RLS is a life-long disorder and at present there is no cure for it. But certain measures can help you prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms.
- A regular sleep schedule. RLS is also considered a sleep disorder, as it disturbs sleep and sleep disorders can often be controlled or prevented by developing healthy sleep habits. The symptoms of RLS worsen with fatigue so getting enough sleep is crucial. Follow a healthy sleep pattern such as sleeping at the same time daily, trying to go to bed early and sleeping for at least 7-8 hours at night. Wind down (take a warm bath or read) before sleeping to relax yourself.
- Avoid daytime naps: Do not sleep in the day time as it can deter night time sleep.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise in moderation can significantly reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), but avoid over-exertion as it can worsen RLS. Avoid strenuous exercises such as training for a marathon as it can make restless legs syndrome worse.
- Cut back on caffeine: Avoid or reduce the intake of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and other caffeine-containing foods such as chocolate for several hours before bedtime as they can worsen symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS).
- Quit smoking and alcohol: Symptoms of RLS improve in many people when they stop drinking and smoking.
- Vitamin supplements: Consult your doctor for iron and vitamin supplements (vitamin B, folic acid) and mineral supplement. Deficiencies of iron, other minerals and vitamins can cause symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS).
- Yoga and meditation: Daily stretching, meditation and yoga can help you relax and improve restless legs syndrome symptoms.
- Medications: Take medications (prescription and non-prescription) after consulting your doctor. Certain medications can worsen symptoms of RLS.
If self-help measures don’t improve your restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms, consult a doctor. There is no cure for restless leg syndrome (RLS) but the symptoms can improve with treatment.