Restless Leg Syndrome
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Restless Leg Syndrome
Does anyone have any information to share regarding restless legs
syndrome? Interested in causes and remedies, including info. on
Calm's forte night time remedy or other medications.Thanks from
A Very Unrested kicker.
An unrested kicker
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia early this year. One of the
associated symptoms was restless leg syndrome. I have to say
that Calmsforte has done the trick 99% of the time for me. I'm
38 weeks pregnant at this point and wouldn't be able to sleep
much without it. Someone recommended Boiron's Quietude, but it
did nothing for me. Homeopathic remedies work differently for
everyone, so I hope the Calmsforte works for you. Before
Calmsforte, I had to get out of bed, do a series of squats, calf
raises and one-leg dips on the stairs, and then a series of
stretches before I could go back to bed...and then there was no
guarantee that my legs wouldn't start up again. I do remember my
doctor (UCSF) saying that there was some prescription medication
I could take, but I didn't want to go that route since I was
pregnant. Good luck!
I have had Restless Leg Syndrome for years and finally have a
combo of things I use when it is really bothering me.
First, I do a stretch every night where I sit at the top of the
stairs, at the edge and lay back with my legs straight out. I
then hug one leg to my chest and leave the other straight out for
30 seconds. Then switch. I follow that with a stretch to the back
of the thighs - one leg on the bed and lean forward with a
straight back. This gets the circulation going which is key.
Regular walking helps too.
Secondly I have found taking calcium at bedtime really helps. I
have tried numerous brands and find I usually have to switch
every 6 months to a year. Currently I take Calcet which I got at
Pharmaca on Solano Ave. in Berkeley. My acupunturist suggested
taking calcium lactate with a bit of vinegar in water to help
Lastly, I have a terrific chiropractor (Patrick Tribble on The
Alameda in Berkeley) who works over the muscles of my legs with a
strong massaging machine. This makes the most difference. The
other things keep me going in between visits (I go every other
week). Hope those tips help I know how horrible it feels!
Hi - I also suffer from restless leg syndrome - though it
is only really bad when I am pregnant. My only input, is
that for me, it was MUCH worse when I drank milk. (I think
high levels of phosphorus compared to calcium makes it worse).
Sodas also made it worse.
Taking a multi-vitamin made it better, as did doing ''squats''
before going to bed.
I sympathize with you - restless leg syndrom is horrible!
(I even had it in my sides one night!) Good luck.
I am a big believer in hydration and I can attribute most, if
not all, of the ''jumpy legs'' that we get in our family to
dehydration. Over the summer my 3yo got them so badly that we
would put her to bed with a sippy cup of water and then when
she would wake up in the middle of the night we would make her
drink the whole cup. Sure enough, if she was able to get the
water down the jumpy legs cleared up within about 15 minutes.
If she refused to drink the water she would be up about every
10 minutes, kicking at her blanket and writhing around
complaining that her legs hurt. After about 2 weeks of this
routine she learned first-hand that is was important to drink
water and now she asks for us to fill up her cup before going
to bed. I even suspect that she wakes up some nights and
drinks it herself without calling us because the cup is empty
in the morning. People always ask about her having to go to
the bathroom in the middle of the night and I guess we're just
lucky because that's not an issue and she's able to hold it
through the night regardless of the amount of water consumed.
Besides, I'd rather take her to the bathroom in the middle of
the night and ''fix'' the problem than have her writhe around
with jumpy legs all night. I hope this helps. Drink up!
I do a few things to relieve restless leg syndrome.
I sleep with my feet/legs up on a pillow. I've had to do this
for a long time but lately I don't have to sleep that way every
Sometimes in the evening I get it and think it's because I'm
really tired. I sit on the couch with my legs raised on a stool
Also, I find that exercise in a warm pool eliminates the
If I can't get to the pool for a while a hot bath does the
Ever since I was a teenager I've had a strange ''ailment'' that
keeps me from falling asleep and has contributed to my insomnia.
Starting when I get into bed -- and sometimes earlier in the
evening -- my legs start aching and twitching and will not
relax. It's especially bad right around the knee area. It's
really hard to describe what the sensation feels like, but it's
almost as if I have to keep moving my legs in order to get some
relief, but the relief never comes.
I always thought this was just some funky muscular thing (my mom
used to call it ''growing pains'') particular to me, since I had
never heard of anyone else with this problem. However, a recent
search on the Internet revealed a few sites devoted to something
called ''restless leg syndrome.'' I had never heard of such a
thing, but it's the closest I've come to putting a name to this
Has anyone heard of or dealt with restless leg syndrome? If so,
what sort of treatment, if any, have you tried? I'm very curious
to find out more. It would be SUCH a relief to climb into bed
and be completely relaxed instead of feeling like I need to run
around the block to ''get the twitches out.'' Thanks!
Sleepless in Oakland
I have had restless legs syndrome for about 12-15 years.
Most current information is at www.rls.org. You can email me if
you want to discuss it further. Paula
Restless leg syndrome is something that sleep disorder centers
deal with. You stay overnight there, wired up to all sorts of
devices, and they monitor all your body functions. Then they can
try and determine cause and effect for treatment.
Depending on your health insurance, this may be an easy or
difficult referral to get. They will probably want to treat you in
a cheaper way first. But if their treatment is not effective, try
and manipulate however you can to go for the overnight study. I
cornered Kaiser into sending me to Stanford for one by paying out
of pocket ($300) for a consultation there. The high mucky-muck
doctor who examined me there (not for restless legs- another sleep
disorder) wrote a letter to Kaiser saying that I medically needed
that testing. I got the test and the results were very helpful.
Oh, how I feel your pain. It's ironic because I was going to
write it asking basically the same question as you. I also
have a problem with my restless legs, and unfortunately it has
only gotten worse now that I'm pregnant. Actually, it makes me
really sad because my husband and I can't even really sleep
together anymore because I keep him up all night with my
kicking and twitching.
A few years ago, I had a doctor prescribe, of all things,
quinine sulfate--and it actually worked pretty well. Then, I
moved to the Bay Area and never followed up on it with another
doctor. Before I got pregnant, I took advil every night before
I went to bed to help relieve the twitchiness. Now that I'm
pregnant, I'm pretty much just suffering through it, although I
will take Tylenol (the doctor ok'd this) if it gets really bad.
I found the Restless Leg Syndrome website the best for
information. Basically, my new plan is to see a doctor at
Kaiser pretty much as soon as I can after giving
birth...because this stinks.
oh yeah, do i have the ''wiggley leg'' thing bad ! i have had it
for ever. it used to be really intense on airplanes, all
cramped up for hours, and also when i take too much cold
medicine. i find when i am overly tired (physically and
otherwise ), my legs can start wiggling (exactly as you
describe) even before i get into bed. the minute i sit down at
the end of the day. if i take a warm bath, wear warm pj's, put
heating pad on legs, and use relaxation techniques (that
works least), this helps alot. do all of these things, if
possible. good luck !
I've got the same problem and done the same Internet searches.
An incredible variety of drugs is prescribed for the problem,
which hints to me that none works especially well. Vigorous
exercise during the day really does help (somewhat).
I too have ''restless leg syndrome'' although not as badly as you,
and it hardly bothers me. But it was worse during pregnancy (it
was so irritating during my second pregnancy, that it would have
factored into making a decision about being pregnant for a third
time, had it come to that). My prenatal yoga instructor had an
article she had found about it, and I do recall one thing that it
talked about was stretching, particularly the calf muscles. So
give it a try. Wish I remembered more; maybe someone else will
have more info for you.
I used to have twitchy legs whenever I laid down to go to sleep.
This went on for years and years. I would roll my feet back and
forth and ''wag'' my legs for a while. I found it relaxing and
soothing even though it kept me awake longer. I did some web
research on restless leg syndrome (RLS) and the best advice I
got was to try iron supplements. I did that for a little while
and the RLS disappeared. I discontinued the iron supplements
because iron is one of those supplements that can cause damage
if overused, and I was not under a doctor's supervision. The RLS
did not return, and I haven't had the problem since.
I have ''restless'' legs too! It took me years to figure out what
to do. When I suffered a knee and foot injury I had to go
through physical therapy. The PT realized that the tibial(?)
bands that run down the side of my legs from my hip to my knees
where unusually tight and knotted. Turns out this is where
I 'carry' my stress. Both the PT and now my personal gym trainer
suggest that I ''roll'' out the tightness with a large 3' long
foam roller, which can be purchased at any yoga store for approx
$19. I got mine at the yoga place in Rockridge on College Ave.
They could probably show you how to use it too.
I turn on my side and roll the tibial band over the roller every
morning and every night to release the tension in my legs. I
literally cannot sleep if I don't do this. Sometimes it's
painful, but also feels good. Good luck!
Wow, I thought I was the only person who had something like
this! For me, it's a tight muscle in one leg, right below the
knee, that will not release, and no amount of walking or
stretching or massaging will do anything. I can't possibly stay
still when it's like that. It has at times kept me awake all
night, whimpering and thrashing about. The only relief I have
found is something like acupressure. There is a point along the
nerve that ennervates that muscle that is up on the side of my
thigh. If I press it really hard (and it does hurt)for a minute
or two, the muscle gradually releases. The place to press is a
spot that usually feels really hot.
It also might help to see a chiropractor.
Hope you get some relief!
found some relief
My husband has had RLS since he was a child. His parents had to
massage his legs every night so he could sleep. We also did some
research and found the following two things helped immensely. The first
was he completely gave up caffeine. The second was taking a
magnesium supplement. Hope this helps.
You are not crazy or alone. Millions of people suffer from this
condition to one degree or another. My husband and his family
all have it, and I think our 3-year-old probably does too
(judging from the acrobatics she sometimes performs before going
to asleep). There is some evidence that a diet rich in Folate /
Folic acid can help. Good luck!
I developed what my OB called ''Restless Leg Syndrome'' during my
pregnancy, and from what I understand, it is a kind of catch-all
term applied to a range of sensations (some like the ones you
describe). While my symptoms may be due to something else (I had
a complicated pregnancy and post-partum), I went to an
endocrinologist who discovered a vitimin D and calcium deficiancy.
She put me on supplements of Vitimin D, calcium and magnesium
which really seemed to help. Your symptoms sound a bit different
than mine-- I reccomend that you go to a doctor (such as an
endocrinologist familiar with this syndrome) to get checked out. I
also found acupuncture helpful.
Good luck--these symptoms are awful!
I've had this syndrome since I was a teenager and my mother as well. I
haven't found the perfect cure yet. I have noticed, however, that I am
more likely to get this if my legs get chilled. This happens sometimes
when I'm wearing shorts or light-weight pants and then the temperature
drops in the evening. Consequently, I have found that putting a heating
pad on my legs when they are restless seems to help a lot in relieving
the discomfort and helping me go to sleep. I'll be curious to see what
other people say!
In my case, the RLS started as a side effect of SSRI
anti-depressants. I have used drugs to treat it (Klonopin and
Sinemet) effectively at various times, but after going to the
California Center for Sleep Disorders in Oakland, I'm now
able to get to sleep without too much trouble just by
practicing ''good sleep hygiene.'' My sleep doctor is Aamir
Faruqui, M.D., 510/834-8333 (the practice's web site is
Less Twitchy Than Before
I sometimes get what I would consider a mild version of RLS.
It feels like I am overcaffinated and jittery or something even
though I don't drink caffine. One thing that I find helps when
I get this way is something I learned in yoga. First of all,
just stretching out before going to bed really helps. If I
start to feel it when I am in bed I do part of a yoga
relaxation exercise I learned. I move from my toes up and
tense up each part of my body (toes, calves, thighs, buttocks,
stomach etc...). Tense you shoulders up like you are really
cold, clench you fists and scrunch up your face so you look
like you are screaming in agony) Just make your body as tense
as possible and once you are holding every part as tense as
possible, hold until you can't anymore(it's pretty tiring). Let
you body shake a little. I try to make it to 20 seconds. Then
release. I find this works out that restless energy that makes
it immopssible to fall asleep. If that doesn't work, then I get
out of bed and do more stretching. It really feels good and I
usually can fall asleep after that. Hope you get some relief.
I, too, have had restless leg syndrome since I was a teen.
During my first pregnancy, it was so bad that I paced around our
tiny apartment for hours every night.
I found out that it was a recognized ailment quite a while ago,
when my husband was in med school, but at that time the only
treatment was some kind of antidepressant drug, I think, and it
had limited results. I believe that is still the case, but I
didn't want to try meds with so many side effects, and have
stopped looking for a medical approach to it.
I have found a few things by trial and error that help me.
Though I still get the feeling, mostly at night, but it hasn't
kept me from sleeping for quite a few years now.
I have realized that the restless leg starts when I am really
tired, and if I continue to stay up it settles in and keeps me
awake. So now, if I'm watching a video with my kids at night and
it starts, I go to bed as quickly as I can. That alone has made
a real difference. It is like my body giving me notice that I
need to get to sleep.
If it is bothering me at night, I get up and do stretches that
stretch the big muscle on the front of my thighs. For instance,
the one where you face a wall and lean against it with one hand
while grabbing your foot behind you and gently pulling it out.
(I guess you can tell I'm not a physical therapist by this
description...) Stretching my hamstrings also helps.
There was a yoga position I used to do at night when I was kept
awake by restless leg that really helped. I don't do it anymore
because it hurts my knees now. It is called child's pose and
involves tucking your calves up under your thighs and then
bending over to lie the top part of your body on your thighs. It
is very relaxing and seems to calm the leg muscles by
simultaneously stretching and squeezing them.
No miracle cures here, but a couple of things that make the
restless leg no longer a big problem in my life (except when it
hits when I'm in the movie theatre...that's the worst!)
I also have restless leg syndrome - though it is only really
bad when I am pregnant. It is a horrible feeling and makes it
impossible to sleep at night. It is mostly in my legs, though
at times I have also felt it in my arms and even in my sides!
It is the worst thing ever! I have to continually flex my muscles
and kick my legs. My father and my brother also have it.
These are a few things that I have found make it worse:
- Being very tired
- Drinking milk
- Some pain medications such as tylenol
Some things that help:
- Doing some leg exercises (squats) before I get in bed
- Taking vitamins
- Drinking lots of water.
There are a lot of web sites that are devoted to this syndrome,
I would read them, they could probably help you. Good luck!
Feel free to contact me if you like.
My 65 year-old father has been officially diagnosed by a
neurologist as having ''Restless Leg Syndrome''. He has suffered
from it for many years and thought he was the only one! He has
found relief at night by taking a small dose of Permax (generic
name Pergolide-sp?). He lives in Baltimore but would be more
than happy to talk with you if interested.
Both my husband and I have this same problem from time
to time. He gets it more often then I do. We have termed it
''wiggle leg''. It is utterly annoying and I can completely
sympathise with you. I never knew there was a real term for
it. Sometimes when I have it I get up and do leg stretches.
Sometimes I do leg excersises as well. Or if it's really bad I
have my husband massage my leg. All of these things
seem to help. My husband gets it so bad that he has to run
up and down the stairs. He has a much higher metabolism
than I do and he seems to require more physical activity in
order to feel calm and focused. I don't know what brings it
on, but I've always suspected it was due to not enough
physical excersise and too much muscle tension. My
husband just informed me that his condition improved after
cutting caffeine out of his diet. He is very sensative to the
There was previous discussion about restless leg syndrome,
and I found this article about a possible cause.
Here is the link:
Study Suggests Cause For Restless Leg Syndrome
this page was last updated: Dec 28, 2003
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network