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Restless Leg Syndrome

Intro

If you have any of the symptoms already described or have problems sleeping and don't know why, you should talk to your health care provider.

Self-Care at Home

In many cases, personal habits can make a sleeping disorder worse. Sometimes they are the main cause of the problem. Here are some things you can do that may relieve your symptoms.

  • Avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for several hours before bedtime.
  • Take medications (prescription and nonprescription) only as directed.
  • Get some exercise   every day.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal close to bedtime.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Avoid daytime naps.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping or sex.
  • Try not to use bedtime as worry time.
Follow-up

Your health care provider will probably ask you to return for one or more follow-up visits after trying his or her recommendations.

Prevention

Sleep disorders often can be at least partly prevented by developing healthy sleep habits. See Self-care at home for recommendations. Also, see your health care provider regularly for proper care of any medical or mental problems.

Outlook

Strange sensations in the legs, persistent insomnia, and daytime sleepiness are not part of normal aging. In most cases, the symptoms of restless legs syndrome are treatable or improve with treatment of the underlying condition.

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