Does Restless Leg Syndrome keep you up during the night?

Jumping, itchy & uncomfortable legs can be a real problem – I'd love to hear from anyone who's experienced this

Posted 10 Jan 2012 at 5:52 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Graduate

    I recommend that anyone with restless leg syndrome take a look at the RLS Foundation website: http://www.rls.org/ They have a wealth of information, and support exploratory research about RLS.

    If you're taking a dopamine-related drug, and you're getting symptoms earlier in the evening, you may be having “augmentation”. Look it up on the RLS Foundation site, and resist if your doctor wants to increase your dose -- that becomes a vicious cycle.

    Personally, I have Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, which is like RLS but happens only while asleep. They are related disorders, and many people with RLS also have PLMs, but not necessarily vice versa.

    I also sometimes have garden-variety insomnia, which is what brought me to Sleepio. Given that PLMD disrupts my sleep quality, I don't want to lose any sleep to insomnia.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Now that RLS has been accepted as a 'real' problem for people and doctors understand the disruption of sleep caused from it there has been more research done. I've suffered with RLS long before anyone knew what it was and other family members suffer from it as well. Ropineral did not work for me, it made my RLS worse so was switched to Mirapex which works great.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    Graduate

    I occasionally suffer from RLS and leg cramps. It does disrupt my sleep and keeps me from being able to go back to sleep. I usually get out of bed and walk back and to through the house. That helps some. Other times I massage my legs to help relax my leg muscles. Magnesium will work, but I'm afraid to take too much of it. Anyone have any natural remedies that would aid in helping RLS? Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    To answer some questions I have read;
    RLS is such an annoyance! It does play a roll in keeping me up. My doc ended up getting meds I take nightly. Sometimes it doesn't help and I get really irritated. Sometimes it feels like my leg is stuck in a painful “tickle” attack, or stuck in a vibrating machine… just won't settle down; feels like your running and can't stop but your not.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I don't know if this is just a coincidence but I used to have restless legs and cramps in my legs. I notice that both have almost disappeared (very rare now), and I think they went at the same time that I stopped having dairy products (which also give me acne, and blocked sinuses). I do have magnesium in the form of hot mag. baths with Epsom salts and liquid magnesium transdermal spray in the water too. NB I find that a hot bath too close to bed time is energising, so allow time to cool down (about 3 hours) if you do this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am new to Sleepio. I've just been diagnosed with RLS as part of my overall horrible sleep patterns. I was totally aghast and didn't believe her, until I started watching my feet in the evening, like if I'm reading or watching TV – they are in constant motion. Yeah. Never still. Asked my kids. Yeah, Mom, your feet are “busy”. I also tested low on iron, so I'm on iron, Mirapex, Sleepio, and working toward getting off klonipin and fixing my broken sleep. One thing at a time. I think what the RLS was doing for me was waking me up. But I never noticed HOW I woke up, just THAT I was waking 6-10 times a night and never sleeping longer than 3 hours at the first part of the night. My doc said a lot of people with RLS don't know it. I sure didn't. But looking back, I'm sure my dad had it, and my son has it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi BusyLegsGranny. Welcome to Sleepio.
    I think it quite unusual to actually see legs moving with RLS, so I guess yours is very much worse than mine.
    My GP thinks that mine may be caused by my lowered kidney function. This often happens as we age, apparently,-- it's no fun getting old is it?!
    Since being with Sleepio I have given up caffeinated drinks and alcohol,this has helped my sleep and also seems to have helped my RLS. I also try to take a 20 minute walk each day and I'm sure this helps too.
    I think that you can get medication if your symptoms are really bad and keeping you awake. It might be worth checking with your GP again.
    Hope you do well with the course, get back to the community if you need help-- the dreaded week 3 onwards is really tough, but it's worth the hardship as it does gradually improve you sleep.
    Best wishes
    Megwich

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks, Megwich! I too gave up caffeine, alcohol, etc and have added hard exercise every day. Been working on sleep for a long time. Finally got a consult with a sleep expert – she said, “You are doing all the right things,” and suggested RLS. I am on medication for the RLS and have noticed a decrease in evening wiggles! But still not sleeping great. It will be a long process. I'm ready. Have done some sleep restriction on my own…I know it's pretty miserable. Will have 'week 3” off work, so that will make it a little easier, psychologically! Thanks for chatting. BLG

  • Sleepio Member

    • 35 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I've suffered from foot pain for many years which I put down to a car accident. I find I'm constantly twitching my toes because of the pain, and my lower legs ache a lot in bed. I'm now wondering if this is RLS – I certainly find it very difficult to keep my legs still in bed once the aching has started? I eat a very healthy diet – am on gluten free for coeliac, organic veg, take magnesium and iron…...

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    It could be RLS sunnynorth, but it could also be referred pain from the lower spine which causes pain in the leg and foot.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Had RLS for a number of years when I was younger,up till I was 31 and got pregnant and then started taking iron tablets, and it got better whether extra iron worked, but haven't suffered since.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    I have recently developed RLS in the past 5 years or so. I tried a lot of different solutions with no success until the birth of my last daughter. The doctor asked me a bunch of questions and wanted to know what she could do to help. I told her I needed to get sleep and I thought that would help (My daughter was born with several issues that immediately set me over the edge mentally). I told her I thought I had RLS and she told me to take Magnesium with a combination of calcium and potassium. (She told me that from her own personal experience not necessarily from a professional standpoint.) I do that now and I certainly notice when I forget to as it starts up again after missing a few nights. RLS flares up more in pregnancy for me (now expecting our unexpected third) but after taking that regiment for a few years I notice it isn't nearly as bad as it once was.
    Good luck everyone finding relief.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Graduate

    I've noticed over the last few weeks that I'm having more and more of a problem getting to sleep when I get into bed (though I'll be honest – I've been increasingly lax about the quarter hour rule as well)

    I've found that listening to the relaxation technique pretty essential for my body to relax – actually doing wonders for my restless leg syndrome. But over the last few weeks (maybe longer) I've noticed that it seems to wake me up mentally.

    I have my wind down routine in place and will be fighting off sleep before I go to bed. Getting into bed I feel ready to sleep – going through the relaxation technique – I wake up. My body is heavy and sleepy but now my brain won't shut down.

    I'm loathe to not do the relaxation technique because it seems to stop the restless leg syndrome from kicking in and that destroys my sleep all night (even when I do get to sleep I keep waking myself up moving around all the time)

    Anyone experienced this or have any advice?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Session 3

    I suffered for many years with restless legs. Had difficulty driving, sleeping, working, sitting , standing, or just living. The Dr tried a variety of meds and finally settled on mirapex which is my wonder drug. Without it I could not function.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
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    Session 3

    Sleepyeve – My sleep routine is similar to yours – when I do the relaxation technique I find my brain ''wakes up” even tho I feel tired & yawning when settling down to sleep (hopefully!). I have RLS & Periodic Limb Movement. It's the PLM that starts – electric shocks down the right side of my body and seem to have no control over it. Unable to take any RLS meds because of side effects. Sorry – no tips on how to proceed. Any suggestions welcome!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 1

    Being on my feet or sitting long periods cause my legs to get tired and they need to be stretcehed..almost to the point that I want to panic because I cannot get them to relax. Then when I get in bed and get them warm they start to calm down. I can also stretch them better there and my toes.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 4

    I use a weighted blanket and it works great!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I, too, have suffered with RLS since I was 12 and I’m now 76. I take mirapex generic at 8:30 pm and use “hot socks” at night.
    “Hot socks” are made from long white men’s athletic socks. I fill them full with brown rice, leaving enough room to tie them off. I pop 2 in microwave for 2 1/2 minutes and then put them under my thigh. Some nights that really works for my RLS, other nights, nothing works.
    I also take an iron tablet a day.
    I’ve discovered trigger foods and try to omit them in my diet. SUGAR is the worst one. Alcohol too late in the evening can be a problem as well.
    I’m so excited to find other people with RLS.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
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    Session 2

    I've had restless legs for years. I used to call them twitchy feet – in fact my whole family experience it from time to time, but I seem to get it the most.

    Usually occurs when I am really tired and starting to relax (just when you want to it to kick in), at the cusp of falling asleep, on airplane flights etc. It also seems to be when they get too hot. I can't keep them still – it's painfully unbearable when I try.

    Getting up an walking around helps. But the best thing i know that gets it away quickly is running my feet under Icy cold water. It's not always possible – but if i'm at home and twitchy feet start, i'll immediately get up, go to the bathroom, run the water cold and then stick my feet under. It takes my breathe away – but i keep them under there for a minute of so until I've got used to the temperature. I do both feet. Dry them off and then get back into bed. 90% of the time it works. My feet slowly warm up in bed but twitchy feet are gone.

    Anyway – i hope that helps… couldn't see that as a suggestion in the first 20 comments i read through.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 2

    I suffer with restless legs all my life my legs sometimes jump but now they ache from top,to bottom expecally if I've been on my feet all day keep they keep me awake at night some nights I could climb the wall with them they that bad I take zapain and gabapemtine which don't always work doctors keep upping the dose but still doesn't help some day I have to take more than substribed as it get really bad have tried every to try and get rid of the jumpy pain even goes as far as my daughter standing on my calves to to stop it

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