Settle Down

If your legs seem to wake up just as you’re trying to wind down, you might have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). While it’s thought to be more common in older adults, this neurologic disorder can afflict people of all ages. Those with RLS experience:

A strong desire to move the legs while sitting or lying down — the urge can feel impossible to resist.

Unpleasant sensations in the calves, thighs, feet (sometimes even the arms). These have been described as creeping, itching, pulling, tingling, burning, or tugging.

Immediate relief after moving. Stretching, jiggling, or walking can help.

RLS may be hereditary, but its causes are not clear. Stress can worsen symptoms, as can pregnancy. And while there are no known cures, there are measures — and medications — that may help:

Avoid or reduce caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco

Meditate or practice yoga to relax

Try heat or cold packs.

Pain relievers, sleeping aids, or anticonvulsants may also help. Plus, 2 drugs for Parkinson’s disease have been FDA-approved for treatment of RLS. If you think you might have this condition, ask your doctor for more details.

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