Restless Leg Syndrome
Electric Leg Syndrome / RLS
People who suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS) often don’t know they have a specific condition, what is causing it, or that many others suffer from it as well. But RLS is quite common and more information is coming to light about it every year. Now, just the phrase “restless leg syndrome” often causes a cry of recognition from sufferers when they hear it for the first time. If you suffer from RLS, you know these symptoms:
- Uncontrollable energy in the legs, especially when lying down
- Difficulty sleeping because of the electric energy in the legs
- Involuntary jerking or movements of the legs during sleep or when falling to sleep
- Inability to calm the legs or “turn off” the energy
- Feeling of pins and needles, pulling, or tingling in the legs
RLS may also affect the arms, although this is usually less intense than RLS in the legs.
What Causes RLS?
The exact cause of RLS is unknown, but many experts believe it may be related to an iron deficiency. Some research suggests that a buildup of lactic acid may also contribute to the symptoms. There may also be an emotional component.
Treatments for RLS
Don’t waste your time and pollute your body with remedies that merely tranquilize you to help you get to sleep. These do not cure the cause of RLS, but merely treat symptoms. Instead, try one or more of these treatments and reduce your dependency on sleep aids:
- Take iron supplements and eat foods high in iron and trace minerals, including blackstrap molasses, Spirulina, bee pollen, spinach, thyme, curry, cinnamon, and rose Try folic acid supplements if iron does not work.
- Take magnesium supplements. Research suggests that RLS may be caused by a magnesium deficiency.
- Walk or jog slowly in the late afternoon.
- Do long, stretching exercises or yoga postures before going to bed. If you wake up with RLS symptoms, repeat these stretching exercises until you are ready to sleep again.
- Deeply massage your legs before bed, or try using a vibrating massager.
- Drink at least 10 eightounce glasses of water every day.
- Take herbs to relax the nervous system: valerian root, Johns wort, skullcap, hops. You can also try bee pollen, ginseng, cayenne, and spearmint.
- Take Cordyceps mushroom extract to reduce lactic acid in the muscles.
- Refer to the Stress section for information on stress reduction.