Posted July 18, 2017

Retirement Communities in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs has tips to ease Restless Leg Syndrome for a good night’s sleep, including exercise, diet, and alternative treatments.
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According to recent studies, as many as 15% of the population suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). This figure significantly increases for individuals over the age of 65, as it is estimated that nearly 35% experience restless-leg symptoms. Other repercussions of this uncomfortable, often painful condition, include fatigue, which can seep into other areas of your life, health, and well-being. Some signs and symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome include:

  • Urges to move your legs and feet that is difficult to resist.
  • Difficulty lying still and going to sleep.
  • Increased symptoms at night or when laying down.
  • Tingling or burning sensation in the lower extremities, primarily legs and feet.

Some sufferers explain their RLS symptoms as feeling like there are bugs crawling under the skin, or as a jumpy-feeling that makes them want to get up and out of bed.

Retirement Communities in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs Has Tips to Ease Restless Leg Syndrome for a Good Night’s Sleep:

Since so many seniors are afflicted with RLS, it makes sense for retirement communities and residential settings to come-up with effective and clever strategies to cope with the symptoms. Some of the tactics employed by professionals in the field of aging include the following approaches:

  • Exercise and movement

Exercise has been shown to be effective at managing symptoms and reducing the severity of RLS symptoms. This includes regular daily activity, using the muscles of your legs, calves, and core, as well as movement during bouts of RLS to reduce discomfort. The relief might be partial, but it is fast and will increase the longer you are up and moving. Furthermore, exercise improves blood-flow to these parts of the body which combats a root-cause of this condition – poor circulation.

  • Hot and cold

The jury is still out as to whether heat or cold are the best way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of RLS. Some sufferers may find that heating packs on their legs at night prevents symptoms, while others find that cold contracts the leg-muscles and minimizes RLS at night. Try both heat and ice-packs when symptoms crop-up to determine which provides you with the most relief, and talk with your doctor about your symptoms for further medical intervention.

  • Iron and diet

Another cause of Restless Leg Syndrome is an iron-deficiency; make sure that your daily diet is rich in iron and that you are taking iron supplements, as recommended by your doctor. Some foods that are iron-rich and that should be included in your diet include:

  • Dark leafy greens.
  • Legumes and beans.
  • Red meat and poultry.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Iron-fortified cereals and grains.

Other tips and tactics

When you are trying to go to sleep, elevate the legs to reduce symptoms of RLS. This aids in the blood-flow, which can be at the core of your RLS symptoms. Arrange pillows and bedding so that your legs are raised above your torso for maximum effect. Also, keep your bedding loose and non-constricting; when bedding is tight or wrapped around you, your toes may instinctively point, which causes cramping and that may bring on your RLS symptoms, unknowingly.

What else can you do? 

There are a lot of different strategies that you may try to find relief from your RLS. Figure out what works for you, and notify your doctor of any changes in your symptoms. Try to set up a soothing, serene bedroom that triggers the desire to sleep, and that can help you maintain good sleep hygiene and fall asleep faster.
Some other ways to combat your RLS symptoms and get a good night’s sleep include these tactics:

  • Skip the alcohol, as it is a stimulant that can activate RLS symptoms.
  • Don’t eat heavy meals before bed as this can make symptoms worse.
  • Meditate and practice progressive relaxation.
  • Stick to a schedule and skip naps to get a better night’s rest and fewer RLS symptoms.
  • Try natural remedies, such as drinking tonic water, which has a tiny bit of quinine, once used to treat muscle cramps and RLS.
  • Treat yourself to a massage, which can relieve the severity of your RLS.
  • Acupuncture shows some efficacy in quelling RLS symptoms.

Retirement communities have some effective and clever strategies to assist seniors living with RLS, and you can also implement many of these in your own home. Talk with doctors, practitioners, and professionals about other ways to find relief from Restless Leg Syndrome, and consult with Senior Living Experts to find experts in your area that can help.

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