Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. This is what we think of when we hear the term restless legs. And this is also what the reality is for some pregnant women. This ailment is thankfully harmless, but it can be very annoying and disrupt your sleep. The restlessness is often in your legs, but some women also experience this restlessness in their upper legs, arms and feet. In this blog, we'll tell you where restless legs come from and how you can let peace return to your body.
What are restless legs?
The term may say it all: your legs are restless and seem to take on a life of their own - especially in the evening (Vansi Yoga, 2019). Restless legs are spoken of when you experience a tingling, itchy or almost itchy feeling in your legs. And only by moving your legs will you get rid of that annoying feeling. And what is also extra annoying, as soon as you stop moving your legs the restless feeling comes back (Pregnancy Portal, 2019).
Cause of restless legs
Yes, another ailment we don't really know where it comes from. It can be hereditary, caused by iron deficiency, by certain foods - such as coffee - or by too little exercise. The restlessness often occurs in the lower legs, but some pregnant women also experience this feeling in their upper legs, arms and feet. The restlessness occurs especially when sitting or lying down for a long time. Restless legs are fortunately harmless, but it can significantly disturb your sleep (Pregnancy Portal, 2019). Therefore, we hope that with our five tips, your legs can regain their calm.
Tips for restless legs
- Watch your diet and drink enough water
Drink plenty of water, this goes fluid accumulation against and ensures that your waste products are properly disposed of (Pregnancy Portal, 2019). Also, try to get in enough iron-rich foods or try magnesium tablets. Iron is found mainly in salmon, nuts, grains, chia seeds and green vegetables - think spinach and peas. But you can also absorb magnesium through the skin into you through certain ointments or sprays (Vansi Yoga, 2019).
- Get up, get moving
Get moving, your body is probably going to really appreciate this. Restless legs can come from poor circulation. So keep moving during the day, so that you don't have the full turmoil wash over you in the evening (Vansi Yoga, 2019).
- Avoid intense exercise before bedtime
Exercise is good and healthy. But if you exercise intensely before bedtime your body will enter an active state, after which the body will rest very slowly. This should not be a problem if you exercise earlier in the day (Nutricia for You, 2021).
- Alternating hot and cold water
Alternating cold and hot water can help reduce symptoms. You can do this in the shower, while sitting on the edge of the tub or in a foot bath, for example (Nutricia for You, 2021). And as Katy Perry would put it: 'Cause you're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no, you're in then you're out, you're up then you're down.
- A massage
Of course, it's worth a try. Ask your partner, parent or friend to massage your legs. This is most effective before bedtime. Use an oil, with lavender scent, for example. A win-win for (hopefully) a peaceful night without restless legs (Nutricia for You, 2021).
How unlucky pregnant women are sometimes, but hopefully the beautiful pink cloud will not be disturbed by restless legs. It is very annoying, but fortunately not harmful to mother and child. Do you have any additional tips against restless legs for our mamas? Please let us know, because the more tips, the more fun!
Nutricia for you. (2021, March 31). 5 tips for restless legs. https://www.nutriciavoorjou.nl/zwangerschap/symptomen/rusteloze-benen/
Vansi Yoga. (2019). Tips on RLS â Restless Legs Syndrome during your pregnancy - Vansi Yoga. https://www.vansi.eu/nieuws/rusteloze-benen-tijdens-de-zwangerschap
Pregnancy Portal. (2019). Restless legs. https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/zwanger/kwaaltjes-en-klachten/rusteloze-benen