"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

When the feet don’t feel sleepy

Leg cramps at night can disrupt your sleep, but you possibly can take steps to alleviate them.

Is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) the Cause of Your Restless Sleep? This distressing condition creates unusual sensations within the legs and an irresistible urge to maneuver them. It can wreak havoc with sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue.

What is RLS?

Up to 10% of adults may experience a point of restless legs syndrome. About 3% of all adults have really bothersome RLS, with moderate to severe symptoms occurring at the very least twice every week.

RLS is greater than just muscle aches or pains. These sensations seem to come back from deep within the legs, often described as a tingling, aching, pulling, itching, or aching sensation, or “creepy crawlies.” This creates an irresistible urge to maneuver the legs. Symptoms normally start or worsen at night.

RLS and sleep

Leg cramps because of RLS make it difficult to go to sleep or return to sleep after waking up with leg cramps. “People are kind of up and down and up and down at night,” says Dr. Winkleman.

Sleeping partners may suffer, as most individuals with RLS also experience involuntary muscle movements called periodic leg movements of sleep (PLMS). They normally occur within the foot, ankle, or knee every 15 to 30 seconds, lasting about two seconds (and sometimes longer). People without RLS may experience PLMS. Unfortunately, there isn’t any specific treatment.

Diagnosis of RLS

There is not any easy test for RLS, but with a couple of questions your doctor could make a diagnosis. Your doctor will do a blood test to see how much iron is stored in your body. Taking a each day iron complement sometimes relieves RLS symptoms.

Your doctor will review the medications you’re taking, as some may cause or worsen restless legs. These include certain kinds of antihistamines, antidepressants, and anti-nausea medications.


Gentle leg stretches before bed can assist relieve symptoms of restless legs syndrome in addition to prevent nighttime soreness from muscle injury or overuse.

Treatment of RLS

There at the moment are five FDA-approved medications for individuals with severe and protracted RLS symptoms. On the opposite hand, in case your symptoms are infrequent or only moderately bothersome, you possibly can get by with these self-help strategies:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, especially inside hours of bedtime.

  • Before bed, massage your leg muscles, do gentle stretches, take a warm bath or apply a heating pad.

  • Get some each day exercise, which can assist reduce RLS symptoms. It's unclear what sort of exercise is best, or when to do it—morning, afternoon, or evening. Just do what works for you.

  • Schedule activities that require prolonged sitting or leaning — reminiscent of automotive and plane travel and medical appointments — for the morning somewhat than the afternoon.

Relief from leg pain at night

Nighttime leg cramps, although not brought on by RLS, may disrupt sleep, and so they grow to be more common with age. Here are some easy things you possibly can do to stop pain:

  • During the day, drink loads of fluids. Drink a bit of extra when working or playing in hot weather, or in the event you take medications that cause you to lose extra water, reminiscent of diuretics (“water pills”), which many men take for hypertension. take

  • Before bed, gently stretch your legs or pedal a stationary bike slowly for a couple of minutes, or take a brief walk.

  • During the day, make time to walk and stretch continuously between periods of sitting or resting.

  • Make sure you wear supportive shoes with strong arch support and laces or other secure fasteners. Flat floppy slippers provide minimal support to your feet.

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