Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome

Pins and needles, itchy, creepy-crawly… these are all phrases used to explain the signs of stressed legs syndrome.

It will be arduous to place this situation into phrases, however for those that have skilled it, the signs are unmistakable. Magnesium is one natural remedy that may assist, however there’s a lot extra to addressing this situation.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (additionally known as RLS or Willis-Ekbom illness) causes disagreeable sensations within the legs. Professional opinions range, however it’s thought to have an effect on about 7-10% of the inhabitants.

RLS is a neurological sensory dysfunction and because it normally interferes with sleep, it’s additionally categorized as a sleep problem.

As the identify suggests, RLS is mostly skilled within the legs, however may also happen within the arms or different physique components. The signs can vary from mildly annoying to extreme.

RLS sensations are sometimes described as:

  • burning
  • tingling
  • itching
  • being poked with pins
  • throbbing
  • electrical sensations
  • creepy-crawlies
  • aching

This not-fun checklist of signs is mainly the physique’s means of urging the legs to maneuver and shake off the sensation (therefore the identify stressed).

Restless Leg Syndrome at Night

Restless leg syndrome is the worst when at relaxation and it’s extra widespread within the evenings. It can forestall sleep or disturb it, which might result in a whole host of issues.

More than 80% of these with RLS additionally periodically twitch and kick their limbs all through the night time, about each 15 to 40 seconds. This RLS-related situation is known as periodic limb motion.

All that sleep loss typically results in daytime insomnia, even leading to despair. When left untreated, it can lead to a few 20% lower in productiveness.

How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Diagnosed?

There isn’t a specific check for RLS. It is often recognized by the signs, nonetheless different exams could also be wanted to rule out associated situations that contribute to it.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

It relies on the person, however there are a selection of situations and components in RLS.

In basic, extra girls than males develop the situation, as do adults 40 years and older. Pregnancy will increase the danger, in addition to sure illnesses, meals sensitivities, and nutrient deficiencies.

Even more unusual, left-handed individuals are extra more likely to develop RLS than right-handed individuals. This is considered attributable to variations in mind construction between the 2 teams that have an effect on the nervous system.

Other causes could also be:

Diseases Affecting the Brain

Certain illnesses like anemia, Parkinson’s illness, kidney failure, and diabetes may also embody stressed legs syndrome as a symptom. Damage to the basal ganglia, the a part of the mind that causes muscle actions, has been linked with RLS. The disrupted neural pathways then trigger involuntary actions.


Medications that alter mind operate, like antidepressants and antipsychotics may cause RLS (though some medical doctors use them to deal with it). Even the extra widespread chilly and allergy drugs can contribute to the signs. If you’ve gotten bothersome leg sensations and are on treatment, it’s at all times a good suggestion to ask your physician a few potential connection.

Food Triggers

Poor eating regimen may also set off RLS. Sugar depletes magnesium within the physique, which in flip may cause RLS signs. Stimulants like caffeine and alcohol additionally are inclined to make the issue worse.

Food allergy symptoms or sensitivities to substances like gluten and monosodium glutamate (MSG) may also set off RLS signs.


About 50% of these with RLS even have a member of the family with the situation, so genetics are considered at play right here. In a paper printed by the Nephrology and Urology Research Center in Iran, researchers discovered that Asians are much less more likely to have RLS, as are these in Iran in comparison with the US.

African Americans are additionally 20% much less seemingly than caucasians to expertise RLS signs. Genetics and racial variations thus appear to play a job in RLS.


Many mamas expertise RLS for the primary time throughout being pregnant, however the signs disappear after delivery. This is considered attributable to fluctuating hormones and low ranges of sure nutritional vitamins as a result of child’s improvement utilizing up nutrient shops.

Autoimmune Disease

A 2012 paper from Sleep Medicine Reviews discovered that out of 38 situations related to RLS, 95% of them have been autoimmune and/or inflammatory illnesses. Researchers hypothesized that an immune response to micro organism within the intestines or different antigens may trigger RLS by attacking the central or peripheral nervous methods.

Those who had rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune situation) had considerably larger ranges or RLS than these with out arthritis. Even those that had osteoarthritis, which is related to ageing, had considerably decrease ranges of RLS than these with rheumatoid arthritis.

Gut Dysfunction

A 2011 examine printed in Sleep Medicine discovered a powerful hyperlink between intestine dysfunction and RLS. Sixty-nine p.c of the RLS sufferers had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), in comparison with solely twenty-eight p.c and ten p.c within the non-RLS management teams. Twenty-eight p.c of these within the RLS group had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), whereas solely 4 p.c within the management group had IBS.

If intestine dysfunction is present, addressing bacterial overgrowth/imbalances and doing an autoimmune eating regimen, like GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is useful. By fixing the intestine, stressed leg syndrome signs can enhance or disappear.

Low Cortisol

Adrenal issues, like adrenal fatigue, may cause low cortisol ranges within the physique and even contribute to RLS. A 2008 examine within the journal Neurology concluded that there was a hyperlink between stressed legs syndrome and low cortisol ranges. 50% of these within the examine discovered symptom aid with the applying of an anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone cream. Cold water remedy, or cryotherapy, additionally reduces irritation.

How Do You Get Rid of Restless Leg Syndrome?

There are many alternative causes of stressed legs syndrome. Like any situation, it helps to deal with the basis trigger to result in extra than simply symptom aid. Supporting the nervous system, eating the suitable meals, and taking sure dietary supplements to right deficiencies will all assist handle the basis reason behind RLS.

Prescription drugs (normally anti-seizure drugs) used to deal with RLS achieve this by altering the mind’s chemistry and response to the nerve alerts. The uncomfortable side effects of those medicine will be very harmful. Common signs can vary from every little thing from mind harm, to hallucinations, to twitching (what we’re attempting to cease within the first place).

Even if these drugs do assist at first, the medical group means that the effectiveness diminishes over time.

Natural Remedies to Stop RLS

Even many typical medical doctors will advocate way of life adjustments and pure strategies earlier than resorting to pharmaceuticals (which normally aren’t that efficient for RLS). It might take a mixture of issues, however attending to the basis trigger is one of the best ways to deal with RLS.

Vitamins that assist alleviate stressed leg syndrome signs embody:


Magnesium could also be probably the most in style pure dietary supplements for stressed leg syndrome, and it isn’t arduous to see why. Unfortunately magnesium deficiency is widespread in our trendy society as a result of soil depletion. Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, sure drugs, and even stress can deplete our physique’s magnesium shops.

Researchers have discovered that sure muscle tissue within the leg operate in a different way in these with RLS, particularly the again left of the calf muscle, and the muscle to the suitable of the shin bone. Proper magnesium ranges assist these easy muscle fibers calm down and are important to a wholesome nervous system. Too a lot iron can deplete magnesium although, so it’s necessary to not overload on this complement.


Selenium helps dopamine operate within the physique, which is considered immediately linked with stressed legs syndrome. In an Iranian medical trial, supplementation with 50 and 200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium considerably improved RLS signs. Both teams had good outcomes, so researchers concluded 50 mcg dose can be less expensive. Just one Brazil nut comprises a full day’s value of selenium, or about 77 micrograms.


Iron can also be needed for dopamine operate within the physique. Those with stressed legs syndrome have been discovered to have too low of iron ranges within the mind.

About 30% of these with RLS can use iron dietary supplements to reverse their signs. In a 2009 examine printed in Sleep Medicine, iron-deficient topics noticed a major enchancment in RLS signs after twelve weeks of iron supplementation. I wish to get my iron from food each time potential, however that is a good iron supplement to make use of when wanted.

There are a number of precautions although.

Too a lot iron can deplete magnesium, one other nutrient linked with stressed legs syndrome. In addition, an excessive amount of iron might contribute to a rise in sure pathogenic micro organism in people with digestive points. If you might be eating iron-rich meals however your iron ranges nonetheless check low, test with a pure health practitioner for steerage.

Vitamin D

Known because the completely happy vitamin, vitamin D is necessary for protecting the blues at bay. This very important nutrient additionally performs a component in stressed legs syndrome.

Chris Kresser explains:

Some proof signifies that vitamin D may play an necessary function by rising ranges of dopamine and its metabolites within the mind, in addition to defending dopamine-associated neurons from toxins. RLS has been related to vitamin D deficiency in a number of research, and illness severity has been inversely correlated with vitamin D ranges.

One examine discovered that RLS is extra frequent and extra extreme in these with vitamin D deficiency. This additionally signifies deficiency in vitamin D has a detrimental impact on sleep. (I cowl why vitamin D is so important and best ways to get it here.)

Other Natural Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome

  • Lavender important oil – A 2015 examine printed within the journal Nursing and Midwifery Studies discovered therapeutic massage with lavender important oil considerably improved signs. RLS victims acquired a 10 minute therapeutic massage with lavender essential oil diluted to 1.5% twice weekly. Lavender additionally improves sleep high quality and insomnia, which are sometimes related to RLS.
  • Reflexology – Reflexology is when strain is utilized to particular strain factors, normally on the underside of the foot. This strain positively impacts the nervous system. Researches in contrast a gaggle of RLS sufferers receiving reflexology to these doing stretches and located each teams noticed a decline in signs.
  • Moderate cardio trainExercising releases endorphins, together with dopamine which helps with muscle management.
  • Detox bathsA warm bath with Epsom salts (which is magnesium sulfate) relaxes muscle tissue and soothes RLS signs.
  • Stress discount – Practice leisure strategies like meditation and these other stress-reducing tips.
  • Massaging the legs – Get skilled therapeutic massage, or strive these at-home massage choices like my favorite massager or foam rollers on the legs. In one examine, one third of members not had RLS after therapeutic massage, whereas the others noticed vital enchancment.
  • Cold water remedy – May not sound enjoyable, however neither are creepy-crawly legs! Try these techniques at house to lower ache and inflammation-causing cytokines, enhance circulation, and scale back sore muscle tissue and spasms.
  • Kick the caffeine behavior – Avoid stimulants like alcohol and caffeine, which might worsen signs. These coffee alternatives can ease any withdrawal.

Restless Legs Relief During Pregnancy

In one examine, pregnant girls with low folate ranges skilled a rise in despair and stressed legs syndrome. Folate is present in meals like liver, however throughout being pregnant I additionally take a folate supplement (not folic acid!) to make certain my ranges are excessive sufficient.

Iron and magnesium deficiency are different widespread issues in being pregnant that will contribute to stressed leg, so take into account some quality prenatal supplements when you have these signs.

Goodbye Restless Legs!

I haven’t skilled this drawback myself, however it’s good to know there are such a lot of choices for assuaging stressed legs signs naturally. If you endure from stressed legs, hopefully with the following tips you may kiss stressed legs goodbye and sleep simple!

Have you had stressed legs syndrome earlier than? What is/was your expertise and the way did you discover aid? Leave us a remark under!


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