Anyone who has ever suffered from it knows how annoying it is:restless leg syndrome (RLS). Fortunately, you can do something about that uncontrollable need to move.
The exact cause of restless legs is unknown. That makes treatment difficult. However, there is a trick that can help. Often people with RLS complaints need to compensate for the unpleasant feeling. By compensating, you expose your legs to another intense feeling. For example, cold or heat.
Apply cold compresses , such as this , next to your bed and place it on your legs, take a hot and cold shower alternately, walk barefoot on a cold floor or – be crazy – lie on it.
There is a good chance that you will get out of bed as soon as you start to suffer from restless legs. You seem to have to move and so you spring into action. But also do this when you have no complaints (yet).
Do not only exercise if you suffer from RLS, but also exercise enough during the day. For example, take a long walk a few times a week, take your bike to work or go for a walk running .
Numerous studies show that a large proportion of RLS patients have a deficiency of iron has. For example, a Swedish study of 946 people who regularly donate blood (and therefore have a lower iron level that 15 percent of men and 25 percent of women suffered from restless legs. You can use an iron elixir taking or taking supplements. In that case, be well informed, because extra iron works constipation. What you can also do is extra vitamin C take with your food. As a result, iron is better absorbed.
Make sure you get enough iron (the RDA for women is 15 mg). So regularly eat iron-rich foods such as nuts and green vegetables, or take iron supplements. There is no quantity attached to it. It differs per person and the degree of complaints how much you have to take.
Restless legs can of course lead to sleepless nights. And sleep deprivation itself can also make the complaints worse. Good sleeping conditions are therefore important if you suffer from restless legs.
Go to bed at set times and set your alarm clock at the same time every day. Yes, including on weekends. Your body produces different hormones at night than during the day. Your sensitivity to hormones and other substances also varies throughout the day. If you always go to bed at different times, your biological clock will be disrupted. This affects your hormone and substance release, which makes the complaints worse. In addition, make sure that your bedroom is well dark and make it sound-free. This is how you make it clear to your body that it is time to go to sleep. Maybe a crazy tip, but replace your pillow every few years † Then you really sleep better.
Text:Caroline Walenkamp , Image:Getty Images