Home Symptoms Inner restlessness: causes and treatment

Inner restlessness: causes and treatment

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 463 views

Most people know the feeling of inner restlessness . Before an exam, a job interview or after a caffeine overdose, you often feel restless and nervous. That’s perfectly normal. However, inner restlessness can also indicate an illness. In addition, medication and drugs can trigger inner unrest. Read more about the possible causes of inner restlessness – and what helps against it.

quick overview

  • Causes: e.g. too much caffeine , alcohol or nicotine, general psychovegetative disorders, hypoglycaemia, low blood pressure, hyperthyroidism , functional (non-organic) heart problems, menopause, pulmonary embolism , depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia, drugs, medication.
  • What helps: eg relaxation exercises, calming tea, buttermilk, warm full baths, herbal preparations (eg with valerian and hops ), regular exercise, pressure point massage, possibly homeopathic remedies. In addition, treatment of underlying diseases if they are responsible for the inner unrest.
  • When to the doctor? If the inner restlessness does not go away through your own measures, lasts longer and/or is accompanied by other physical or psychological complaints.
  • What does the doctor? Diagnosis with medical history, physical examination, imaging methods such as ultrasound or computed tomography (CT), if necessary scintigraphy, psychological tests and questionnaires. treatment depending on the cause.

Inner restlessness: causes

The causes of inner restlessness are often harmless. Typically, one is restless and nervous before exams (exam anxiety) or an important performance (stage fright). Too much caffeine or stress can also cause anxiety. But sometimes there are serious illnesses behind the inner restlessness.

Important triggers for inner restlessness and nervousness at a glance:

  • Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine : Those who consume too much of these stimulants can experience inner restlessness, among other things. Regular consumption, as in the case of alcohol addiction, can also lead to inner restlessness, anxiety and depressive moods. When the addictive substance is stopped, nervousness and tremors can occur as withdrawal symptoms.
  • Psychovegetative general disorders (vegetative dystonia ): These are unspecific complaints for which no organic cause can be found. Typical are exhaustion, sleep disorders , inner restlessness, nervousness, headache and heart pain, dizziness , low blood pressure, complaints in the area of ​​tendon attachments and muscles as well as depressive moods.
  • Low blood sugar: Low blood sugar ( hypoglycaemia ) can cause, among other things , cravings , sweating, tachycardia, tremors, inner restlessness, impaired consciousness and seizures.
  • Low blood pressure : Anxiety can also occur with low blood pressure ( hypotension ). Other possible symptoms include lack of performance, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), palpitations, depressive mood, sleep disorders, cold hands and feet and dizziness.
  • Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism) : Hyperthyroidism is characterized, among other things, by inner restlessness, insomnia, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, increased sweating, finger tremors, weight loss and diarrhea.
  • Functional heart complaints : The complaints, also known as “cardiac neurosis” or cor nervosum, cannot be explained organically. Typical symptoms are tachycardia, palpitations , palpitations, tightness or oppression in the chest, pulling and pain in the heart and left arm. Inner restlessness, nervousness, insomnia and exhaustion often occur.
  • Menopause (climacteric) : Inner restlessness, nervousness and irritability are also among the typical menopausal symptoms.
  • Pulmonary embolism : A clot of blood, air, fat or a foreign body that has gotten into the lungs blocks an artery in the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, acute and often respiratory-dependent pain in the chest, tachycardia, coughing, anxiety, restlessness, cold sweat and – in the case of large embolisms – shock . Call the ambulance immediately!
  • Depression : Anxiety can also indicate depression . This is especially true if there are other symptoms such as depressed mood, a sense of meaninglessness and hopelessness, a feeling of pressure in the chest and abdomen, sleep disorders, a lack of interest and joy, and a lack of drive.
  • Personality disorders : The main symptoms of a personality disorder include inner restlessness, depression, addiction (nicotine, alcohol and/or other drugs), fear and exhaustion.
  • Schizophrenia : An initial schizophrenic illness can be announced, among other things, by inner restlessness, nervousness, tension, insomnia, lack of concentration , irritability, depression, sensitivity to noise and light, and social withdrawal.
  • Drugs : Hallucinogens are substances that cause hallucinations ( LSD , “magic mushrooms”, datura, henbane, etc.), whereby inner restlessness occurs in the initial stages of the hallucinogenic intoxication. Paradoxically, other drugs, such as cannabis (hemp) , which primarily have a calming effect, sometimes trigger anxiety.
  • Side effect or withdrawal symptom from medication : Various medications can cause anxiety as a side effect, eg certain antidepressants (bupropion, SSRI), amantadine (for influenza and Parkinson’s disease ) and theophylline (for asthma). In addition, inner restlessness can occur as a withdrawal symptom in drug addiction (such as sleeping pills and tranquilizers from the benzodiazepine group).

Inner restlessness: what helps?

If the inner restlessness is not due to an illness that requires treatment, you can do something about it yourself. For example:

  • Relaxation exercises : Proven relaxation techniques against inner restlessness and nervousness are autogenic training and progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson.
  • Buttermilk : A tall glass of buttermilk is also a proven remedy for anxiety.
  • Herbal preparations : Valerian, hops and passion flower in particular help with inner restlessness. They are available in tablet or tea form from pharmacies or drugstores.
  • Regular exercise : jogging , walking, swimming and cycling in particular relax and relieve mental stress, so that inner restlessness and nervousness do not arise in the first place.
  • Pressure point massage : Stimulate the so-called heart 7 pressure point. To find it, bend your wrist slightly towards the forearm. Heart 7 is located directly on the flexor crease on the pinky side, next to the easily palpable flexor tendon. Massage this point with a finger for about a minute.
  • Homeopathic remedies : Some people swear by homeopathic remedies such as Chamomilla (for additional hypersensitivity and moodiness ), Kali arsenicosum (restlessness with restless arms and legs), Arsenicum album (with anxiety and weakness) and Nux vomica (restlessness from work-related stress). However, the effectiveness of homeopathy has not yet been scientifically proven.

Inner restlessness: home remedies

What helps against inner unrest from the field of home remedies? Above all, various herbal remedies are effective helpers if you suffer from nervousness, fears and inner restlessness. Here you can find out how you can use them to combat inner unrest.

Tea against inner restlessness

The following medicinal plants help to relieve anxiety:

Prepared as a tea, they have a calming effect. Valerian in particular is often used as a calming herbal remedy for restlessness and sleep disorders.

If you want to find out more about the preparation of the teas, follow the link on the respective medicinal plant article.

tea mixture can also help: Mix, for example, 60 g passion flower herb with 20 g each of valerian root and peppermint leaves. Pour 250ml of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of the mixture, leave to steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Slowly drink two to three cups in the morning and early afternoon. Sweeten with honey if necessary.

Alternatively, you can get a ready-made tea mixture against inner restlessness in the pharmacy.

Essential Oils

Back and foot rubs

Lavender, thyme and rosemary oil have a calming effect and promote restful sleep. Rubs with these oils are a simple home remedy to use this herbal effect.

Back rub : Warm a few drops of the oil in your hands and gently massage your back in circular motions for several minutes. When applying, be careful not to apply too much pressure. Also, avoid the delicate spine (work to the right and left of the spine).

Foot rub : A rub on the feet also has a similar calming effect on a troubled mind. Begin the rub at the ankle and slowly work your way down to the toes. Do not exert too much pressure.

After the treatment, you should lie down in bed and rest for half an hour. You can rub it in once or twice a day (particularly suitable before going to bed).

Belly pad with chamomile

A moist, hot abdominal pad with chamomile has a pain-relieving, cramp-relieving and relaxing effect. That is why it is used as a home remedy for inner restlessness.

Pour half a liter of boiling water over one to two tablespoons of chamomile flowers. Leave the brew for a maximum of five minutes and then sieve off the plant parts. Place a rolled up inner towel in a second towel and roll the towels up into a wrap. Hang this in hot tea and let it steep for a few minutes.

Wring out the wrap (careful, hot!). Then place the inner cloth around your stomach without any creases and secure it with a dry cloth (eg a towel). After 20 to 30 minutes, remove the wrap. The treated person should rest for half an hour. You can use the belly pad twice a day.


Another tip against inner restlessness are relaxing baths. You can often find ready-mixed bath additives in supermarkets and drugstores.

However, you can also simply prepare yourself a relaxing bath to counteract your inner restlessness. If you are restless or have trouble sleeping, it is best to add lavender , lemon balm, hops, hay flowers or valerian to the bath water. You can use fresh plant ingredients as well as essential oils. Add this to the running bath water.

If you want to enrich the water with an essential oil, you need an emulsifier. It allows the oil to mix better with the bath water. Cream, milk, honey or salt are suitable for this.

The water temperature should not be higher than the measured body temperature. Bathe 15 to 20 minutes – children better shorter. To promote the relaxing effect, you should rest for at least half an hour afterwards.

With a full stomach or an unstable circulation, warm full baths are taboo! Beware of high blood pressure and heart disease. To be on the safe side, ask your doctor first!

calf wrap

Calf wraps can also counteract inner restlessness. You can find out how to use this correctly in the article on the calf wrap .

Home remedies have their limits. If the symptoms persist over a longer period of time, do not get better or even get worse, you should always consult a doctor.

Inner restlessness: when do you have to go to the doctor?

You should see a doctor if:

  • the inner unrest lasts longer
  • Self-help measures (calming tea, relaxation techniques, etc.) that cannot alleviate inner unrest
  • the inner restlessness is accompanied by other physical or psychological complaints (e.g. high blood pressure, depression)

Inner restlessness: what does the doctor do?

The doctor will first question you in detail about your medical history (anamnesis). It is important, for example, how long the inner restlessness has existed, whether there are other symptoms and what medication you are taking, if any.

From this information, the doctor can often derive initial indications of the underlying cause. Various examinations can provide further important information, for example:

  • Physical examination with blood pressure measurement
  • Blood tests : They are helpful, for example, if hypoglycaemia, an overactive thyroid gland or a pulmonary embolism could trigger the inner unrest.
  • Imaging methods : Computer tomography (CT) and X-rays can help if a pulmonary embolism is suspected as the cause of the inner restlessness. An ultrasound examination (sonography) can help to clarify a possible hyperthyroidism.
  • Scintigraphy : This nuclear medicine procedure can also be used to track down a pulmonary embolism or an overactive thyroid gland. You can read more about this procedure here .
  • Tests : Questionnaires and tests are used when psychological causes such as schizophrenia or depression are suspected as the cause of the inner turmoil .

You may also like

Leave a Comment