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Soap Under Sheet to Fight Leg Cramps

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Q. I have bad leg cramps that wake me up early in the morning. I read that a bar of soap placed between the sheets might help.

Where precisely do you place it? I can't take quinine because it interacts with tamoxifen I take to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. The cramps are really painful.

A. Quinine is no longer available as a treatment for leg cramps, even if you weren’t on tamoxifen. The FDA banned its use for cramps a few years ago.

Although we are hard-pressed to explain why soap under the bottom sheet would be helpful against leg cramps, many readers insist that it works. Here is just one example:

“I have been keeping a bar of soap under my sheet for quite some time. It does work, but I was never sure it did.

“Last night I had toe cramps. Instead of getting up to walk them off, I curled my foot as close to the soap as possible. The cramps went away in about 5 seconds.

“At the same time the calf in my other leg cramped. Again I moved the soap around near my leg, and the cramp was gone. Weird? You bet. Would I change this? No way. Who knows how this works, but it does.”

Not everybody benefits from the soap trick. Others report success with yellow mustard, pickle juice or magnesium. For more details on soap and all these remedies, we are sending you our Guide to Leg Pain.

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I tried the soap-under-the-sheet remedy for several months for my fairly severe "restless legs". It just didn't work for me. Eating a cracker with yellow mustard just before I go to bed helps pretty well, but I can stand eating mustard at 10:00 p.m. for just so long before I have to take a break from it.
I have been doing 200 "bicycles" just before retiring, for several weeks. It usually works.

I tried this last night for foot cramps and it worked quickly. Thank you

We did the soap under the sheets and it seemed to reduce the frequency of the cramps. My husband also found that the stainless steel spoon works to reduce cramps when they occur.

Twice I have had trouble with ongoing painful cramps in my feet : the first time, a naturopath told me it was because my thyroid medication had been increased. (I was also getting chest pain, & had been prescribed nitrolingual sprays for it.) On checking with my pharmacist, he confirmed this so I spoke to my doctor & she lowered the dose - the cramps & chest pain went away.

The second time the cramps were getting really bad, I noticed they went away when I stopped taking the re-formulated thyroid medication - along with a number of other problems!

So maybe talk to your pharmacist to see if any medications you may be taking could be causing the cramps.

Otherwise, my parents always kept a little dish of salt by their bedside; they were told cramps are caused by a salt deficiency & a little lick certainly seemed to help them...

I had leg cramps for many years. The Dr. put me on quinine and that caused a fever. Then another Dr. put me on potassium and that helped but didn't stop it. A friend gave me a vibrating foot massager and one night I noticed that my leg cramp went away when I used it. Now I haul out my trusty massager when my leg cramps and the cramp goes away within 5 minutes.

I cut the bar of soap into 4 quarters and put 1 piece in each of the socks I wear to hold it in place. After a couple of months when it starts to lose its effect. I start using the other pieces. Don't know how it works--but it DOES!!!!

Oh my, it's true it worked for me. I was stressed a lot over father in law's death. got cramps like crazy by my feet and calfs. a lady told me put one or two bars of new soap under the sheets, I was like ya right, well I was sick of the cramps they hurt so bad I was crying I even tried eating lots of bananas. well I tried it and oh my did it for a bit and they went away no more cramps wow

What kind of soap? Thank you...


re:soap under bottom bedsheet.
I have been "preaching" the wonders of soap-under-the-bottom-sheet for years now.
The soaps DO lose effect after a few months; I just add the new one to the others ( in a nylon net bag for delicates in the washer); I usually keep 3 because it takes that many for us (husband and I keep the netbag with the soaps between us about the leg- "calf-area";
Last week I had a charlie horse (Very rare for me, now, since using soaps); I painfully slid my leg over and touched the soaps-in-a-bag; usually the pain and cramps stop within 5 seconds; THIS time it was different: the pain went away in seconds but the cramp continued...Painfree!for maybe 15 seconds....but painfree!!

I am a type 2 diabetic and my feet would burn and hurt all night. I put two bars of Irish Spring soap under my sheets and have not had a problem since. To prove it to me I would get up and walk around and the burning would come back then I would get back in bed and the burning would go away. Some people may think it is just a hoax, but it sure works for me.

During my first pregnancy, I experienced severe leg cramps. Our family physician recommended eating one or two Tums. It worked, and now at 84 it continues to relieve my night cramps.

During my first pregnancy, I experienced severe leg cramps. Our family physician recommended eating one or two Tums. It worked, and now at 84 it continues to relieve my night cramps.

After Quinine medication was disallowed for patients, my doctor suggested placing a bar of Dove soap between the sheets on my bed. He also said to drink 6 ounces of Tonic water mixed with Cranberry or Grape juice. The combination works fine for me.

I tried the soap under the sheet and it didn't work for either me or my husband. I felt really silly in even thinking this might work, sure enough it did not.

I am a type 2 diabetic and have been suffering foot nerve pain in both feet for sometime including very bad leg cramps, where I would walk the night every 1/2 hour trying to release the pain, the soap under the sheet has worked heaps and when I rest my foot against the soap I can actually feel the nerves start to jumping and the tingling stop. Thank you all so much.

One night I woke up at 2 AM and again at 5 AM with severe leg cramps in my left calf. I frightened my husband & the two pooches (dogs) with my screeching in pain and felt very tired the next day at work. A few days later, when I mentioned to my sister, she suggested soap under the sheet. Sounded odd, but worth a try. Guess what?! It worked! It really did. I am thrilled.. Thank you.

I have been suffering excruciating leg cramps on and off for the last 6 months. They just start up for no reason, usually when I'm laying down.

When I told my doctor, she suggested I drink Tonic water because it has quinine in it. I didn't think something as simple as that would work as the pain is so severe, but sure enough, it does stop the pain within seconds, just keep sipping it until the pain goes, usually about half of a small bottle does it for me.. She said to drink a glass each day but I only have it when I need it and find it relieves the pain almost immediately. I always keep some small bottles in the house.... try it

I have been getting painful leg cramps lately. As I also suffer from severe arthritis of both knees and am waiting for total knee replacements, jumping out of bed and straightening my leg is almost impossible. I plan on trying the "soap in the bed" idea tonight. Hope it works!!

I started with severe leg cramps because I was taking statin drugs for high cholesterol. It was to the point where I was going to have to stop taking the drugs because the pain was so severe. I started using the soap as soon as a friend told me about it and I haven't had a cramp in almost two years. If cramping starts at all, I move my leg closer to the soap and it goes away immediately. I am a believer.

I have suffered from nightly leg cramp for as long as I can remember. For years I have taken extra magnesium every evening but that did not completely kept it away.

From the night I have put soap in my bed I have NOT had any leg or foot cramps. It just cannot be because I 'believe' it helps, or in other words it's suggestion, because the leg/foot cramp occurred while I was asleep. The violent cramps would wake me up from deep sleep. There is just no way that it is suggestion. I keep the soap in bed without anything to hold it in. I make sure it is close to my lower legs.

Every once in a while it will slide to the middle of the bed without noticing. Then, when I am close to falling asleep the cramp will creep into my muscles and when I locate the soap and put it close to me there is no more cramp.

I use all kinds of soap. When I like the smell I will buy the same kind, but no matter what brand I use, it works.

It is a mystery. But who cares, it works!!!!!

This sounded too good to be true but, sure enough, it works. I've only been doing this for a week, but I've slept through the night. Last night I woke up with the beginnings of a foot cramp, touched where the soap was, and it went away. I still want to know WHY it works, but it does seem to work.

I use the soap between the sheets too! And DOES work! I tell everyone about it!

I've been sleeping with a bar of Ivory soap under my sheet for over 3 months. Have not had a full blown cramp in all that time. I sometimes feel one coming on, but it goes away quickly. It's just amazing and life changing for me. I certainly don't mind the lump under me. My sister put one in her bed and she's not had one cramp either. I tell everyone who will listen!

It has been working for me. Amazing how rested I feel when I wake up.

I have had severe leg cramps since taking Tamoxifen for breast cancer. I have tried quinine tablets but they have little effect. I have also tried Magnesium tablets which I bought in Spain whilst on holiday. These tablets were of the effervescent type similar to Alka Seltzer. They worked well but I can't find them in this country. I am now going to try the soap remedy for a while and see what happens. Can anyone tell me why Quinnine has been banned in the USA?

My husband went to Dr. for leg cramps and was prescribed a narcotic! Then my mother-in-law told me about the soap trick. I thought it was ridiculous but tried it anyway. Works amazingly. He did have cramps last night so time to change it out for new soap. I thought my MIL told me that there is one type of soap that doesn't work but can't remember what it was. Seems like it was a deod. soap. Heard of that?

I have a few things that you can try, first is drinking a little bit of pickle juice before bed, it has been shown to be better for cramps than water or sports drinks, you can also try eating some mustard (as some people already said) because that also works very well and you can also try drinking pedialyte because it is also able to replenish electrolytes quickly. Personally I would say try drinking pickle juice first because that is becoming more widely used by professional sports teams to fight off cramps and studies have shown that it helps prevent them and make them go away quickly.

Mike, quinine has been banned by the FDA because it was shown to cause severe allergic reactions so the only way to get it now is by prescription or from the little amount that is in tonic water.

What brand of soap works best?

What is the ingredient in the soap that helps with leg cramps?

I've had severe calf camps for years & kept a diary to try to determine the answers found. My MD doesn't have any answers either (tried changing statins).

I've used homeopathic cramp tabs, Natokinase, Tums, stretching exercises....

I read about the bar of soap 4 days ago. Placed a fresh bar of Dove under the sheet...& to my great surprise, it seems to work! If I feel a cramp starting, I move the soap to that leg. I'm curious to see how long the goo effect will last ;-)

I have been diagnosed with having rls since 2006. I have been on requip and now on mirapex which both has caused me to start gambling a lot. I never had that problem. I had to get off the medicine cause come to find out that was a side effect! So as I'm lyin here writin this I have two hotel soaps under the sheets where my legs r n not one time have I jerked! Its truly amazin! Now I wont hav ethat gamblin side effect no more! Thank u lord and thank u hotel soap! It truly is as I speak at 9:49pm on 01/06/2013 it is workin!

YES the bar of soaps WORK, for many years I have bars of soaps placed under the fitted sheet of my bed I haven't had leg or toe cramps in a long time, as soon as I do feel a cramp coming on I place leg or toe right on bar of soap and it's gone immediately! The Hotel soap bars are perfect size! Thank you Dad for telling me about this cramp relief many years ago, once again you were right, it does work!

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