What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, restless leg syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom disease is a sleep disorder that causes an intense urge to move your legs. Symptoms include a desire to move your legs, a variety of discomforts such as itching, throbbing, burning and more to your legs and other limbs resulting in sleep interruptions. RLS is known to be a genetic disorder as well as a result of numerous medical issues such as kidney disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, magnesium deficiency and more. RLS impacts up to 10 percent of the US population and should be diagnosed by your medical provider.
What are common non-drug treatments for RLS?
Following a healthy sleep routine, regular exercise, eliminating/reducing caffeine and alcohol, as well as supplementing with magnesium and lavender are common non-drug recommendations for treating RLS. Going to bed and rising at the same time, reducing screen time, winding down with a bath, and endeavoring to get 7-9 hours of sleep are top activities to focus upon to set up a strong sleep routine. Adding regular moderate exercise such as walking and biking can help as well. However, working out too vigorously close to bedtime is not recommended.
Research shows that magnesium supplementation(1) is an effective natural treatment for RLS as magnesium is known to help relax muscles and magnesium deficiency can contribute to RLS symptoms. Additionally magnesium helps to regulate cortisol (aka - the “stress” hormone) levels and can alleviate anxiety which is often a contributing or exacerbating factor of RLS. Massaging lavender oil into restless legs is another effective natural treatment for RLS (2). Both magnesium and lavender can support a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep routine as well.
How can I incorporate magnesium into my daily routine?
At Asutra, we are big fans of topical magnesium which is efficiently absorbed through the skin and avoids the GI tract for anyone that has sensitivity ingesting it. Magnesium oil is a quick and easy way to replenish magnesium levels; 15 sprays twice a day (30 total per day) will restore most people to optimal levels. Magnesium flakes are an excellent addition to a bath or foot soak that can also set up for the relaxing bedtime routine mentioned above. Lastly, magnesium lotions moisturize and provide a variety of other benefits: cooling menthol or warming capsaicin for pain relief, melatonin for additional sleep support, and (perhaps the ultimate choice) lavender which helps with sleep and supports RLS relief. Any of these topical treatments can be used on its own or combined to restore magnesium levels and soothe restless legs.
How can I add lavender oil into my daily routine?Massaging lavender oil on restless legs is an effective natural remedy known to alleviate RLS. Whether you massage body oil directly or choose to combine with magnesium in a body butter, both contain lavender essential oil to calm restless legs as well as promote relaxation. Lavender body scrub can be massaged in and exfoliate pulling double duty as well. And lavender bath salts calm the body and help promote rejuvenating sleep habits.