Author: Vincent Otieno

Are you are having trouble sleeping at night because of unpleasant sensations in your legs?  Jerking or twitching movements during sleep are signs of restless leg syndrome. Because of sleep disturbances at night, you struggle to stay awake during the day and feel generally tired.

Even though restless leg syndrome has no cure, medications can treat its symptoms. And people with RLS who have used CBD products claim that they experienced relief from the symptoms. They were able to sleep peacefully at night and have robust mental health. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical component of the cannabis plant that users allege to have potential benefits. Studies are still being conducted to prove these claims.

woman legs under covers in bed

What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a neural disorder that causes an intense urge to move your legs. These overpowering sensations mostly occur when you are relaxed or sleeping. It is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease.

Restless leg syndrome is categorized by most doctors as a sleep disorder because it interferes with night sleep resulting in daytime drowsiness and fatigue. RLS and sleep deprivation exposes you to various health risks if its symptoms are not treated. People with RLS find it difficult to concentrate, fail to complete simple tasks, and have memory impairment. These health risks eventually transform into depression and anxiety if the patients don’t take medications.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 10 percent of Americans have restless leg syndrome. Even though it can occur at any age, it is common the middle-aged and older people. Moreover, women are twice likely to develop RLS compared to men.

What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a neural disorder that causes an intense urge to move your legs. These overpowering sensations mostly occur when you are relaxed or sleeping. It is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease.

Restless leg syndrome is categorized by most doctors as a sleep disorder because it interferes with night sleep resulting in daytime drowsiness and fatigue. RLS and sleep deprivation exposes you to various health risks if its symptoms are not treated. People with RLS find it difficult to concentrate, fail to complete simple tasks, and have memory impairment. These health risks eventually transform into depression and anxiety if the patients don’t take medications.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 10 percent of Americans have restless leg syndrome. Even though it can occur at any age, it is common the middle-aged and older people. Moreover, women are twice likely to develop RLS compared to men.

Causes of restless leg syndrome

Scientists are yet to learn the cause of restless leg syndrome. However, genes play a significant role according to this study conducted by the University of Extramadura Hospital in Spain.  Almost half of the people with RLS have a relative also having the same condition.  RLS may also develop due to the following factors:

Medications

People with restless leg syndrome claim that certain medications may worsen their symptoms. These drugs include antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and nausea meds. Consult your doctor before taking any of these medications. They may worsen your restless leg syndrome condition.

Chronic diseases

Some long-term diseases may induce symptoms of RLS. These diseases include diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, uremia, iron deficiency, and renal disease.

Pregnancy

Some women develop RLS during pregnancy especially during the last trimester. This condition may be triggered by limited amounts of folic acid or iron in the body. High levels of estrogen may also be attributed to RLS according to this study by the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Germany.

Lifestyle

Addiction to caffeine can trigger the development of restless leg syndrome. Some people also claim that alcohol and tobacco (nicotine) may cause RLS. More studies need to be conducted to confirm these allegations.

What are the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

The most prominent symptom of RLS is the uncontrollable movement of legs while you are still or lying on the bed. Here are other symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

  • Sensations in the legs when you begin resting.
  • Intense leg twitching especially in the evening.
  • Daytime sleepiness.
  • Reduced productivity due to poor sleeping patterns.
  • Goosebumps in the legs.
  • Leg itching.
  • You find relief from these symptoms through walking, running, or having a warm shower.
  • Moodiness and hyperactivity.
  • Poor concentration during the day.

Restless Leg Syndrome can predispose you to certain conditions

It is true that certain chronic diseases can make you susceptible to restless leg syndrome. However, RLS can also predispose you to dangerous conditions. When restless leg syndrome combines with sleep deprivation, you are at a high risk of getting:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

You should consult with your doctor to get medication for better sleep to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation on your health. Treating restless leg syndrome is still based on trials and doctors are yet to discover the actual cure.

How does CBD manage the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

Despite RLS being present for a long time, it is only recently that people started using CBD products as a form of treatment for RLS symptoms. Previously, the common ways to treat manage RLS symptoms included taking hot baths, using medications, hot or cold compresses around your legs, massages, and conducting specific types of exercises. Studies now reveal that CBD can alleviate the symptoms of RLS.

A study conducted by the Center for Clinical Science on 6 patients shows that CBD oil can relieve the symptoms of RLS. These participants observed reduced intensity or disappearance of the RLS symptoms after using CBD oil.

man getting cbd oil out of a cbd tincture
woman squirting cbd oil lotion on her hand

Research on the benefits of CBD to the body reveals that it is a muscle relaxant with powerful nerve-calming effects. It can be applied topically on the legs or taken orally to experience relief from your symptoms. Some people with RLS claim to have witnessed reduced sensations after using a CBD tincture under the tongue or applying topically on the legs before going to bed.

It is not clear whether CBD ends up treating the underlying causes of the symptoms of RLS. But users have reported better sleeping patterns. More research needs to be conducted on the potential benefits of CBD to prove the claims that users make about it.

Where can I buy CBD oil or lotion?

Here's a few products from our trusted CBD partners that would work well for Restless Leg Syndrome.

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Conclusion

Restless leg syndrome is a neural condition characterized by overpowering sensations and movements of the legs. The cause of RLS is not yet known but scientists have noted risk factors such as gender, age, family history, certain medications, and chronic conditions. RLS can substantially affect your health if left untreated. It can cause poor sleeping patterns, reduced concentration span, impaired memory and failure to complete simple tasks.

People with RLS claim that CBD can alleviate the symptoms of RLS such as leg twitching and burning sensations. Even though they may find relief in CBD products, scientists are yet to prove the ability of CBD to reduce muscle movement and calm the nerves.

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