Do Bananas Help With Restless Leg Syndrome?

When you have restless leg syndrome, it can seem as though nothing really helps and you just can’t stop the need to move your legs. 

eating a banana

There are some natural ways to help with restless leg syndrome, including changing your diet. There has been some mention of bananas helping with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome – but is it true?

The short answer is yes – and here’s why. 

Potassium

Bananas are rich in potassium, and potassium is one of the key ingredients in alleviating the symptoms that come with restless leg syndrome. Potassium helps with muscle and nerve function. 

In addition to that, it can help your body to process protein and carbohydrates more efficiently, as well as decreasing your blood pressure. 

There are other foods you can eat with potassium in them, including beans, lentils, avocado, broccoli and spinach. 

However, bananas are probably the most common food thought of to be full of potassium. 

Are There Other Foods That Can Help With the Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

If you have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome there is a diet you can follow that will generally help to alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing. 

While there is no cure for this condition, research has shown that following a healthy and balanced diet can help to lessen the symptoms you do experience. 

This can include 

  • Ensuring you get a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, with a strong influence on dark leafy greens.
  • Eat iron-rich foods often, like lean meats.
  • Make sure you include a good amount of seeds, tree nuts and legumes. 
  • Try to avoid deep-friend and highly processed foods that can lead to weight gain. 

If you can make significant changes to your diet, and stick with them, you can see drastic improvements to the symptoms you experience. 

Vitamin D3 and Iron Rich Foods

This kind of vitamin D is typically found in animal protein sources – like lean meats. 

Vitamin D3 and iron work together in your body to improve your body’s red cell production. 

When your body lacks these specific nutrients it can lead to leg cramps, and make the symptoms of restless leg syndrome even worse. 

You can increase your amount of iron by ensuring you eat a lot of leafy greens and even incorporating some fish into your diet. 

Other Important Nutrients for Restless Leg Syndrome

If you want to, you can add in folate and magnesium supplements to help with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. There have been studies done that show these two supplements help with the symptoms people experience with this syndrome. 

Folate may also be called Vitamin B9 so if you take that one you are already taking folate. 

What to Cut Out of Your Diet

When it comes to eating a balanced diet, it’s important to focus on cutting out items as well as including some new ones. 

If you can, try to avoid – or completely cut out – alcohol and caffeine, especially right before you go to bed. These two things can make your symptoms worse and can even make it harder for you to fall asleep. 

Other Health Conditions  

While there are not any specific health conditions that lead to having restless leg syndrome, there are a number of them that tend to also be present in people who have this condition. 

These additional medical conditions can include 

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease 

If you can treat these conditions, or just make sure they are well managed, you can very easily reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. 

Sleep Routine

By implementing a regular sleep and nighttime routine it can help with reducing the severity of the symptoms you experience. 

Sleeping Senior

There has been some studies shown that if you have a regular routine and head to bed at around the same time every night, it can really help with the symptoms you’re experiencing. 

Making your sleep environment better can also go a long way to helping with restless leg syndrome. 

Try these tips for helping you to get up less in the middle of the night 

  • Make sure your room is cool and dark 
  • Turn of all artificial lights, like your TV and phone 
  • Go to bed at the same time every night (or around the same time)
  • Try to limit or cut out caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the few hours before bedtime 
  • Get physical activity of some kind each day 
  • Avoid a late dinner that is within a couple hours of going to bed 

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

This condition affects almost 8% of the total global population, and many people who have it don’t even know they have it. 

Many people who have it think they just have trouble sleeping and they don’t know that there’s an actual condition for it. 

While there is not one direct condition or medical issue that causes restless leg syndrome, there are a few things that can make someone more susceptible to having it. 

Genetics 

There have been genetic links found when it comes to restless leg syndrome. This means that family members can inherit it from each other. 

So if you have this or another sleeping disorder, chances are it runs in your family and you have inherited it from your family members. 

Dopamine imbalance 

Many people with restless leg syndrome are found to have a lack of dopamine in their body. 

Dopamine is a substance that occurs naturally in our bodies, but some people may not produce enough on their own. 

Dopamine is responsible for carrying signals from various parts of the body to the brain. 

It also plays a crucial role in our physical movements, and emotional responses. 

This means that having the right amount of dopamine in our body is essential for ensuring a physical and mental health balance. If you have a dopamine imbalance, it could be a cause for restless leg syndrome. 

Pregnancy 

Many pregnant women will experience restless leg syndrome, especially towards the later stages of their pregnancy. 

pregnancy announcement

Experiencing this condition while pregnant is often associated with the hormonal fluctuations, discomfort and even sleep deprivation that comes with pregnancy. 

If you have restless leg syndrome because of pregnancy, or associated with pregnancy, the symptoms will usually resolve themselves within a couple weeks of delivering your baby. 

Other Natural Ways to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

If you’re living with restless leg syndrome, it makes sense that you want to try and alleviate the symptoms without resorting taking medication. 

If you’re looking for natural ways to treat restless leg syndrome, here are a few options you can try. 

Yoga 

Practicing yoga gets you to focus on your breathing and stretching. These two things can actually help calm nerves and smooth your senses, while keeping your physically fit. 

Including some practice of yoga in your daily routine will not only help to keep you in better physical shape, it can also help to reduce or alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome you’re experiencing. 

Try Relaxation Techniques 

Breathing exercises, like meditating, before bed can help to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you’re experiencing. 

Relaxing and breathing exercises, especially before bed, can really go a long way to eliminating the symptoms of many types of sleeping disorders – including restless leg syndrome. 

Meditation can also help with your overall physical and mental well-being. 

Avoid Sugar and Sodium Before Bed

If you are consuming foods that are loaded with sugar and sodium, especially before bed, it can make the symptoms of restless leg syndrome so much worse. 

These two minerals will activate and worsen the symptoms someone experiences, so it’s important to make sure you try to not eat them close to bed time – or even cut them out altogether if you can. 

If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you may want to think twice before binging on some junk food in front of the TV. 

Weighted Blankets

Try a Weighted Blanket

There has been quite a bit of research shown that weighted blankets can really help with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. 

Weighted blankets work by applying gentle pressure all over the body, and it can help to distract from the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. 

This blanket can help as the pressure being applied to someone’s legs produces the hugging effect. The hugging effect will release key relaxation and sleep hormones so you can get a good night’s sleep. 

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to help with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome that do not involve medication. 

From balancing your diet, and ensuring you have enough fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to trying to make sure your nighttime routine is the same every night, there are ways to improve your daily habits that will help you to get a good night’s sleep. 

All of these suggestions may not work for you, but there could be a combination of them that do. It’s important that you find what works for you so you can get back to sleeping at night and not being up all night wandering around.