Pro tips for dealing with restless leg syndrome (the weighted blanket is the newest addition)
According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 1 in 10 Americans suffer from restless leg syndrome. (1) If you are one of them, you are probably well aware of its symptoms. The overwhelming urge to move your legs, particularly at night, could simply make it impossible for you to get a proper, undisturbed sleep. Restless leg syndrome can affect both men and women, although women are more likely to suffer from it. The symptoms can begin at any age, even during childhood or teenager. Their intensity increases during the night and can make it difficult for you to fall asleep, which is why restless leg syndrome, is classified as a sleep disorder. (2)
Although there is no proper medication for treating this type of sleep disorder, the symptoms can be successfully managed by making some lifestyle changes. In this blog, we will brief you about the possible lifestyle changes that you need to make to get rid of the itchy, crawly feeling. Plus, we will also brief you about ‘weighted blankets’ the newest sleeping aids that can help you fall asleep easily.
Add more iron to your diet
Dr. John Winkelman, an RLS specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital has recently stated that brain iron deficiency is one of the first factors that could be behind restless leg syndrome. He has suggested that dietary iron and iron supplements could help minimize or avoid the discomfort that people experience at night. Although no specific research has been conducted so far, iron supplements have often been prescribed to people suffering from restless leg syndrome, which means iron definitely plays a vital role in treating this sleep disorder. (3)
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the key to living with restless leg syndrome is managing the symptoms and the best way to do this is to initiate a proper exercise plan. (4) Yoga, swimming, cardio, and stretching are the most effective ones but you can try any form of moderate exercise that you like, even dancing.
Buy a weighted blanket
A weighted blanket can help you get a sound sleep at night, provided your legs can handle the extra pressure. No specific research has been conducted so far to conclude the efficiency of a weighted blanket for controlling the restless leg syndrome but a lot of users have found them useful. These blankets carry some extra weight that make you feel more grounded. They offer a cozy feeling, which helps people calm down quickly and fall asleep easily. When you are suffering from restless leg syndrome, you often get an uncontrolled urge to move your legs. The heavy weight of the blanket can help you reduce your leg movements and feel relaxed. (5)
Weighted blankets are not lifestyle additions or luxurious additions. Rather, they are therapeutic tools that are being used by millions of people across the globe who are suffering from sleep problems, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental and emotional disorders. These blankets carry some extra weight in the form of filling. This extra weight helps you feel as if somebody is hugging you, cuddling you, or offering you a deep pressure massage. The deep pressure is infact a form of therapy used by physiotherapist and is frequently known as Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT). DPT is known to stimulate the nervous system and help secrete serotonin, the happy hormone, and melatonin, the sleep hormone. This is the reason why weighted blankets for insomnia are highly recommended for people who are suffering from restless leg syndrome. Most manufacturers of weighted blankets offer a money back guarantee on their products.
So, you can safely order one and see how it works for you. One such manufacturer of weighted blankets for insomnia is AG weighted blanket. These blankets are made of 100% pure, breathable cotton and carry glass beads filling that gives a smooth, evenly distributed weight to the blanket. The manufacturer of AG weighted blankets for anxiety is offering 3 year warranty on their product. Therefore, we strongly recommend them. You can easily get it from Amazon. Here is the link to it
Soak your feet in hot or cold water before going to bed
Sometimes a hot bath is all you need to relax your dancing legs. The heat will help relieve the pain. You may even buy a whirlpool tub. The water jets from the tub will massage your legs as well as relieve the discomfort. For some people, heat may not work. If you are one of them, you may try ice packs. A hot or cold compress done just before wrapping yourself in your insomnia weighted blanket is definitely going to work.
Reduce your caffeine or alcohol intake
According to the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are common triggers for this irritating disease. (6) So, you must avoid them as much as possible, especially during evening hours.
Seek medical help
Restless leg syndrome may be temporary or chronic. No matter what, the irresistible urge to move your legs make it extremely difficult for you to fall asleep. Lack of sleep can further affect your health in many ways. You could suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and may not be able to concentrate on your work. Although there is no specific medication for restless leg syndrome, some anti-epileptic drugs do help manage the symptoms. A neurologist will be able to evaluate your symptoms and suggest you appropriate medicines.
We hope the above-mentioned tips will help you keep those crawling and tingling feelings away. Do not forget to buy a weighted blanket. Trust us, you will definitely find it helpful. Weighted blankets for insomnia are in demand these days, as a lot of people have found them helpful for minimizing the transition time and doze off quickly. Good luck!
References and Citations:
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). National Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders/restless-legs-syndrome-rls.
- Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Restless-Legs-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Are you missing this simple treatment for restless legs? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/are-you-missing-this-simple-treatment-for-restless-legs.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Treatment. National Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/restless-leg-syndrome/restless-legs-syndrome-rls-treatment.
- Quitsnoring September 28th. Science Says Weighted Blankets Could Be the Solution to America's Sleep Problems. HealthMed. https://blogs.iu.edu/healthmed/2018/06/17/science-says-weighted-blankets-could-be-the-solution-to-americas-sleep-problems/. Published June 17, 2018.
- Triggers for Restless Legs Syndrome. Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation. https://www.rls.org/file/triggers-052016.pdf.