I suffered from restless leg syndrome for over 20 years. It got so bad that I became ill from lack of sleep, and doctors offered no solutions except heavy-duty drugs to knock me out at night. I refused them and found a solution on my own.
I decided I needed to write down everything I did, ate and drank during the day to see what could possibly be causing the problem. I would then take note of the nights I had restless legs and the severity. I found a few simple changes helped me tremendously.
Cutting Out All Stimulants
I found that if I drank anything caffeinated after 3:00 pm, I was more likely to have problems. How much caffeine I took in and how late I consumed it determined the degree of severity of my symptoms. After I cut out caffeine, I found that all stimulants had the same effect. I cut out all sugars for at least 6 hours before bedtime, which improved the symptoms, but did not get rid of them completely. I started looking for hidden stimulants and found a few I was not aware of in the herbal supplements and drinks I was using to replace the caffeinated drinks, so I started only drinking distilled water from 3:00 pm until bedtime.
Increasing My Calcium and Magnesium Intake
I read an article by Dr. Andrew Weil that suggested taking a calcium/magnesium supplement before going to bed. I had already read that this supplement was good for insomnia, and I had been taking it, but had stopped. I read more and found that Zinc combined with the other two minerals increased the potency, so I bought a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement and started taking it every night at least an hour before bedtime. It took about two weeks, but it helped me fall asleep faster and I did not toss and turn as much.
Stretching Exercises and Massage
Medical sites also suggested stretching exercises and massage in the evenings . I started looking into yoga and tai-chi, and chose some excellent stretches from those. Also, I used relaxing music and meditation while stretching to de-stress, since stress is a huge contributor to restless legs. I massaged my legs for 10 minutes after my stretches.
All these things together reduced my restless leg syndrome attacks to nearly zero. I still occasionally have symptoms, but only when I break my routine of no stimulants, taking my calcium supplement and doing my stretches, massage and meditation. When I stick to this routine, I sleep like a baby.