Who is at-risk for restless legs syndrome?
Around 1 in 10 of the American population suffer from restless legs syndrome. Restless legs syndrome does not discriminate between men and women. The symptoms may start to present themselves at any age (infants and young children may even be affected). About 2% to 5% of sufferers are severely affected. The majority of those are 40 years of age or older. Are you at-risk for restless legs syndrome?
Restless legs syndrome commonly goes misdiagnosed or unrecognized. A majority of sufferers go ten to twenty years after first noticing symptoms before having the condition properly diagnosed. The good news is that once properly diagnosed, RLS no longer has to interfere with your quality of life. Talk to your doctor right away if you suspect that you have RLS. Proper treatment can often prevent you from suffering any longer.
Personal routines and habits have a huge impact on the severity of restless legs syndrome and other sleeping disorders. In may cases, daily habits are the main cause of the problem. By avoiding these routines and adopting others, your RLS may disappear.
12 simple steps to improve restless leg syndrome
There are 12 simple steps that sufferers can undertake to improve their RLS symptoms and start getting a better night’s sleep.
- Cut alcohol, nicotine and caffeine out of your life. If you cannot completely cut them out, at least refrain from them for 8 to 10 hours before bedtime.
- Take an inventory of all of your current medications (prescription and nonprescription). Discuss them with your doctor.
- Engage in light to moderate exercise every day.
- Perform stretches on your legs at the start and end of each day.
- Massage or rub your calves regularly.
- Avoid heavy meals before going to bed.
- Observe a consistent sleep routine.
- Don’t take naps during the day.
- Do not use your bed for activities other than sleeping or sex.
- Clear your head at bedtime. Don’t let the stresses and worries of your day into your head.
- Tests your blood for hemoglobin, blood cell counts, basic organ functions (liver, kidney), thyroidhormone levels, iron levels and body chemistry.
- Let your legs soak in warm water.
These steps are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you suspect that you have RLS, consult with your doctor immediately.
Are you at-risk for restless legs syndrome?
Around 10% of the people living in the US have restless legs syndrome (RLS). Of these, 4% to 5% of them demonstrate severe symptoms, affecting their day-to-day life. Additionally:
- It is slightly more prevalent in women than in men.
- Most patients with more severe cases of RLS are 40 years of age or older.
- RLS is rare in children but not unheard of. Around 2% of children do get RLS.
- If you have RLS in your family, you are more likely to get it at a younger age.