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How Stress Impacts RLS

3 min read

stressed out senior man

Can’t sleep at night because your mind, body and your legs just won’t rest? Find out how you can manage your stress and RLS with these natural remedies.

Willis-Ekbom Disease, commonly known as restless legs syndrome (RLS), is a neurological condition that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs that are usually relieved with movement. These sensations differ from person to person and may present as pain, aching, pulling, or “creepy” nerve sensations.

RLS is generally considered to be a sleep disorder, due to its negative impact on sleep. Generally, symptoms of RLS become worse at night and when resting your legs for an extended period of time. Frequent movements to relieve the uncomfortable sensations in the legs make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Over time, lack of sleep can cause exhaustion and impact your mood, memory, and your ability to function during the day.

 

Nutrition and natural remedies can play a huge role in managing RLS and your stress to improve your quality of sleep.

 

RLS affects up to 10% of the population, occurring more frequently in women and can worsen with older age. Certain conditions can trigger RLS, including renal disease and hemodialysis, pregnancy, sleep apnea and nerve damage. Other factors that can contribute to RLS are drugs that treat nausea, psychosis, or depression; use of alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine; or use of certain antihistamine medications.

Stress is known to be a common trigger for RLS, and can cause symptoms of discomfort to worsen. Chronic stress leads to a disruption in the balance of neurotransmitters in the body and an increase excitability of nerves. Psychological stress has also been strongly associated with increased severity of RLS symptoms, and people with anxiety of depression may be three times as likely to have RLS.

Nutrition and natural remedies can play a huge role in managing RLS and your stress to improve your quality of sleep. Tackling both in natural ways can improve your sleep quality. Here are a few things that might help:: 

Valerian root is an herb commonly used to help with anxiety and improve sleep. Naturally occurring compounds within Valerian root have been shown to slow the breakdown of GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) and create a calming effect. A review published in the journal Australian Family Physician on valerian root and insomnia suggests that valerian may be an effective herb to improve sleep quality and length of time to fall asleep.

Magnesium works in several ways to promote relaxation and sleep, and can be found in foods like almonds, spinach, and beans. Like Valerian root, magnesium affects the neurotransmitter GABA and helps reduce stress. A review published in the journal Nutrients suggests that magnesium supplementation has a positive effect on anxiety. Magnesium also plays a role in the production of melatonin, a chemical produced by the body that regulates sleeping patterns. A recent study showed that magnesium supplementation can improve insomnia symptoms, increase melatonin, and decrease a major stress hormone.

Are you looking for a way to help manage your stress and reduce the inconvenience of RLS symptoms? If so, our Calm Legs formula can be a natural and effective way to reduce your RLS symptoms and help you relax. It contains iron (8mg as ferrous fumarate), magnesium (270mg as magnesium oxide), and valerian root (800mg) to help relaxation and sleep quality. Calm Legs also contains four other vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid, and vitamin B12) that have been clinically shown to improve circulation, manage inflammation and nervous system health, and overall reduce symptoms of RLS and stress.