Q. I am a nurse and I have “secretly” used soap under the sheets of patients who struggle with restless leg syndrome (RLS). They all tell me the only nights that they get sleep and wake up feeling rested is when I am on duty. The other nights they are miserable and their sleeping meds don't work.
I use soap under my sheets at home too, and I don't wake up with a charley horse or pain any more like I used to. I don't know why or how soap works against leg cramps or RLS. I'm just glad it does.
A. We too cannot explain why a simple bar of soap could help. One reader wrote: “My husband has suffered with horrible leg cramps for years. They often woke him up three or four times a night. He tried every thing imaginable without any relief.
“I was afraid he would think I was crazy to recommend soap, but he said he would try anything if there was a chance it would help. We have been using the soap for about a year and it is a miracle for us.
“When the doctor wanted to know why my husband wasn’t complaining about leg cramps anymore we mentioned the soap. I know the doctor thought we were nuts, but we don’t care. Until the soap, my husband hadn’t slept a full night without leg cramps for 10 years.”
Not everyone benefits from soap under the bottom sheet, but there are other options. Some people find that pickle juice, yellow mustard, magnesium supplements or stretching can help. For more details on these and other remedies for leg cramps and restless legs we offer our Guide to Leg Pain.