Weighted Blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS is a condition characterized by painful sensations in the legs. It’s not just a mere muscle cramp or tension in the legs. It’s a neurological disorder that is usually happens during nighttime, causing sleep problems.
Around 5 million US residents experience moderate to severe RLS and this affects as many as one in 10 people in the US. Individuals who have RLS can have symptoms that can range from mild to intolerable and get worse during nighttime.
This disorder is most common in women but it can happen to anyone. Younger children can have this condition however symptoms usually happen to middle-aged or older people. Depending on the severity of the case, this condition can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.
What is the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome?
The main cause of Restless Leg Syndrome is unknown. However, there are many risk factors that are commonly associated with having the condition. These are some of the factors that contribute to developing the syndrome:
- Medications - Antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti-nausea drugs, antihistamines, and cold medicines are among the few types of medications that worsen symptoms of RLS
- Heredity - Doctors suspect that genes play a big part in passing on the condition. Those who have been diagnosed with RLS also are more likely to have family members or relatives who have the syndrome.
- Chronic diseases - pre-existing medical conditions can be the underlying cause for RLS. Illnesses such as iron deficiency, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s Disease, and many others may cause RLS. When the underlying medical condition is treated, RLS is also addressed.
- Pregnancy - For women who are in their third trimester, it’s common to have RLS as a symptom of their pregnancy. But RLS during pregnancy is temporary and usually disappears a month after delivery.
- Hormonal/chemical imbalance - Iron deficiency, imbalance of dopamine and serotonin in the body and a high level of glutamate are some of the causes that are directly linked with restless leg syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?
People who have Restless Leg Syndrome feel uncomfortable sensations during nighttime. These sensations may be mild to severe. These are the sensations or symptoms that a person suffering from RLS might feel:
- A strong urge to keep the legs moving
- Involuntary limb movements
- Tingling pain
- Itchiness in the legs
- Feelings of electricity in the legs
- Lack of social activity
- Daytime sleepiness
How is Restless Legs Syndrome diagnosed?
To diagnose Restless Legs Syndrome, a doctor might ask for tests to be done to check for any underlying medical conditions that may be linked with RLS. Other tests such as needle electromyography and nerve conduction studies can also check for neuropathy. Some sleep testing may also be necessary to check for periodic limb movements that have not been addressed despite relief of RLF symptoms.
What are some of the ways to address Restless Legs Syndrome?
Though Restless Legs Syndrome can have very irritating and exhausting symptoms, there are different ways to cope with the condition.
- Treat underlying cause. Medical conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, nutritional deficiencies, kidney disease, thyroid disease, varicose veins, Parkinson’s disease and anemia should be treated to relieve the symptoms of RLS. Once these underlying conditions are treated, RLS symptoms may disappear.
- Avoid toxic substances. If possible, limit or eliminate alcohol and nicotine from the system. Reducing caffeine intake can also help with coping with RLS. Food or drugs can also worsen the problem and should be discussed with a nutritionist or doctor.
- Physical Therapy. A physical therapist can help with creating a program to exercise and stretch the muscles. They can also aid in relaxation techniques to help address the pain.
- Self-care Treatments. Something as easy as taking hot or cold baths, applying hot or cold packs to the area, massages, vibratory or electrical stimulation to the lower extremities before bedtime are some of the home remedies that can help relieve RLS symptoms.
- Medication. Dopamine agonists, dopaminergic agents, opiates, and anticonvulsants are among the common medications that are widely prescribed by doctors to treat RLS symptoms. Those who suffer from severe RLS and who experience symptoms at least 3 times a week are usually recommended to take medication.
- Supplements. For those suffering from RLS due to low levels of iron, a doctor would most likely recommend taking iron supplements. There have been findings and testimonials that people who drink supplements such as folic acid, magnesium and vitamin B12 can be relieved of their RLS symptoms.
How does a weighted blanket help people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome?
Most often, people who have Restless Leg Syndrome don’t link their sleeplessness to the condition. But having RLS symptoms can throw off a person’s sleeping pattern causing it to get worse. Lack of sleep can cause flare ups and prevent a person from being productive in the day due to daytime sleepiness.
A weighted blanket by Miran are designed to aid RLS sufferers in getting a good night’s sleep. The glass microbeads covered in polyester coating gives the blanket the added weight to reduce movement and induce feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Miran Blanket is made of high quality machine-washable fabric that gives RLS sufferers the luxurious comfort they need to relax and fall into deep sleep. It’s a non-invasive and cost-effective way to address sleep problems caused by RLS and allows the individual afflicted with the condition to have healthy, restorative sleep.