It’s been a rough week for me. I don’t know what triggered it, but my Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) has been a nightly struggle for me lately. If you suffer from this, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, let me tell you what it feels like:
Imagine every single nerve ending in your legs buzzing with static electricity every time you try to relax or sleep.
Or imagine having an itch on your leg, your foot, your nose…whatever is the most annoying possible itch you could think of . Then imagine NOT being able to scratch it.
Or you know the shivers you get from nails on a chalkboard? Imagine that same shiver coursing through the nerve endings in your legs while you’re trying to sleep.
Get the picture?
I remember the first time my RLS feelings were validated. I was at an OB appointment when I was pregnant with my second child. My doctor was this sweet, little, old Middle Eastern man whose office was in an old house where the walls were covered with flowered wallpaper and the floors creaked when you walked down the hall. After the doctor’s exam, it wasn’t unusual to find yourself in his old office getting some parting advice. This particular day in his office I mentioned to him about jitters I was getting in my legs every night. He immediately exclaimed, “Oh that’s Restless Leg Syndrome!” Then this cute little old man stood up and showed me how to do calf stretches against the wall to help! 😂 That was the day that I finally had an answer to something I thought was just all in my head!
It apparently is very common during pregnancy, but some of us suffer it long after that ship has sailed. For me, sometimes the feeling comes when I’m sitting with my family watching TV at night. A quick relief is to have some nice, caring soul sitting next to me to “chopsocky” my legs which usually helps. Or I find myself on the floor stretching out my legs while watching TV. But when it comes at night at 12, 1, 2am and the rest of the house is sound asleep, it ends up being a long night of tossing and turning, stretching my legs in bed, flexing and relaxing my muscles and repeating all over again.
So it’s not a surprise that RLS sufferers scour the internet for the perfect RLS relief. Some things I’ve come across during my research:
- Lower your caffeine intake. I drink 2 cups of coffee a day. In the grand scheme of caffeine drinkers, I don’t think it’s an overabundance. And I’m not sure the alternative of quitting caffeine would be better for me, so I don’t go there yet!
- Increase exercise. This could be what’s triggering my RLS right now. Exercise has been few and far between for me. Seems like an easy enough solution. Yeah, I’ll work on that.
- Place a bar of soap under the sheets at the bottom of your bed. Say what? I know it sounds weird and super hokey, but I have no shame in saying I’ve tried it. Desperate times, desperate measures. I guess it worked? I definitely don’t swear by it but I’ve read it has something to do with the ingredients in soap interacting with the body chemistry.
- Increase magnesium. Magnesium is important for nerve and muscle function, so magnesium deficiency would cause problems with nerve impulses, muscle contractions and cramps. Ding, ding, ding! I haven’t added a magnesium supplement to my RLS arsenal yet, but it’s definitely on my short list. In the meantime, I came across this Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil that has given me some GREAT results and very restful nights!
Why does it seem to work? I don’t know the science behind it, but oil is rapidly absorbed so when I rub it directly on my legs, maybe it’s an immediate, targeted relief. It can sting a little like razor burn (more on my calves, less on my thighs….maybe because they’re thicker, haha!) and it has a “sticky” feel, similar to the feel of salty, ocean water on your skin, but the relief I get from it is worth it. I spray it on my legs and rub it in right before bed and get a good night’s sleep.
This is not an ad but the link I have included to Amazon is an affiliate link. This is a product I found during my own online research, read about it, ordered it from Amazon and really liked it. So I wanted to share with other RLS sufferers out there.
Next on my research list…how to get rid of those spider veins!