The symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) can range from mild bothering to extremely disturbing. Many life habits are known to trigger or aggravate the condition.
It is important for RLS individuals to develop some coping strategies, in order to ease the uncomfortable sensations and promote sleep. For mild to moderate RLS, lifestyle changes or self-help remedies alone can often bring enough relief.
Mild to moderate exercise help relieve RLS symptoms
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pays special attention to daily activities, a regular and harmonious lifestyle helps keeping in optimal functional state of the body. Beginning in childhood, the Chinese are taught that negligence of one's body causes illness, while living sensibly and taking good care of both body and mind are essential for well-being. Some of the self-help and home management tips for RLS individuals are:
Keep a consistent sleep schedule and try to set a routine for yourself, e.g. going to bed and waking up at the same time every day; keeping a cool, dark and quiet sleeping environment, and getting enough sleep to make you feeling refreshed next day. It is advised to do some relaxing routines before sleep, such as meditation, stretching, or soaking feet. TCM also advises to adjust sleep habits in correspond with the pattern of nature, diet or specific health needs. Click to see Chinese sleep promotion methods.
A diary: write down details such as sleep, diet, life habits, special events, occurrence and relieving of RLS symptoms. The information can help you to identify and monitor the progression of RLS condition, and be ready to discuss with your doctor.
Regular and moderate exercise relieves tension and stress of the body, and has proved to be an important factor for RLS symptom relief. However, vigorous exercise or working out too late in the day will lead to fatigue, which can worsen the symptoms of RLS. Some traditional Chinese exercises such as tai chi and five-animal play are suitable for most of the individuals.
3. Relaxation and stress management
Techniques such as meditation, stretching and yoga can relax the body and clam down the mind. Since stress and sleep difficulty are common among RLS individuals, learning to relax before bedtime is necessary. Click to see Chinese qi-going
4. Weight control
Metabolic disorders like diabetes and overweight are contributing factors to RLS development, weight management is definitely helpful. Click to see TCM methods for obesity.
5. Keep an engaged mind
If you are going to sit for a long period of time, such as flight or driving, try to focus your attention on a book, conversation or game. An engaged mental state helps reduce RLS symptoms during the situation.
6. Dietary suggestions
7. Herbal supplements
8. Herbal bathing and washing
9. Apply herbal compresses