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10 Tips to Ease Restless Legs Syndrome

In many cases, personal habits can make a sleeping disorder like restless legs syndrome worse. Sometimes they are the main cause of the problem.

Here are 10 steps you can take to lessen the symptoms of RLS and get you sleeping better: 

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What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

The specific causes of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are not known. Disease in the blood vessels of the legs or in the nerves in the legs that control leg movement and sensation was once thought to cause RLS, but both of these suggestions have been rejected. RLS may be related to abnormalities in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that help regulate muscle movements, or to abnormalities in the part of the central nervous system that controls automatic movements. Research is still being done in these...

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  • Avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for at least several hours before bedtime.
  • Take medications (prescription and nonprescription) only as directed by your doctor.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Stretch your legs at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Massage your legs regularly.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal close to bedtime.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Avoid daytime naps.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping or sex.
  • Try not to use bedtime as worry time.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 23, 2013

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