Sleep Tips

Losing Sleep Because of Restless Legs?

If you suffer from restless legs you will understand how awful if can be.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

RLS is characterised by a deep ache and pain in the legs, and the uncontrollable need to move them.  The symptoms are usually experienced in the evening and night when you begin to rest and relax.

RLS is medically known as Willis-Ekbom Disease and it can be considered both a movement and a sleep disorder.  It is a movement disorder because it forces a person to move their limbs.  And it is a sleep disorder because it causes very poor sleep in the sufferer. Ultimately physicians consider it to be a neurological sensory disorder as the symptoms originate in the brain itself.

There is no cure for RLS and a person will always have it, but there are ways one can diminish the symptoms.

Treatment of RLS

Here are some of the ways you can minimise RLS:

  • Lifestyle Changes

These include avoiding or decreasing alcohol and tabacco. Moderate exercise can assist as well as massage and warm baths.  Ice or heat packs can provide relief. Maintaining a regular sleep pattern is important.

  • Iron supplements

Some sufferers of RLS are found to have low iron levels.  A supplement can assist and can be bought over the counter.  These can be hard on the stomach, causing either an upset stomach or constipation. It is therefore necessary to be sure one does indeed have low iron levels, and to try different brands to find the one that causes the least side effects.

  • Medication

A doctor can prescribe medication to minimise the symptoms of RLS, and will do so especially when the syndrome is affecting the patient’s sleep.  Good sleep is a cornerstone of long term health and well-being.  The preferred prescription is often anti-seizure drugs or a low dose of the medication used to treat Parkinsons Disease.

  • Opoids

Opoids can assist with the pain in some sufferers, but these should be reserved as a last resort due to the addictive nature of this medication.

For a full fact sheet about RLS you can read more here.

The importance of sleep

Many of the sufferers of RLS are dealing with a chronic shortage of sleep.  This means concentration is impaired, productivity is poor, and it can manifest in depression and anxiety.

Speak to your medical professional for assistance if your RLS is impacting your sleep.  Some members of our team at Bedworld suffer from RLS so we understand how debilitating this syndrome can be.

We have put together tips to help you get your best and you can read about them here.  At Bedworld we can help by making sure you have a comfortable bed and pillow.

If your partner suffers from RLS you will also be aware how their condition affects your own sleep.  One the ways you can minimise the impact on your own sleep is to buy a mattress with little to no transference of partner movement.  An example is a Cloud Nine bed.  We can help choose the bed that will be best for both you.

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