Restless Leg Syndrome
Have You Ever Had The Sensation That Your Legs Are Unable To Relax When Trying To Go To Bed At Night?
Has it kept you awake or even made you pace the floors trying to get them to stop tingling?
If yes, you may have experienced Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS.
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless Leg Syndrome is a constant unpleasant sensation in the legs when you try to sleep, such as a creepy-crawling feeling, heaviness, tingling, or burning. This results in insomnia and daytime sleepiness.
Who Can Get RLS?
This is no joking matter for many people. Some research shows that RLS may affect 3 – 15% of the general population. It is more common in women than in men, and its frequency increases with age. The disorder affects an estimated 10 – 28% of adults older than age 65. In about 40% of patients, RLS begins in adolescence. An international study showed that 2% of children ages 8-17 have RLS symptoms. RLS may be more common than epilepsy and diabetes in children and teens.
Restless Leg Syndrome And Pregnancy
When I first experienced it, I was pregnant. I was awake for 3 days straight. It had me beside myself and stressed out trying to find ways to get them to relax. When I asked the doctor, his response was that he didn’t know what it was or what could be causing it and that I should just try and get some sleep. This was incredibly helpful advice!
It wasn’t till I found a name for this on-line that I knew what I was dealing with. We now know that about 20% of pregnant women report having RLS. The condition usually goes away about a month after delivery. RLS in this population has been strongly associated with deficiencies in iron and the B vitamin folate.
What Can Help With RLS?
Since then, I have experienced it a few times each year – especially when I get over-tired. What I found helpful: walking a bit, doing some deep breathing and sometimes my good old ‘Magic Bag’ (heated bag) does the trick.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resilience and Celebrating Restless Leg Syndrome Awareness Week:
- Find out if it is a reaction to a medication that you may be taking or if it is related to another medical condition that you may be experiencing – if yes, work with your doctor to find an alternative or lower dose medication that may not have the same side effect or explore the common relationships between the disorders that you may be experiencing
- Try to avoid getting over-tired or stressed out
- Try some massage, relaxation techniques and stretches to prepare your body for sleeping
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
- Exercise – but do so early in the day
- Iron seems to play a role in RLS – ensure that you are getting enough iron in your diet
- If nothing seems to work, there are a variety of medications that may be useful in reducing the symptoms and allow for a better sleep
Contact Beverly about hosting a mental health workshop for your teams on how to prevent burnout in the workplace and other mental health training. Discover tips to deal with stress and encourage positive stress management techniques!
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!