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How to Use Lavender Oil to Calm Restless Legs

Applying lavender oil to the legs and feet in a bedtime massage seems to calm restless legs.

Restless legs don’t sound particularly serious, but the overwhelming urge to move the legs every few minutes or so can prevent a good night’s sleep. The sensation can be extremely unpleasant. Usually, restless legs syndrome is only noticeable when a person is inactive, sitting or lying still. There are medications, but the side effects can be serious. That’s why many people are looking for non-drug approaches to calm restless legs.

How Can You Calm Restless Legs?

Q. A few months ago I bought lavender soap to put in my bed for my restless leg syndrome (RLS). I experienced a good bit of relief.

When I told a friend about it, she decided to try lavender oil. She had been unable to sleep well due to RLS and achy legs. She rubs lavender oil on her feet and legs and she has been sleeping through the night.

I have tried putting lavender oil on my knees and experienced even greater relief than I had with the bed soap. I hope this approach will help others.

Lavender Oil to Calm Restless Legs:

A. Aromatherapy with lavender oil has a long history as a sleep aid to ease restlessness. Lavender oil massage has been shown to work better than placebo in easing symptoms of RLS (Hashemi et al, Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Dec., 2015).

Sometimes doctors prescribe oral medications to treat restless legs syndrome or a similar but more severe problem called periodic limb movement disorder. These help some people, but we worry about side effects. That’s why we love reports that soap under the bottom sheet can sometimes calm restless legs. We are just as pleased to learn that lavender oil helps.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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