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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 (RLS) 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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    Restless Legs Syndrome and Sleep

    Restless legs syndrome (RLS) steals sleep. It's usually worst in the evening and overnight, which can mean little rest, and fatigue the next day. "Most people with RLS have fragmented sleep, with difficulty falling asleep and repetitive jerking motions that can wake them up," says neurologist Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center. The good news, she says, is that many people with RLS respond to simple treatments -- and that can mean better sleep...

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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 Richard Senelick, MD on February 07, 2015
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