Treatments for RLS
Remember that before taking any medication it is imperative that you consult with doctor/ pharmacist to make sure that you are on the right treatment. Some treatments that work for some people may not work for you.
There are a number of medical treatments and alternative therapies available for RLS which are covered in these pages. However, it is important to follow a number of general ‘sleep hygiene’ tips to help encourage a good night’s sleep.
Advice on how to improve sleep
Substances to avoid
Avoidance of alcohol may help some patients, particularly those with a family history of RLS. In one study, 17.5% of individuals with a family history of RLS reported that alcohol worsened their symptoms.
Avoidance of caffeine-containing drinks is commonly advised, but the evidence linking RLS and caffeine intake is sparse. However, it seems sensible that a substance that delays sleep onset is not going to help sleep hygiene.
Smoking cessation is sometimes recommended, but while it is clearly desirable from a general health perspective, the medical evidence for this in RLS is ambiguous. Smoking is thought to exacerbate RLS, and a study has found RLS to be more common in smokers. However, another study found no association between smoking and either RLS or PLMS.