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Skeptic Reconsiders the Value of Soap in Bed for Restless Legs Syndrome

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Q. I was one heck of a skeptic when I heard about putting soap in the bed to calm restless legs syndrome. In fact, I laughed at the person who told me about it. However, I have suffered with RLS for several years, so I decided to give it a try.

Well, I had to eat a little humble pie. Not only does soap work, it works in a matter of 30 seconds to a minute. I'm sure it will not work for everyone, every time. But it sure has helped me and a dozen people I've told about it. We may not know exactly how it works and there may be folks who think it is bogus. Well, they are just plain wrong.

I put my bar of soap in a pillowcase and rest my leg or legs on the pillow under the cover. This works to ease the restlessness every time.

A. Thank you for your story. We have heard from many other people who find soap helpful for restless legs syndrome but, as you recognize, not all benefit. There are prescription drugs used to treat those with serious RLS, but the medications have some daunting side effects, such as falling asleep during the day while driving or eating. Dizziness, fainting, sleepiness, fatigue, gambling or other compulsive behaviors, indigestion, nausea, pain, swollen legs, dry mouth and hallucinations are other potential reactions.

We offer some approaches to managing restless legs with supplements or measures other than drugs. Again, not every treatment will be effective in each case. There are more details in our Guide to Leg Pain.  

One of the most promising approaches is to determine whether you are deficient in iron. This problem is associated with anemia and often disappears when the deficiency is corrected. 

If you are interested in lavender-scented soap that is flat so as not to disturb the legs when it is hiding under the bottom sheet, consider our Bed Soap. It is shaped especially for this purpose, though it also makes a lovely bath soap.

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Figured out that some of my leg cramps were caused by curling up to keep legs warm without realizing that was the cause so purchased several pair of leg warmers which were long enough to go from ankle to over knee and put on a pair over pj legs nightly in cold weather. No more leg cramps or pain and when you have to get up in middle of night to go keep you warm an added plus.

I use a homeopathic remedy for leg and foot cramps, and also one for restless legs. They do work quite well. I even carry a bottle for leg cramps with me when I go in the car, because riding in it can trigger my foot cramps. I'll try the soap under the bed sheet remedy to prevent cramps, because I often get them at night.

Soap works! it stops charlie horse, as well as the dreaded restless leg. because I have been careful to pay attention to what I have eaten and what meds I have taken. Always, any kind of anti-histamine will trigger an episode, usually within 1-1/2 to 2 hours, whether Rx or over the counter. Some antihistamines have hidden names, for me. The other trigger is if I have a meal that is high in carbs, like Italian meal. If blood sugar drops quickly afterwards, that drop episode time is when I get RLS. Soap in the bed really helps prevent or stop the episodes. I usually add a new bar to the older ones when I change the soaps every few months.

Soap worked for me also. I had put a small almost used up bar of Irish Spring wrapped in tissue on the night stand near my bed to try the next time I got cramps. I experienced a really severe toe and foot cramp episode, so used the soap. I placed it (still wrapped in tissue) under my toes. The toe cramps stopped after a little less than a minute. I then placed the soap on top of my foot and shortly the foot cramp stopped. I have used it successfully several times since, for foot and leg cramps.

Increasing my magnesium intake also works for me to stop the cramps from happening in the first place. I have recently read that magnesium glycinate works well without causing loose bowels, so have ordered some.

Works for me too. Love the soap chips in my socks. But, because I am on a limited budget, I used them over and over to make them last. And then my feet started jerking again! Within 1 min after replacing them with fresh chips, I got complete relief! I too place the soap wherever the cramp is and it works.

I have also used them in long compression socks and they stop severe calf leg cramps too! Glad to read above that the magnesium glycerinate does not cause loose bowels, knowing that 80% are deficient in magnesium, the highest deficiency of all.

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