What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

You can feel fatigued during the day due to poor sleep at night

Have you ever woken up tired or been fatigued during the day due to poor sleep? Your sleep may have been interrupted by restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome can cause issues in sleep which can lead to less restful sleep or restless sleep.

 

What Exactly is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a common disorder where you have an irresistible urge to move your legs. This syndrome can cause sleeping problems. Sleeping issues can arise from this syndrome since the urge to move your legs can get more intense when you lie down at night. Restless leg syndrome can cause a number of other symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

 

Why are these things caused by just restless legs? These symptoms can be traced back to restless legs since they can interrupt sleep, as stated earlier. When you lie down, your legs have the desire to move and this may happen when you are sleeping. This can cause you to slightly wake up which can end up impacting your sleep cycle.

 

Restless leg syndrome can also cause tingling or burning in the legs and sometimes Charley horses. Charley horses can commonly be relieved by massaging the area or stretching.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

Alcohol is bad for sleep

There are many causes that have been linked to restless leg syndrome, but the two most common are anemia and peripheral neuropathy. It has been observed that lower iron levels in the blood can cause restless leg syndrome which can lead to other problems with sleep and sleep associated activities. Peripheral neuropathy is a fancy word for damage to the nerves of the arms and legs generally caused by diabetes and has also been observed to be associated with restless leg syndrome.

 

Many other causes have been linked to restless leg syndrome. These causes can include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Kidney disease
  • Medications/Substances
    • Caffeine
    • Antidepressants
    • Antipsychotics
    • Alcohol

Restless leg syndrome has also been observed to run in families and may be genetic. Lifestyle changes may not help reduce restless leg syndrome if it is genetic.

 

How Can I Treat Restless Leg Syndrome?

There are a number of ways you can treat or reduce restless leg syndrome. These treatments vary from medications to lifestyle changes and are:

  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Reducing smoking
  • Exercise
  • Specific massages
  • Nerve pain Meds
  • Dietary Supplements

 

It can be difficult to make lifestyle changes, but changing the ones specified can have many health benefits, not solely restless leg syndrome. Dietary supplements can help restless leg syndrome by providing a suitable amount of iron in your diet to help treat anemia. Relaxation techniques can also help with restless leg syndrome which can also reduce some stress. Some relaxation techniques include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.

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