I am pregnant with my 2nd child and have been suffering with lack of sleep for the past week due to unbearable 'crawling' sensations in my legs at night. They feel so hot and the only relief is to get out of bed and walk around. Last night I scoured the bathroom cabinet and found some Siang pure oil that a friend had left here after his trip to Thailand. I rubbed it all over my calves and the cooling sensation was amazing and instant. I returned to bed and slept like a log. I am not sure if this oil is available here, (New Zealand) but looking at the ingredients it seems similar to Tiger Balm white, not the red one which is hot. I am trying it again tonight. I will also be trying some of the other suggestions. I am glad I found this site. Thank you.
Thanks for all of the contributions. Here is mine;
One of the medical approaches focusses upon the production of Dopamine in the brain. As we relax, dopamine production falls away, and the resulting changes in 'signal' activity cause the feeling of impending movement and sudden twitches. This fits with many of the suggestions on this forum, since exercises, activities, having sex,focussing your mind on things etc will all cause the dopamine production to rise again. The problem is our brains, not our legs.
This is particularly important to me, because my dad had Parkinsons disease, and eventually died from it; the medication for RLS is the same, with the same effects; i.e. it wears off, has to be taken in increasing doses etc etc. I've been reassurred by my Dr that having RLS is not an indicator that I will get Parkinsons. (What a relief).
Understanding that it is due to a reducing level of Dopamine producton when we relax, helps.
Unfortunately it seems to be that those of us with this pattern of dopamine production, will be stuck with it, since it gets worse as we get older (I am 60).
Incidentaly, my partner tells me that the jerking legs continue after I am asleep. So, the trick is to get to sleep before the RLS stops you. This is where the sleep preparation activities help; you doze off before the RLS gets you! I believe that we get so anxious about the RLS, that we get a Placebo effect when we find a 'cure', and so get to sleep before the thing kicks back in, purely out of relief.
So that is my contribution; understand that it is due to lowering Dopamine levels when you relax, divert yourself (to lift the levels again), and prepare yourself for sleep in a planned way. Clearly this means caffeine, alcohol etc are unhelpful.
I have suffered with RLS for about 25 years now, a few things that I have found that helps ease the misrable sensations are a drastic change in temperature- like soaking in a warm bath or apply cold packs to the area but these slowly stopped working. I met a man not long ago, like to think he was sent from God, who told me one night when I was having a terrible attack of RLS who said that his grandfather use to have the same symptoms and he would tie a piece of yarn/string around his ankles fairly snug (but don't cut off circulation) and this would relieve him of his pain! I immediately got up and found some string & it worked. I couldn't believe how something so simple could do so much good, but thank you Lord, for the man and the string!
You guys saved me about 2:30 a.m. last night/this morning. Wanted you to know that.
I'm coming off years of a certain leaf/tea thats been a great anti-depressant for me, but needed to wean myself off so much. Edgy as I may be during the day, its the RLS I despise at night. So at 2:30 a.m. I googled some home remedies and grabbed 1) The muscle rub like you said. I don't really care for the ice cold feeling, but it DID help. Also, grabbing a body pillow I pulled my legs in tight to my chest. That too, gave me some relief. But in between I'd also found an old sample of herbal 'relaxing tea' in my cupboard from a health food store. I've had that thing for almost a year, made from dried Blue Lotus, Red Poppy and Chamomile. Made some, drank it, tossed and turned for what seemed to be half an hour more, and next thing I know it was some 4 1/2 hours later and time to get up. That's the LONGEST I've slept in days.
I'm not sure which helped the most, but between the relaxation tea, muscle rub and knees pulled in tight to my chest it worked for me. Hope it works for someone else, I know the HELL that RLS is.
I was in bad shape tonight with my legs. I was reading a bunch of these remedies. I can't do any thing like biofreez ect. I have really sensitive skin. So I used a heating pad. I started it on my lower back and just worked my way down to my feet. I say my feet because they twich the most all the time. Also I did some leg and feet stretches. I hope this helps some one in need. My suggestion is to try a bunch of things to you find one that works.
I am pregnant with my fourth child and my RLS has flared up with every pregnancy. Last night after tossing and turning and rubbing for at least two hours, I came across this forum. I tried walking around for a while, but when I returned to bed.... RLS STILL plagued me. So I had an idea, I grabbed some refrigerated cold packs (the ones that go in a lunch box) and I wrapped them tightly around my calf muscles.... AHHHHHH!!! Sweet Relief!! I haven't slept that well in ... well EVER!! :) Hope this helps ;)
I suffered for decades with ever increasing rls. Tried mj, ace bandages, acupuncture, perscription drugs,reike, hypnotism, etc. etc. I have spent, over the years thousands of dollars trying to relive my symptoms. Now I have found a very inexpensive treatment - MAGNETS!
Strong magnets! Ordered them from a website (google magnets). It could cost you less than $10.00 for wonderful, restful sleep!
I tape them to my leg and have never slept better. I haven't had a good night's sleep for well over 10 years but now I sleep through the night! Friends are all remarking how good I look!
No pills, no more mj (which helped a bit).
I have been using magnets for a couple of months now and have not noticed them losing their effectiveness. And best of all - they cause no problems!
I found this page last night at 3am. I used to suffer from RLS every night. My doc had given me Requip but my the 3rd day of taking it I learned I was allergic to it. It had made me very ill and I had terrible vertigo. my fiances mother (a nurse) informed me that the medication was meant to treat Parkinsons. I stopped it. I started eatting a banana every night before bed and that seemed to help. Over time my symptoms dissapeared.
Well, last night I had it again for the first time in years. I assume its due to coming off percocet I was taking for a knee injury and that I was withdrawing. I tried the banana trick. Nothing. I found some good suggestions using things I had at home (seeing it was 3am and couldn't go to a doctor or get any vitamins). I rubbed Ben Gey all on my legs (especially my thighs, they were the worst) then while in bed I put my legs up and peddled like I was on a bike. Did that till I was a bit sore. I put a heating pad on my lower back as I have sciatica and that could have been causing it too. Finally I pulled my knees to my chest and held them there tight for about 5 mins while I listened to sleep meditations I found on youtube. After that I fell right back asleep. When I woke up I was amazed at how well it had worked!
Hope this helps someone!
Apparently I have suffered from rls for most of my life - just didn't realize what it was until recently. Don't remember why but my method of treatment for most of my life was 4 inch ace bandages. Have routinely wrapped both legs at night and for years this pretty much kept the syptoms in check. However, in recent years the pain is accelerating and I added biofreeze with DMSO. My doctor has also been helpful in supplying pain pills as long as I keep the use under control. Still spend many nights just pacing until I walk the pain away. My mother did the same thing. My mother's legs did not bother her toward the end of her life but apparently that was due to the Alzheimer's. Not a great trade.
dear friends, i watched on TV couple weeks back the report, 'The last Hart attack,'
by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, i started eating that way, very low fat, and all my RLS disappears. it feels so good now.