I struggled so much with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) during my pregnancies that sleep was elusive. Just as I would drift off to sleep, my legs began to twitch, as the familiar creepy crawly feeling kicked in.
According to a small Italian study, one in four pregnant women suffer from RLS and another European study shows that those who suffer from RLS during pregnancy are likely to always struggle with it.
Over the course of my pregnancies, I discovered a handful of things that worked for me that just might bring you some relief:
1. Take a walk. Going for a walk early in the day can help prevent troubles in the evening.
2. Have a banana just before bedtime.
3. Using a yoga ball behind your back, do squats until you can’t possibly do even one more. I found that by fatiguing my legs, I could fall asleep before they began twitching again.
4. Thoroughly stretch your legs before getting into bed. I focused on my calf and hamstring muscles.
5. Have your partner massage your legs for you.
6. Drink more water. (I know, like we don’t pee enough during pregnancy. Try drinking more in the early part of the day so that you can minimize middle of the night trips to the bathroom.)
7. Try gentle yoga.
8. Soak in a warm bath or a use a heating pad on your legs. The warmth can bring relief.
9. Soak your feet in a cool footbath or walk on cold floor tile.
10. Apply peppermint lotion. (My favorite is Mama Bee Leg and Foot Cream from Burt’s Bees)
A combination of these remedies usually took the edge off. Squats and peppermint lotion worked most nights, a cool footbath on others.
It may take some time to find the most effective treatment, but keep trying different combinations until you find what works best for you.