Natural Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome

The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation describes this neurological condition as one in which people have an overwhelming urge to move their legs. Sometimes this restless legs syndrome is accompanied by some uncomfortable sensations in the legs, including itching, pulling or tugging. These symptoms may worsen when you are resting and off your feet. Symptoms also can worsen in the evening and can make sleeping difficult. There are medications that can be prescribed, and people also can use natural remedies to help ease some of the discomfort of this disorder.

Iron

Cropped view of elderly woman sitting on armchair
A woman sitting and drinking a cup of hot tea. (Image: Kai Chiang/iStock/Getty Images)

Low iron can be a factor with those who suffer from restless legs syndrome. Therefore, increasing your iron intake can help. There are a variety of foods that are good sources of iron, including clams, chicken, beef and pork liver, turkey and seafood such as clams, sardines and shrimp. Fortified breakfast cereals are good sources of iron, as are cooked beans and lentils and potatoes with skins on.

Herbs

Valerian root, passion flower and hops can help calm restless legs as well as aid in sleeping. When made into a tea, these herbs can promote a calmness. These botanicals are natural sedatives and can help you relax while soothing stress and helping you sleep better.

Exercise

Walking before going to bed can reduce nighttime restless legs syndrome symptoms. Exercise tends to change chemical balances within the brain that can help create restful sleep. Wiggling the toes and legs is a form of exercise that can help as well. RLS symptoms become exacerbated when the body is still and not moving.

Stop Using Caffeine and Tobacco

Caffeine can increase the “jitters” and can make restless legs syndrome worse than it needs to be. In addition, smoking can reduce circulation. It is not recommended that people who have RLS smoke.

Other Tips

Vitamins and minerals such as E, B12, zinc, magnesium and folic acid can be helpful. Taking a multivitamin supplement can give you the vitamins you need to keep certain symptoms at bay. Acupuncture and acupressure can help reduce restless legs syndrome symptoms. Massage can be beneficial, and hypnosis can aid with the discomfort of RLS.

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