- How Do You Get Rid of Restless Leg Syndrome? Center
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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless Leg Syndrome is an often uncontrollable urge to twitch and move your legs – especially when sitting or lying down. It isn’t curable and the cause is unclear, but it’s a neurological problem that researchers theorize may result from a lack of iron in the brain or a physiological in processing and using iron. It’s associated with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, kidney failure, Parkinson's disease, and iron deficiency. Tobacco, caffeine, and obesity tend to make restless leg syndrome worse.
What are home remedies for restless leg syndrome?
Other treatments that have been helpful for some people with restless leg syndrome include:
- Warm/cold baths
- Electric nerve stimulation
- Oral magnesium
- Natural treatments such as quinine water at bedtime (tonic water)
- Anxiety may trigger or increase RLS symptoms according to some researchers. Some people have experienced a decrease in anxiety by using over-the-counter (OTC) products and natural home remedies and naturopathic treatments for anxiety, for example, lavender soap fumes or acupuncture. These natural treatments may reduce symptoms of RLS.
Some of these natural remedies to reduce symptom of restless leg syndrome and may cause side effects. Discuss any problems or side effects you have after using home remedies or alternative treatments for restless leg syndrome with your doctor.
What is the treatment for restless leg syndrome?
Treatment of restless leg syndrome is first directed toward any underlying illness, if known. For example:
- Blood testing to reveal underlying iron deficiency anemia may reveal the underlying cause.
- If varicose veins are thought to be the cause, then surgery to repair the circulation may be considered.
- Reduction or elimination of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from a person's diet can be very helpful.
- Stopping smoking can significantly diminish or prevent symptoms.
- Getting better sleep and exercise can help some persons affected by restless legs.
- Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night and other people with sleep disorders may develop RLS.
There is no cure for restless leg syndrome; however, the condition usually responds well to home remedies and medications. The outlook is excellent for people with restless leg syndrome as long as it does not weaken or damage the function of the legs.\
Medications used to treat restless leg syndrome include:
- natural supplements (such as iron),
- carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet),
- opioids (such as hydrocodone, or tramadol [Ultram] for intermittent symptoms),
- carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR, Equetro, Carbatrol),
- clonazepam (Klonopin),
- diazepam (Valium),
- triazolam (Halcion),
- temazepam (Restoril),
- baclofen (Lioresal)
- clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS, Jenloga),
- gabapentin (Neurontin),
- gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant ER),
- ropinirole (Requip), and
- pramipexole (Mirapex).
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20 Tips to Beat InsomniaGood sleep hygiene leads to better sleep. Avoid insomnia and sleep better by minimizing stress, exercising, and taking proper naps. Learn the health benefits of good sleep. Discover how pets, allergies, electronics, and other distractions can rob you of a good night's sleep.
Benzodiazepine is the name of a class of drugs in the US. They belong to a class of man-made drugs prescribed to treat:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
Here is a list of examples of brand and generic names of benzodiazepines available in the US.
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clobazam (Onfi)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- diazepam (Valium)
- estazolam (Prosom)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
These drugs are habit forming and patients may become addicted to them even at prescribed doses. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Hypnotics Drug Class Side Effects
Hypnotics are sleep medications used to treat different types of insomnia. There are a variety of hypnotic drugs, and they are grouped into five types. Benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, selective melatonin agonists (these three drug types are classified as sedatives), antidepressants, and an orexin receptor agonist. Some hypnotics can be addictive and may cause withdrawal symptoms if discontinued abruptly.
The side effects of hypnotics depend upon the drug used, but they may include:
- Dry mouth
- Rebound insomnia
Other side effects may include:
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Upset stomach
- Abnormal dreams
Hypnotics may have serious side effects and adverse effects, for example:
- Abnormal thinking
- Suicidal thinking
- Sleep paralysis
- Sleep driving and other complex behavior
- Exfoliate dermatitis
Hypnotic drugs available over-the-counter (OTC) include diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine (Unisom). Natural herbal supplements used for insomnia are melatonin and Valerian.
Do not drink alcohol while taking hypnotic drugs. Stimulants like caffeine or amphetamines reduce the effect of insomnia medications.
Your doctor or other health care professional will recommend the type of hypnotic drug for you depending upon the type of sleep problem you have, your current lifestyle habits, other medications you are taking, and any other medical problems you may have.
FDA. "Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information." Updated: Jun 13, 2017.
Chawala, J, MD. "Insomnia Medication." Medscape. Updated: Aug 01, 2016.
Restless Leg SyndromeRestless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include:
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Concentration or memory problems
Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and TeensSleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.
Sleep CycleSleep is a mystery to many of us, but scientists know quite a bit about how it affects us. Here's what happens to your body when you fall asleep.
Sleep DisordersLearn about the different types of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Explore the symptoms, causes, tests and treatments of sleep disorders.
20 Biological Body Clock FactsBiological clocks control much of human biology, including aging, hormones, sleep, fertility, and seasonal cycles. The body clock controls circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle that governs biological processes in humans, animals, plants, and even bacteria. Science says maintaining healthy circadian rhythms may protect against chronic conditions.