TheConnectionandTreatmentOptionsfo RestlessLegSyndromeandSleepApnea

The Connection and Treatment Options for Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition described by a nearly irresistible urge to move the legs. This condition gets worse in the evening and is very common with more than 3 million cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year. While Restless Leg Syndrome is probably known what may be less commonly known are those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are more likely to suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome.

The Connection between Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea are two conditions that are more likely to develop as a person ages. While anyone at any age can be affected by these conditions, those over the age of 40 are more likely to have Sleep Apnea. When it comes to Restless Leg Syndrome, many who experience severe symptoms are older. The symptom typically becomes more common and lasts longer as time goes on.

A study found out that clinically significant Restless Leg Syndrome, which means symptoms are present at least 2-3 days each week, was found in 8.3% of Sleep Apnea patients. In contrast, the control group of the study without Sleep Apnea showed that Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms at only 2.5%.

Habits that Negatively Affects Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Certain habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol in the hours before bed can lower sleep quality which makes both conditions worse. Caffeine can also affect negatively Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea even though the tolerance in each person is different. If you struggle with these two conditions, make sure to:

  • Monitor your caffeine intake
  • Limit alcohol consumption before bed and avoid overdoing it or you may have a drink or two in the 3-4 hours before bed
  • Stop smoking

Treatment Option for Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Improve Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene habits can help manage both conditions and prepare you for the best sleep. Some of the sleep habits you may do include:

  • Making sure your room is quiet and cool
  • You are sticking to a regular sleep schedule
  • You follow a relaxing bedtime routine

It is also wise to turn off your electronic devices about an hour before bed. It emits blue light that has been shown to lessen the brain’s production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. In addition, a hot bath is also perfect to bring relief for Restless Leg Syndrome.

If you find it hard for both of the conditions, research shows that there are solutions to help you finally take control of them at the same time. Studies have found out that the use of CPAP machines for Sleep Apnea treatment is beneficial for the treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome concurrently. Half of the patients who used CPAP have reduced their use of drug treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome. While less research is on the efficacy of CPAP for the treatment of both conditions, it is reasonable to assume that they have a positive outcome for the treatment of both.

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