Restless Sleep? This distressing condition creates unusual sensations within the legs and an irresistible urge to maneuver them. It can wreak havoc with sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue.

What is RLS?

Up to 10 percent of adults may experience a point of restless legs syndrome. About 3% of all adults have really bothersome RLS, with moderate to severe symptoms occurring at the least twice every week.

RLS is greater than only a rebellious variety of muscle ache or pain. These sensations seem to return from deep within the legs, often described as a tingling, aching, pulling, itching, or aching sensation, or “creepy crawlies.” This creates an irresistible urge to maneuver the legs. Symptoms often begin or worsen at night.

RLS and sleep

Leg cramps on account of RLS make it difficult to go to sleep or return to sleep after waking up with leg cramps. “People are kind of up and down and up and down at night,” says Dr. Winkleman.

Sleeping partners can even suffer, as most individuals with RLS also experience involuntary muscle movements called periodic leg movements of sleep (PLMS). They often occur within the foot, ankle, or knee every 15 to 30 seconds, lasting about two seconds (and sometimes longer). People without RLS can even experience PLMS. Unfortunately, there isn't a specific treatment.

Diagnosis of RLS

There isn't any easy test for RLS, but with a couple of questions your doctor could make a diagnosis. Your doctor will do a blood test to see how much iron is stored in your body. Taking a each day iron complement sometimes relieves RLS symptoms.

Your doctor will review the medications you are taking, as some could cause or worsen restless legs. These include certain sorts of antihistamines, antidepressants, and anti-nausea medications.


Gentle leg stretches before bed will help relieve symptoms of restless legs syndrome in addition to prevent nighttime soreness from muscle injury or overuse.

Treatment of RLS

There are actually five FDA-approved medications for individuals with severe and chronic RLS symptoms. On the opposite hand, in case your symptoms are infrequent or only moderately bothersome, you possibly can get by with these self-help strategies:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, especially inside hours of bedtime.

  • Before bed, massage your leg muscles, do gentle stretches, take a warm bath or apply a heating pad.

  • Get some each day exercise, which will help reduce RLS symptoms. It's not clear what variety of exercise is best, or when to do it—morning, afternoon, or evening. Just do what works for you.

  • Schedule activities that require prolonged sitting or leaning — comparable to automotive and plane travel and medical appointments — for the morning somewhat than the afternoon.

Relief from leg pain at night

Nighttime leg cramps, although not brought on by RLS, can even disrupt sleep, and so they change into more common with age. Here are some easy things you possibly can do to stop pain:

  • During the day, drink loads of fluids. Drink just a little extra when working or playing in hot weather, or in the event you take medications that cause you to lose extra water, comparable to diuretics (“water pills”), which many men take for hypertension. take

  • Before bed, gently stretch your legs or pedal a stationary bike slowly for a couple of minutes, or take a brief walk.

  • During the day, make time to walk and stretch regularly between periods of sitting or resting.

  • Make sure you wear supportive shoes with strong arch support and laces or other secure fasteners. Flat floppy slippers provide minimal support to your feet.

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