How can I get a good night's sleep despite restless legs syndrome?

If you suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS), there are steps you can take to sleep more soundly, including the following:
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Keep a sleep diary so you can identify and monitor sleep disruptions.
  • Walk or stretch when your legs feel uncomfortable.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or biofeedback.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Use a heating pad or ice pack on your limbs.
  • Keep your mind engaged by reading, working on a crossword puzzle, or having a conversation while you are at rest.
  • Massage limbs when symptoms occur.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for leg pain.
  • Do low to moderate levels of exercise (very vigorous exercise tends to worsen RLS).

Some people also find short-term use of over-the-counter sleep aids helpful in easing sleep problems associated with RLS. However, since you could become dependent on these drugs and they have a potential for causing side effects, consider them a temporary measure only.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.