Home Treatment

There are ways to improve your symptoms of restless legs syndrome at home.


  • Exercise. Regular, moderate exercise may reduce symptoms. Avoiding long periods between activity or sudden bursts of intense activity may also be helpful. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Heat or cold. Your symptoms may be relieved by bathing in very hot or very cold water. Applying a heating pad or ice bag to your legs may also help symptoms.
  • Changing your sleep schedule. Fatigue can make your symptoms worse. Because symptoms typically improve around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., try going to bed later than usual or allowing extra time for sleeping in to help you get the rest you need.
  • Stretching and massage. You may be able to control your symptoms by gently stretching and massaging your legs before bed or as discomfort begins.


  • Caffeine and alcohol. These may make your symptoms worse.
  • Certain drugs. It may help to avoid antidepressants, antihistamines, cold and sinus medicine, antipsychotic medicine, and certain antinausea drugs (metoclopramide or prochlorperazine). Taking products that contain these ingredients may make your symptoms worse. Your doctor needs to know what medicines you are taking in order to rule them out as a cause of your symptoms.
  • Being confined for long periods. Try to plan for situations where you will need to remain seated for long stretches. For example, if you are traveling by car, plan to make occasional stops so you can get out and walk around.
  • Excessive exercise. Although moderate exercise may help relieve symptoms, unusually intense workouts may make them worse. Try to identify at what level exercise helps and at what point it triggers restless legs syndrome.

See your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, if they become worse, or if they significantly interfere with your sleep and daily functioning.


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