Login required to started new threads
Login required to post replies
Maybe someone here can help, or offer a clue. My sis has restless legs at night and it keeps her from getting a good night's sleep. She takes a multi-vitamin, a B-complex, and also extra folic acid for the RLS, but that supplement (GabaMax) hasn't helped significantly. She has a good diet, always eats lots of green vegetables, and while not an athlete like most of us, works out regularly (generally every day for at least an hour), lifts weights a couple of times per week, and is riding a bike outside also. She does drink espresso, but only in the morning. She never seems to get enough sleep, except on ocassion, and the lack of sleep is making life harder for her. She is 54 and post-menopausal, and taking BIH. Anyone, suggestions?
I know a lot more about this than I'd like to, having battled various sleep disorders for a very long time.
What's her serum ferritin level? If it's very low then according to my sleep medicine doc it's may not matter much what else she takes until that's fixed.
A common ingredient in over the counter sleep aids is diphenhydramine hydrochloride (aka Benadryl). Taking this can make RLS symptoms much worse.
Any tests for nutritional deficiencies despite the vitamins?
I'm on an iron supplement to deal with the symptom of a very low serum ferritin level (the cause of the low level is a separate issue). Raising these levels, coupled with no sleep aids containing benadryl, was the first big step.
I'm also on 2 prescription-strength meds- Mirapex and gabapentin (aka Neurontin). The mirapex is the primary but I max out the dosage they consider safe for this disorder (it's also a med for Parkinson's, but at 10x the dosage), so an additional 300mgof gabapentin was added. In a small % of cases Mirapex can have some interesting side effects - "an increase in a variety of risky pleasure-seeking behaviours" (sex drive, gambling, and one other I forget at the moment) is the phrase I remember reading in the studies of the drug.
Add in some melatonin, 5-htp, and magnesium and I can usually now count on a good 7 hours sleep a night, which is a vast improvement over last fall's waking up a sleep-starved zombie.
I don't think she's ever had serum ferritin level tested. She definitely doesn't take any OTC sleep aids, but she has taken Ambien and Zanax. I have recommended magnesium to her, but that did not seem to help much (mag citrate). I will pass this info along, I really appreciate it! She should get her serum ferritin level tested. If that is normal, then I guess I might post another question to see if there are any other ideas. Thanks!
I don't have RLS - at least I don't think I do because what I have isn't extreme enough to keep me up at night. But I do get restless legs at night sometimes that keep me from falling asleep. I realized that it only happened on days I didn't spend 10 min stretching out my quads, hips and calves after running. Since I run and then stretch 6-7 days a week, it was rare. Now I remember to stretch my legs for 10 min even on rest days, and it's never been an issue since.
I know it's probably too simple a solution, but who knows, maybe it'll help a little. Hope your sister can sleep well soon.
I've had RLS for about 30 years, and had one year where I got little to no sleep at all. I'm doing ok now taking a muscle relaxant/anti-anxiety drug in combination with an anti-depressant. Waking up a lot deprives you of REM sleep, which makes you depressed, and depression leads to poorer sleep, so it's a vicious circle. So far, these drugs have worked and I have avoided the Parkinson-type drugs, although my doctor and I have discussed them. I'm sleeping better since I started triathlon. Heavy exercise seems to let my body relax enough to sleep.
One thing I did on doctor's advice was keep a log of when symptoms were better or worse. I have found that pregnancy, running and alcohol all correlate with more RLS. I haven't stopped running or drinking, and I'm done with having kids, but keeping a log might help your sister identify and avoid any aggravators. Best of luck - this is a tough one.
Thanks, RLAM. I'm sure it does help. She is a methodical stretcher! And recently, with the so-called active isolated stretching.
Thanks Heather. I'm hoping that increasing the exercise for her will help. She is doing more (says she's inspired by me; that's always nice). I will pass this along. Does just a glass or two of wine make yours worse? She does like wine occasionally.
I have a mild form of RLS- my feet will often feel hot when I go to bed. I've sound that running cold water over them before bed helps.
I had mild bouts of RLS for a couple of years, and noticed a flare-up after long rides. i used to think it was normal that my legs were restless from the effort, and just wanted to "keep on turning" even after i got in bed?!?!
however, 2-3 years ago, when training for IMCDA, i got a very severe case of iron-deficiency anemia, and have struggled with it for a long time, but since I went on the script for Chromagen Forte, the RLS has totally stopped (that and I had to cut back on training due to 2 herniated disks!).
anyhow, i learned there is a strong correlation to iron defiency and RLS, so as someone else suggested, have her get her iron levels checked.
thanks! more evidence for the iron connection. I will definitely push that idea.
wow, that is really strange-sounding to me. My feet are so cold sometimes in the winter that I have to soak them in hot water to warm them up enough so I can sleep!
I used to get this in high school, before those ads on TV. It went away as I did more exercise... maybe I only had a mild form - although, I used to swear there were ants on my legs and I'd whip the covers back and turn on the light to find... nothing.
I have had the phenomenon of achy legs after an extremely long hard ride though. After repeated hard rides, it seems to go away. Sounds like another plug for having a hamburger with spinach after a long hard ride.
Basically, the greater the quantity, the greater the disturbance. One glass of wine usually doesn't bother me, but half a bottle of strong Cote du Rhone shared with my husband does. Like I said, hasn't stopped me from drinking, but I wouldn't do it on a work night.