Restless Leg Syndrome (also called Willis-Ekbom’s disease) is categorized as a sleep disorder. It affects 27% of pregnant women. Restless Leg Syndrome usually ceases after baby is born and is more common in the third trimester. Interruption of sleep is a concern for anyone who suffers from RLS, especially a soon-to-be mother.
Click here for a printable RLS information handout.
Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
* itching, pulling, crawling, throbbing, burning, tingling, urge to move sensations
* usually in legs, but can occur in arms or other body parts
* can interrupt sleep, as it occurs primarily at night
* symptoms increase at times of rest or relaxation (i.e. going to bed or sitting down)
* symptoms decrease with movement (i.e. getting up to stretch or move)
What Helps to Ease Restless Leg Syndrome?
- regular yoga, walking, stretching
- movement and stretching when symptoms are first felt
Click here for our Yoga For Restless Leg Syndrome sequence.
- relaxation – meditation, restorative yoga
- massage – focused on feet, legs, and hips
- hot bath/shower before bed or at the onset of symptoms
- soak in Epsom salt and warm water before bed (may just be feet or in the bath)
- orgasm – some women claim this as the cure to their RLS – it makes sense as it will activate the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for relaxation)
- cold – soak feet in cold water or use an ice pack
- decrease stress when possible
- early, regular bedtime
- elevate legs when working, reading or relaxing
Diet and Vitamins
- bananas – or other potassium-rich foods
- vitamin B, magnesium, iron and folic acid **
Things That May Increase RLS symptoms
- caffeine, alcohol, tobacco
- lack of sleep or sleep routine
- anti-depressants or anti-nausea medications**
- antihistamine medications (i.e. Benadryl)
- exercise of high intensity or too late in the day
before any making any changes to medications or vitamin supplements – check with your healthcare provider.