Have you suffered from persistent sensations in the legs, which make you awake despite the fact that the rest of the body readily falls deep into sleep? That is when you can have RLS, or known Willis-Ekbom Disease, which is a neurological disorder. It is found that this disease affects about 10% of the American population of any sex and any age; however, more often in women and in adults at middle-aged and older, according to National Institutes of Health. Some major symptoms of RLS are pulling, creeping, itching, throbbing, cramping or painful sensation in your legs, especially in your calves, fizzy water feeling inside your blood vessels in your legs, and uncontrollable urge to move the legs and even lower back pain. The symptoms can be more prominent when you are at rest or relaxing at night. Despite the exactly unknown cause, this disorder may be triggered by smoking, obesity, iron deficiency and anemia, kidney failure, diabetes, nerve disease, high blood pressure, pregnancy, or heart disease. In this article, we will describe 7 natural home remedies for restless leg syndrome in adults to bring a sound sleep back at night.
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Top 7 Natural Home Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome In Adults
1. Vitamin Intake
One of the main causes of RLS is a deficiency of some vitamins in your body, including vitamin B, iron, magnesium and folic acid. To know exactly what vitamins you are deficient, you may need to have a blood test. As a result, to cure your RLS, you can supply your body with those essential vitamins. You can take the dietary supplements but you should ask a doctor before taking any dietary supplement. Additionally, there are some certain foods containing those vitamins. One notice is that folic acid deficiency cannot be restored with foods; thus, folic acid supplements are very necessary and could not be a substitute to your dietary supplements but can be consumed side by side. Following are some suggested foods for you.
Foods with folic acid
- Dried beans
- Citrus fruit and juice
Food with magnesium
- Whole grains
- Dark leafy greens
- Dried fruit
Note: Excessive consumption of those foods can lead to diarrhea. Therefore, you should carefully ask your doctor for the suitable amount.
Food with iron
- Dried fruits like raisins and apricots
- Red meat
- Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach
- Those can help you overcome anemia as well.
- Vitamin B
Note: Those foods should be maintained under scrutiny, particular for adults since excessive consumption can lead to the rise of cholesterol level. Moreover, if you are during pregnancy, you should ask your doctor before you take those supplements.
2. Stretching Exercises
Stretching helps to increase blood flow to the legs, removing the lactic acid and can lengthen the muscles to avoid cramp. It is known that stretches can help you ease the restless legs syndrome and then aid in sleeping better. Following are some stretching exercises introduced by Help Guide:
Exercise 1: Calf stretch
- Stretch out the arms so that the palms are flat against the wall and simultaneously the elbows are almost straight.
- Slightly bend the right knee and step the left leg back from 1-2 feet, positioning foot and its heel flat on the floor.
- Hold in 20-30 seconds.
- While keeping foot and its heel flat on the floor, you bend the left knee. For the deeper stretch, you can move the foot back further.
- You switch your legs and repeat the exercise.
- Do it regularly at home to help you treat your RLS.
Exercise 2: Front thigh stretch
- Stand parallel to a wall to keep balance.
- Grab and pull one of the ankles towards the buttock while you keep the other leg straight.
- You hold that position for 20-30 seconds.
- You switch your legs and repeat the exercise.
- Do the exercise daily to ease your restless legs.
Exercise 3: Hip stretch
- Take a chair and place its back against a wall for support.
- Stand to face that chair.
- Raise the left foot up and then, with the knee bent, you rest the left foot flat on the chair. Or else, you can try placing the foot on the stair while you hold the railing for balance.
- Keep the spine neutral as you can and press the pelvis forward gently till you can feel that a stretch occurs at the top of the right thigh. Remember the pelvis would move forward just a little.
- You hold the position for 20-30 seconds.
- You switch your legs and repeat the exercise.
- Do the exercise on a regular basis to cure your condition effectively at home.
3. Muscle Relaxation
Besides stretching exercises, you can do muscle relaxation, which is another effective remedy for your RLS at home. The following steps are as follow:
- Take a deep breath.
- Tense the muscles in the feet.
- Hold this tension for several seconds.
- Tense the muscles in the calf.
- You hold this tension for some seconds and relax.
- Tense the thigh muscles.
- Hold this tension for some seconds and relax.
- Keep doing with this pattern of the tension and relaxation. You should gradually move to the upper parts of your body including neck and face muscles.
After you finish the entire process, you will feel relaxed and comforted.
Yoga is an excellent remedy for the problem of restless leg syndrome because yoga involves a mixture of practices pertaining to meditation, breathing control and adapting your body to different bodily postures. Moreover, a research in the journal named Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine indicates that regular yoga practice can aid in easing restless legs syndrome and then sleep deeper, feel less stressed and lower your blood pressure. Following are some yoga poses that can help your restless legs.
Pose 1: Vipariti Karani: Your Legs Up the Wall
Solanki says that Vipariti Karani is the great posture for an evening and particularly when you either stand or sit all day.
- You can simply lie on the back with the legs extended up against a wall at the 90-degree angle.
- Stay in the position for 15-20 minutes to ease your RLS.
Note: Avoid practicing this pose if you diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure or you have your period or you are pregnant.
Pose 2: Uttanasana: Standing Forward Fold
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
- Bend forward at your hips while you keep your knees soft and lengthen when you fold forward. Solanki says that the idea of the pose is that you stretch the back of your legs while you let the spine traction with the gravity.
- You hold the stretch for 5-10 breaths. You should stop holding the pose as you feel uncomfortable.
- You should practice this pose whenever you want, either day or night
- Be cautious if you have some problems with the blood pressure
Pose 3: Paschimottonasana: Seated Forward Fold
- Sit down and let the feet extend straight in front of you
- Lengthen the spine and you fold forward from your hips.
- Grasp the feet with the hands or you wrap a belt around the feet and hold. Solanki says that you can bend and support your knees with blankets when needed to allow your spine to be lengthened
- If it feels tight, you should concentrate on stretching up more than forward, and you should try to engage the feet and legs so that you can stabilize your lower body
- Remember to breathe calmly and deeply
- You hold the position for 5-10 breaths.
- Do the exercise regularly
5. Cold And Hot Foot Soak
As you suffer from restless legs syndrome, cold and hot foot soak can be a wonderful choice for you since the cold can lessen the inflammation while the heat enables to promote the blood circulation. Moreover, on utilizing the foot soak, you can ease the pain and irritation and lessen the cramping triggered by RLS. The detailed steps are as follows.
- 1 bucket of hot water
- 1 bucket of cold water
- Place your feet into the bucket of hot water in 3 minutes.
- Put your feet into the bucket of cold water in 20-60 seconds.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times.
- Do the treatment twice daily.
6. Lavender Oil
It is known that lavender oil can be utilized as a relaxant. Besides, it can aid in lessening the symptoms triggered by RLS. Plus, the aromatic scent found in the oil contains a calming effect that would aid you in sleeping better during the night.
- Some drop of lavender oil
- 1 tub of warm water
- Dissolve the lavender oil into the warm water.
- Soak your body in the tub.
- Let it be in 10 minutes before sleeping at night.
- Do the treatment once daily at night.
- Some lavender oil
- Rub that warm oil over your affected legs.
- Before sleeping, you gently massage the legs in the circular motions in some minutes.
- Remember to massage the legs from your ankles to the upward.
- Repeat the treatment once times daily before sleeping at night.
7. Parsley Tea
Parsley is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium, vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, anti-oxidants, anesthetic and antiseptic. Therefore, this tea aids in raising the assimilation of iron found in your body and increasing the absorption. The detailed steps to make parsley tea are as follows.
- Some parsley leaves
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 tsp of honey (optional)
- 1 tsp of lemon juice (optional)
- Pour the boiling water over the parsley leaves.
- Let it steep for several minutes.
- Strain the tea.
- Mix the tea with the honey and lemon juice if desired.
- Sip on the tea.
- Do the treatment 2-3 times daily.
Note: You should not eat foods that include much calcium during the time you take parsley tea as it can lead to the worse condition. Therefore, you should ask your doctor before consuming the tea.
In short, RLS can bring irritation and pain to the patients and may become more severe if left untreated in such a long time. Be aware that this article is only informational, not for medical or educational purposes. Thus, you should consult the doctor for advice before trying any above-mentioned treatment. To get more information pertaining to natural remedies for other health problems, feel free to go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome Medically reviewed by William Morrison, MD [URL link]
- Restless Legs Syndrome: Alternative Treatments Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD [URL link]