If you have another condition such as a neurological disease that causes symptoms similar to RLS, this condition should be treated. Your health care provider may change medications that could cause RLS symptoms. Your provider may order a blood test to determine if you have iron deficiency.
Maintaining good sleep and healthy lifestyle habits can help relieve symptoms:
- Go to sleep and wake up on the same schedule each day
- Use your bed for sleep and intimacy, not for reading or other activities
- Before bed, avoid activities or substances such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine that might keep you awake
- A gentle walk, a warm bath or shower; or a gentle leg massage before bed may be helpful
- Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise can also help
Medications can be prescribed if the above measures don't work. Ropinirole (Requip) and pramipexole (Mirapex) are both approved by the FDA to treat RLS. They raise the level of dopamine, a naturally occurring brain chemical that plays a part in controlling movement. Other drugs that raise dopamine levels are sometimes prescribed. Sleep aids like Ambien or Lunesta may help you sleep, but will not relieve RLS symptoms. You may have to try several different medications to find something that adequately treats your symptoms. Over time, you may find that a medication stops working or does not work as well. If this happens, your healthcare provider can prescribe a different medication.