That feeling of restlessness in your legs can not only be annoying (especially when you’re trying to fall asleep or need to sit still at your desk!), but it can also point to some potential deficiencies in your body. Find out how to help your body overcome that restless feeling with easy-to-use and natural options.
What is it like when my legs are feeling restless?
Your legs or feet will have a constant and irresistible urge to move. If you try to keep them still, it will feel very uncomfortable. So instead you might shift your legs, tap your foot or you might even have to get up and walk around. The discomfort seems to stem right from inside your muscles.
The restless feeling tends to become obvious during periods of inactivity, like when you’re sitting down to watch a movie, have been working at your desk for a few hours or are trying to fall asleep. Some people have disturbed sleep because their legs keep them awake.
Who can get that feeling of restlessness?
While it can occur at any age, it tends to be worse for women during pregnancy or for both men and women from middle age onwards.
Natural options for relief
Ensure that your body’s iron levels are sufficient. Check with your doctor about getting your blood tested for sufficient ferritin and hemoglobin levels, and supplement with a high quality whole-food based iron supplement if necessary. Ferrous fumarate and ferrous gluconate are better absorbed than the elemental version ferric iron. Low iron levels can decrease the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood and this can affect nerve and muscle function. Foods rich in iron include red meat and to a lesser extend poultry and seafood (heme source of iron), as well as leafy green vegetables, lentils, certain beans, dried apricots (non-heme source of iron).
Many body systems use vitamin B’s and it can be a common deficiency. Vitamin B’s (especially B12 and folic acid) help to build healthy red blood cells. Use a whole food based B Complex and always take it during the earlier part of the day, not at night. Generally liquid and capsule-based supplements are better absorbed than tablets. Talk to your trusted health practitioner to find out if you need Vitamin B’s and what the best source would be for you.
Increasing the circulation in your legs can help to relieve feelings of restlessness. Helpful essential oils include peppermint, cypress, wintergreen, basil, lavender, copaiba, vetiver or marjoram. These oils are known for their sedative, relaxing, analgesic or calming properties. There are also some great blends available or you can make your own. Contact Me for recipe ideas based on your specific situation.
Apply your essential oil(s) of choice to your calves and bottoms of feet. Generally 2-4 drops per leg is sufficient. Dilute with ½ tsp of carrier oil if needed, depending on your skin’s sensitivity and on the oil(s) you chose. This makes for a nice leg massage.
You can also add the oils to a relaxing bath:
4-6 drops essential oil of choice
½ cup epsom salts
Mix the essential oils with the epsom salts in a small bowl and then add to your bath water as it’s filling the tub.
Always use therapeutic grade, certified pure essential oils in order to get the results you’re expecting. Read my article here on the importance of purity.
Magnesium helps to relax nerve and muscle tissue and can thereby help to relieve any feelings of restlessness in your body. Magnesium is best absorbed in the evening either as a topical spray/lotion or as a dietary supplement. Topical application targets the areas of concern directly and is useful if magnesium intake causes you to have loose bowels. On the other hand, many people benefit from the relaxing qualities of taking magnesium internally, both for bowel regularity and a restful sleep. Choose a high quality magnesium source, ideally in powder or liquid format and take as directed by your trusted healthcare practitioner.
Mag Phos tissue salts can help soothe any restless or cramping feelings in your body. Tissue salts are homeopathic preparations of low potency (usually 3X or 6X) and generally come in tiny lactose based tablets that dissolve easily in your mouth. You can take Mag Phos tissue salts dissolved in a small glass of warm water and sip, or allow the tablets to dissolve under your tongue. Follow the directions on the bottle and ask your qualified health practitioner to see if tissue salts are right for you.
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When your body isn’t getting sufficient amounts of water on a regular basis, it can affect nerve and muscle function at the cellular level. Circulation is also affected when the amount of water in your body even slightly decreases, which can be caused by lack of water or the intake of diuretic substances like coffee, alcohol, soda pop or some medications.
Regular exercise and sufficient sleep are both vital to healthy body functions, including your central nerve system. Avoid or limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, refined sugars and ensure that you're not burdening your body by overeating.
Let me know how the above suggestions work for you and, as always, let me know if you have any questions!
All my best,
Live/Dried Blood Analysis - Homeopathy - Essential Oils Specialist
Helping you live a life you LOVE!
Pathophysiology, Sixth Editon by Carol Mattson Porth
The Essential Life, 5th Edition
Complete Wellness by Neal's Yard Remedies, 2018