If you’re suffering from RLS you may soon find out that there is not much in the way of restless leg treatment traditionally, apart from heavy duty drugs that can have some pretty harmful side effects. The risk may not outweigh the benefit because the result with any of the medications that are currently prescribed for RLS varies from person to person. For some, these drugs do nothing at all.
Here we will discuss some natural restless leg treatments for mild to moderate cases. This is not to say that they would not be appropriate for moderate to severe cases but again, this is on a case-by-case basis. There is, however a very good reason to try the natural means namely being the lack of negative side effects. With natural medicine, the side effects are generally pleasant, such as a reduction of symptoms.
Please take note though. Just because an RLS remedy is natural does NOT mean it won’t interact with other drugs. Research is necessary and a consultation with your healthcare provider is necessary for your safety.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Restless leg syndrome is mainly thought to be caused by a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. The big one here is magnesium deficiency in the central nervous system.
Experts believe that 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium and it’s unfortunate because magnesium is one of the most important minerals the body needs in order to function properly. Over 300+ biochemical reactions that happen in the body require magnesium to happen.
The main reason it’s believed that so many people are deficient in magnesium can be pointed to the standard American diet. There are many foods that we regularly consume as Americans which cause the body to be depleted in this vital mineral. Dairy is a big culprit. The calcium (and salt) in dairy crowds out the magnesium in your muscles causing the muscles to go into a repetitive contraction cycle and causing all of the other various symptoms of RLS.
It’s also recommended to take a sufficient D complex with D3 and Omegas and at least 1000 IU of vitamin C daily.
Make sure your sleep environment is clean of any work related things, digital clocks or glowing computer screens. Be rid of anything that can further disrupt your sleep and get on a regular sleep schedule. Also, avoid sleeping in synthetic fabrics whether it be your bedding or your pajamas.
Synthetics tend to disrupt the delicate electromagnetic field of the body. Opt for natural cottons when possible. Same goes for electric blankets or anything electric near your bed.
If you need to be on the computer anywhere close to bedtime, it’s very good to keep a light on in the room, even if it’s just a small light. This will counter the effects of the blue spectrum light that every computer screen emits which can disrupt the melatonin production in your biology. Blue spectrum light tells your body that it’s still daylight and melatonin production halts.
The same goes for when you turn on a light in the middle of the night. It’s not extremely critical that you stumble around in the dark when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but it is one thing that you can keep in mind when you are looking to develop a better sleep pattern.
There is a free program for your computer that will shift it from emitting blue spectrum light during the day and automatically adjusts it to emitting a red spectrum in the evenings, so that this phenomenon doesn’t occur, and your melatonin production isn’t disrupted. It is called f.lux and can be downloaded here for free.
Massage as well as Alternate Hot and Cold Packs:
As with any condition, different people have different symptoms and many experience aches and pains in the muscles due to RLS. Studies have shown that in isolated control groups, those who uses alternate hot and cold packs on the muscles found relief.
It was also found that self-massage or one given by someone else of the affected areas along with a nice hot Epsom salt bath to relax the muscles prior to sleep also helped tremendously. Magnesium oil, when rubbed on the legs and feet before bed has been widely known to be a favorite restless leg treatment because of the simplicity and low cost of the remedy.
Moderate Walking, Yoga, Tia-Chi
These are all said to be tremendously helpful in relieving RLS. Just remember that you should not exercise late in the day or at night because you may get the opposite result. Only do gentle stretching to end your day and maybe one of the suggestions in the first list above.
Any herbs that can be made into a tea and replace caffeine, which is another nerve stimulant that will complicate the condition, is best. Chamomile flowers and mint as well as the ones in the tea bags marked “Sleepy Time Tea”. Black Cohosh and Valerian Root as well as Holy Basil. These are herbs that can be found at your local tea shop.
You can also ask for anything that soothes the nervous system.
Just remember again that even teas with natural herbs will interact with blood thinners, beta blockers and a myriad of other medications. At best it will neutralize the effect and at worse could be fatal. Consult an expert before you use any treatment.
There are many very natural, successful restless leg treatments out there. Your job is to find the one that will work for your body. Remember to balance diet, exercise and treatment as well as keeping your mind of stressful thoughts in order to address this issue. All systems in life are connected to each other and your biology is no exception. It’s always best to keep this in mind when you are on your journey to wellness.
Click here to learn how to properly recognize Willis-Ekbom Disease