Having a sleepless night now and then
can be annoying. But when you have
restless legs syndrome (RLS), going without sleep night
after night can make life miserable. You may be so tired that you just feel
If restless legs are robbing you of sleep, you're not
alone. But there may be some things you can do for yourself to make it easier
to get a good night's sleep, especially if your symptoms are mild.
How can you make changes to sleep better?
If your RLS symptoms are mild, you may be able to get a good night's sleep
most nights by making some changes in your lifestyle. Make sure to follow these
general sleep tips:
During the day
Don't drink liquids that have caffeine
(coffee, tea, some sodas), especially 4 to 6 hours before
Don't use tobacco, especially near bedtime or if you wake
up during the night. Nicotine is a stimulant, which means it makes you more
alert and more awake.
Don't drink alcohol late in the
Get regular exercise, but don't exercise within 3 or 4
hours of bedtime.
Get plenty of sunlight in the outdoors,
especially in late afternoon.
Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime. A light
snack may help you sleep.
Don't go to bed thirsty, but don't drink
so much that you have to keep getting up to go to the bathroom.
Set aside time for solving problems earlier in the day so you
don't carry anxious thoughts to bed. Try writing down your worries in a "worry
book," and then set it aside well before bedtime.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.