Restless Legs Syndrome Home Remedies



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Here are a list of restless leg syndrome symptoms and natural remedies for restless leg syndrome relief.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

They arrive soon after you lie down to sleep: strange sensations creeping through your legs. People variously describe the sensations as tugging, pulling, tingling, stinging, throbbing, itching, or aching; others say it feels as if something is crawling or flowing inside their legs.

The sensations produce a near-irresistible urge to get up and move around. This temporarily alleviates the problem, but it returns when you lie back down. It disrupts your sleep and can disturb your sleeping partner.

Called restless legs syndrome (RLS) or more formally, Willis-Eckbom disease, experts characterize the condition as a neuromotor disorder, and say that for most folks, it’s mild and readily self-managed without medical intervention.

However, for some, RLS can be severe and disabling (primarily because of long-term sleep deprivation). It can also co-occur with serious medical conditions (including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurological disease such as Parkinson’s disease), which medical experts say should be ruled out when RLS is severe.


But the same experts stress that while a diagnosis of RLS may accompany a serious disease, it doesn’t imply the presence or impending onset of one.

RLS can affect people of any age. It affects women twice as often as men, and is especially prevalent during pregnancy, though in those cases it typically disappears after the baby is born. Some people experience RLS as a chronic condition, either continuous or intermittent, and for those it tends to worsen with age.

Although researchers say RLS involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, they don’t understand what causes the condition in most cases. They say it may have a genetic component, may result from iron-deficiency anemia, may worsen in stressful situations, and may be triggered by certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Medical Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

In recent years, physicians have begun using a broad array of drugs to treat “moderate-to-severe” RLS. There’s also an FDA-approved prescription medical device that helps some people but can make the condition worse in others.

But relative to drug therapy, researchers say:

  • No single drug works for all people.
  • None offers a cure for restless leg syndrome.
  • Most are recommended for short-term use only.
  • Most have serious side effects.
  • The drugs can be expensive.

Reviewing a study of current drug treatments for RLS, one medical reviewer noted that even though many people taking these drugs experience short-term relief of RLS symptoms, “Up to 25 to 50 percent with even moderate-to-severe and longstanding symptoms stop taking these medications after more than a year due to either side effects or lack of benefit.”


Is Restless Leg Syndrome Underdiagnosed or Overhyped?  

Many websites and print articles describe RLS as common, “underdiagnosed and undertreated,” encouraging people who experience the unpleasant condition to seek medical help.

But a 2006 Public Library of Science (PLOS) article, Giving Legs to Restless Legs: A Case Study of How the Media Helps Make People Sick, makes the case that RLS has been overhyped by drug-company marketing campaigns, abetted by media reporting on the topic.They say prevalence of the condition and need for medical treatment has been overstated. They write:

“For some people, symptoms are severe enough to be disabling. But for many others with milder problems, these ‘symptoms’ are just the transient experiences of everyday life. Helping sick people get treatment is a good thing. Convincing healthy people that they are sick is not. Sick people stand to benefit from treatment, but healthy people may only get hurt: they get labeled “sick,” may become anxious about their condition, and, if they are treated, may experience side effects that overwhelm any potential benefit.”

Restless Leg Syndrome Home Remedies


People who experience RLS have found many natural remedies useful for alleviating its symptoms. Here are a few:

As with drug therapy, research hasn’t shown that any of these remedies can prevent or cure restless leg syndrome. But they don’t cost anything to try, and aren’t likely to produce dangerous side-effects.

Do you have any tips for dealing with restless leg syndrome? Let us know below!

About This Blog

Margaret Boyles lives in a wood-heated house in central New Hampshire. She grows vegetables, keeps chickens, swims in a backyard pond in summer, snowshoes in the surrounding woods in winter, and commutes by bike whenever possible.

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I've had bouts of RLS for years. Refusing to take prescription drugs for it, I'm convinced that the potassium in bananas helps more than anything. It pretty much stops it immediately.

No bananas? Try laying on your stomach to drift off to sleep. The pressure on the front of the legs subdues the 'jitters'.
Hint: move down far enough in the bed so that your feet hang off and you are in a 'standing position'. That eases the tension on the lower back. Good luck!

Restless Legs Syndrome

I've had it sinc I was a wee lad and became aware as an adult. I just sleep with my legs hanging uncovered by the side of the bed. Often, I have to get up and sit for a few minutes although I'm exhausted. I prefer not to take medication.

Some people swear by putting

Some people swear by putting a bar of soap under their fitted sheet. I've never needed to try that one, but two things work for me. First, making sure I give myself time to unwind before bed and make sure I'm already semi relaxed. Second, on nights when my legs just won't settle down no matter what I take Hyland's Restful Legs. It is a homeopathic remedy that can be found in vitamin shops or even at Wal-mart.

A teaspoon of yellow mustard

A teaspoon of yellow mustard before going to bed helps me...

Avoid any product with

Avoid any product with Diphenhydramine, which can cause RLS and can cause it to be a permanent condition in some people. This includes Benadryl and other Benadryl products, other antihistamines, and, oddly enough, products like Sominex, Nytol, and Unisom and others that are used to induce sleep. I get RLS only when I use Benadryl (I have to have it before I take some of chemo drugs), and RLS usually stops when I stop taking it. I can usually get by with half a dose of Benadryl and avoid most RLS, but a full dose puts me in full RLS mode. The nurses in the chemo hospital say RLS is very common among people who have to take Benadryl as part of the chemo regimen. Read labels.

Very interesting!

Thanks for your comment, Carol. I found a report of some research supporting your warning. A lot of people take dyphenhydramine-containing products without considering their potential side effects, so your reminder is right on point here.


My daughter has RLS , and

My daughter has RLS , and hadn't been given any formal diagnosis as to its cause. However, she is also anemic, as many young mothers can be, and in supplementing with a good iron product, she noticed that her restless legs got better. She uses a liquid iron that is easily assimilated in digestion, and doesn't taste too bad. Pills didn't help her anemia...this formula does, so she is sleeping better now, as well as has better energy. :)

Severe RLS, was prescribed

Severe RLS, was prescribed Sinemet
and it's a miracle drug for me


I'm in my mid 50's and I've had RLS for nearly 20 years. I'm not over weight, I have no serious illnesses, I exercises regularly and I eat right. I do not wish to take any prescriptions due to the side effects. So, I've found that the best medicine is 2 tylenol, walk around for 5 to 10 minutes and then go to bed. That works 90% of the time.


I have experienced RLS and found great relief with a product called Ionic Fizz with magnesium . It is a fizzy drink that you take before bedtime . It worked great for me. You can generally find it in health food stores, or you can ask them if they can get it (y)

I have had RLS for so long, I

I have had RLS for so long, I cannot remember when I didn't have it. My symptoms can become severe when my ferritin levels drop, which results in an iron infusion. Does anyone know if ferritin can be purchased over the counter?


Ferritin is a protein in your body that stores and releases iron as your body needs it. The blood test that measures ferritin serves as an indirect measure of the iron in your blood. 

There may be things you can do to help prevent the need for repeated iron infusions, but this is something you should discuss with your doctor. 

Restless Legs

I have RLS and when it's bad (I can't get relax and/or get to sleep) I found taking magnesium supplements help with relaxing my leg muscles. I also have discovered that RLS is heightened if I'm not drinking enough water/am dehydrated.

I have also found that

I have also found that rubbing Bergamot oil on legs before bed works well! Most time instantly!


The cream from walgreens works, too. Not the otc pills.


Just drink dill pickle juice or eat dill pickles at night. I had it so bad couldn't sleep. This works

Quinine for RLS

A good natural cure is quinine. The stuff found in tonic water. I have a mild case of RLS and it only flares up when I am sleep deprived. I worked with a nurse who told me about the quinine most notably an ingredient in tonic water.


I eliminated aspartame from my diet and it really worked.


A few year ago I was diagnosed with light sleep apnea. I also had RLS. I was given the choice of drug to try or try Ferrous Gluconate. (Iron) I explained to the practcioner that My hemoglobin levels were always great. She said it was not the blood level of Iron but the STORED iron in my body that was low. They tested the for the Iron stored and sure enough it was low. I took 2 325 Mg of Ferrous gluconate . It has worked for me.

RLS remedy

Magnesium works because RLS is a magnesium deficiency. I take Calcium and Magnesium at night 1:1 ration and sleep like a baby.


I have RLS that was moderate/severe, now is only intermittent. I started taking Magnesium Intensive Care (2-200 mg pills), and 2 Circulation and Vein Support for Healthy Legs, every night before bed. These 2 supplements plus getting exercise every day has helped tremendously. But exercise is critical - walking, biking, etc. - whatever works for you!

I used to suffer from RLS,

I used to suffer from RLS, like my mom, pretty bad. I discovered that it's about a lack of minerals. I started taking a liquid mineral supplement called ConcenTrace and later got a Santevia water filter to re-mineralize my water, which works just fine, so I only have to use the liquid minerals when I'm away from home. I have hardly had an episode since. When I do, it's usually because I've had too much sugar, which I understand immediately depletes your body of minerals, so your body takes it from the largest muscle groups, which are in your legs, hence the restless legs.


Vicks vapor rub is the only think that works for me!!!!! Slather it on feet and calf muscles!! Put on the thickest pair of socks you have.... Works every time!!!!

RLS remedy

I have had RLS for many years, as did my mother and grandmother. My doctor recommended that I try drinking tonic water at night before trying medication. It works for me! I drink about 4 oz when I need it. My RLS is intermittent, so it is not something I do every night. It makes a big difference for me though. It contains quinine, so only use it if you have no problem with that.


Never heard the soap trick before, I'm definitely trying it next time I get RLS. Thank you

Restless Leg Syndrome

That should have read Ivory!

The soap trick works for many

The soap trick works for many, but not all. But, hey, it costs a bar of soap, so it's worth the try. I've used it for about a decade. Pure Ivory or Dove works--the original style--no added fragrances, not anti-bacterial. Place the bar in a pantyhose under the fitted sheet near your feet. (You can put it on top of fitted if you chose.) The pantyhose helps keep the crumbles in one place. You will occasionally need to replace with a fresh bar. Mine last a year or more.

I have fibromyalgia and

I have fibromyalgia and restless legs syndrome comes with it. I read somewhere to put a bar of soap under the fitted sheet. I put a (unwrapped ) bar of Ivort. It has helped tremendously! Worth a try!


My mother and I all had sleep depriving RLS. I either read or was told or both to unwrap a bar of soap and put it between the sheet and mattress at the foot of the bed and it would go away. We did, it did. Voila....whether an old wives' tale that works or a belief that it would and mind over matter......who cares. For a good night's sleep, give it a shot. Just for good measure I put two bars of soap at the foot of my bed.

RLS Remedy

Once I started suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, I remembered a syndicated newspaper column by a doctor who had written about this home remedy--soap. I thought, "what the heck, it will only cost a bar of soap." Not just any soap--get a bar of pure, original Dove or Ivory soap. No additives, no extra scents, and no other brands besides these two. Put the bar into an old knee-high pantyhose and place it in the bed near your feet. I actually place it under my fitted sheet, but you can put it between the sheets if you want. That's it. Now, this doesn't work for everyone, but give it a try. It only costs a bar of soap! I recommended this to one of my husband's co-workers at a holiday party. He was telling me how his RLS was so bad it would jerk him awake. I told him my soap remedy and on the way home from the party he made his wife stop at a store and got a bar of soap. He used it that night and it worked for him too!! Next time he saw me, I got a big hug:) just be careful when you strip the bed to wash sheets you don't wash the soap too. Every now and then you'll need to refresh with a new bar. Hope this helps.


Can't believe we replied within in minutes with the same remedy. Cool. Hope it helps others to try.

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