Restless Legs need to run.
On a recent 3-hour flight back to New York, I experienced sensations from a dreaded condition that I haven’t felt in YEARS: Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). After a 4-day hiatus from difficult workouts and eating mom’s homemade treats, sitting for hours on end didn’t help. I was reminded of my past life at the office: sitting for 40 hours every week led to sleepless nights of ferocious kicking. I learned that if I consumed too much caffeine, sugar or missed my workouts, I was a frustrated mess at night. It was awful: the feeling made me want to crawl outside of my body. I joined a gym and my symptoms started to subside after exhausting workouts. Fast forward to today, leading an active lifestyle is an essential component to restful sleep and becoming symptom-free. Instead of sitting on my butt, I’m on my feet all day long!
After brief research, I found that RLS is a neurological disorder, the severity of these symptoms (tingling, burning, creeping sensations) can range from mildly uncomfortable to painful. RLS is usually a lifelong condition affecting at least 12 million Americans. There may be a genetic factor involved: about half of all cases involve a family history of the condition. My sister no longer suffers after she cut down on sugar, increased her intake of iron & calcium, gets moderate exercise and takes Rhus Tox when she travels.
Even though there’s no cure, the following factors may increase symptoms of RLS:
Higher body mass index, lack of exercise and cigarette smoking
People with diabetes
Sedentary lifestyles (like my days in the office)
Too much alcohol and caffeine
Low levels of iron, folate and/or magnesium
- Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester
Go get your active and healthy lifestyle and avoid this insanity-provoking syndrome. It’s SO not fun.