bars of soap, nocturnal leg cramps

Q. I have been using Bed Soap in my bed for five years to manage my restless legs syndrome (RLS). I truly cannot live without it.  I even travel with a bar I can use in hotel rooms.

I’ve given Bed Soap to people with chronic leg cramps or RLS, and they are amazed at how quickly it works! Bed Soap is a great gift, but it is also a gift to me. I was suffering with RLS and took a chance. I love this Bed Soap. I keep a bar on the couch too.

A. Not everyone gets benefit from soap, but those who do are often as enthusiastic as you are. We are delighted that you really like The People’s Pharmacy Bed Soap bars. They are thinner, longer and wider than the average bar of soap. They also have a light lavender fragrance, which may help some people fall asleep faster.

Most health professionals assume this is due to a placebo effect, but an anesthesiologist reported in the medical literature that the fragrance in soap does appear to ease muscle cramps (Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Sept. 2008).

Other Reports

Here is what other readers have reported:

“I have had RLS for years. When I read this, well, I had to try it. It worked. I have had the soap under my sheet for about two months and it works. I won’t stop using it because I’m scared of hurting again. Thanks to who ever stated this.” Patsy

Some people find the remedy ridiculous-and how could we blame them-but are won over when they try it, as SS was:

“I went to bed about 11:00 p.m. and lay there for about an hour. My legs started acting up really bad (have had restless legs for about 20 years), so I got up and got back on the internet to look up home remedies for restless legs.

“I read an article about using soap and I thought it was a crazy idea, I kid you not. I went upstairs and got out a sock and put the bar of soap inside the sock and instantly my legs started to calm down.

“I also recommend taking a very hot bath with hand soap (not shower gel) and sitting in the water for about 10 minutes. When you use the hand soap in a sock, change it every so often because I think as time goes by it loses its effectiveness.”

 The Placebo Effect?

Many health professionals assume that soap under the bottom sheet must be a placebo effect. Here is a message from S.R.B that challenges that assumption:

“I put a bar of soap under my husband’s sheets without his knowledge. It worked. So this proves that it is not all psychosomatic.

“When he saw the soap he couldn’t believe it and it probably wouldn’t have worked if he had known it.”

Here are links to learn more about Bed Soap and Leg Soap, should you prefer something designed specifically with this concept in mind. Some people report that Ivory works. Others sing the praises of Irish Spring. Many find the small bar of hotel soap they bring home also does the job.

Please let us know about your soap story. We would like to know if it works or if it fails. Please give us the straight scoop.

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  1. Vickie

    I have had RLS most of my adult life I have tried everything you guys are talking about I seen 3 doctors. Finally when I was about 25 yrs old I was prescribed medication for RLS it worked for a while but had to keep adjusting mg on that certain med until I literately was not sleeping at night for days my sister took me to my family Doctor and was not going to leave his office until he did give me the right kind of meds Requip

  2. Nicole

    I’ve tried the soap in the bed. I agree it works but and friend of mine told me to rub Vick’s Vapo-Rub on the back of my knees. To my surprise it also works, and it doesn’t take much time to start getting relief.

  3. Kat

    Placebo or not. Thank you thank you thank you!! (Teary eyes of joy) I literally just put a bar of ivory soap I had right up the pant leg of my leggings. I was getting that reall y’all! I have been eating bananas for years and haven’t had problems for such a long time. I almost forgot what it felt like to have this restless leg syndrome, it’s been that long since my symptoms. They came in fulllllll force tonight which lead me to looking up instant home remedies! Although bananas are great, wish I would have learned about the soap years ago. Restless and 37 going on 20yrs. Amen to who ever figured this one out!

  4. Cheri

    I started having RLS at the onset of Menopause. It was so bad that I would “kick” my husband out of bed. I’d wake up and find him sleeping on the couch. Both he and I were desperate for something to cure this problem. I didn’t want to be on Prescription Medicine so we searched and searched the Internet for some king of solution. Hubs found something about putting a bar of Ivory Soap under the fitted sheet on our bed, near my feet. From that day on (over 8 years) I’ve never experienced it again. I usually replace it every 6 months. Good luck!!

  5. Linda
    Michigan, USA

    I’ve suffered with RLS for years, but refused to use another prescribed medication to stop it. My mother told me about using Ivory soap. She had heard about it from a friend of hers. I thought it sounded absolutely ridiculous, but decided to try it…couldn’t hurt! I couldn’t believe it; it worked!!!!! I discussed this with my husband the next morning, and he thought it was a placebo effect. I checked online, and saw that it may be related to a magnesium deficiency. Whatever the reason, I’m a believer. I now sleep with my soap between the sheets every night. After several nights, I pare the soap to increase the scent again. One bar lasts a long time. If you have RLS, try it.

  6. Dean

    I’m 42 and I’ve had RLS my whole life, I have a very bad case of it as it also creep up into my spine and I can also feel the sensation in my arms. I’ve tried everything, the soap idea was suggested to me, I thought there is no way that would work. I gave it a go, like I said I have a very bad case of it and it’s a very strong sensation that I get. The first night was very interesting I could feel the RSL trying to take effect but the sensation had changed to more of an ache than the normal feeling, it was 100 times better, I could full asleep with an ache. It’s been two weeks and so far so good. There is no way this is a placebo my RSL has been way to powerful for to many years and like I said I can still feel a sensation but it’s different and bearable. Fingers crossed it continues to work but if you have RSL it’s well worth a try I’m starting to believe this might be the cure

  7. Donna

    Well, I am a nurse and never had RLS until I recently injured my back…it is horrible…did not sleep for 5 nights…thought soap was “crazy”, but guess what I slept last night without the constant urge to move my legs…Irish spring was in a sock near my feet…also bathed with same soap before bed

  8. Eugene

    Try a different type of soap. I’ve noticed not all work. Seems like the most aromatic works. I don’t put it in bed but rather on bedstand. I’m 65 been doing the soap thing for a couple years after 10yrs of leg jerks. Recently I’ve had some operations, one doctor said I was low in iron and magnesium. After taking that stuff, and when I got home from the hospital , no more jerks.

  9. Violet

    I thougt this was a myth but I tried and work. I don’t know what the people who works in the hotels think about me when they spot a bar soap under the sheets.

  10. Pam
    New York

    I too have suffered on and off from restless leg syndrome for years. I was looking for information on line when I came across people claiming that a bar of soap would give relief. I was extremely skeptical but thought I would give it a shot after all what did I have to loose other than feeling like a complete fool. So on a extremely bad night I placed a bar of soap under my fitted sheet at the end of my bed and within 15 minutes my restless legs were calm.

    I was still having my doubts as I found it too good to be true so I continued. It has now been five nights and I haven’t had any issues with RL, no cramping, pain or flailing legs. I have no clue why this works and I don’t even care all I know is I finally after many years have relief and can get a good nights sleep. Oh and I used Dial for sensitive skin.

  11. Linda Whittle

    I just read about the soap in the bed. I didnt fall asleep until after 3:00 AM due to restless leg syndrome. I WILL be trying the soap tonight!

  12. Carrie

    What kind of soap should I use. I see on here that some people are commenting from the U. S. Im in Scotland.

  13. Pat
    central pa

    this is total BS. i tried it for a week and got absolutely no relief. i’ll stick to equip until i find another cure. i honestly think it’s due to a nerve impingement in the back affecting the psoas muscles.

    • Violet

      I like lavender but dove will work too. Believe me it work.

    • Eugene

      Try a different type of soap. I’ve noticed not all work. Seems like the most aromatic works. I don’t put it in bed but rather on bedstand. I’m 65 been doing the soap thing for a couple years after 10yrs of leg jerks. Recently I’ve had some operations, one doctor said I was low in iron and magnesium. After taking that stuff, and when I got home from the hospital , no more jerks.

  14. Nancy

    I started having RLS a few months ago and read about the soap under the bottom sheet. I started researching further and read that lavender soap, not only worked for RLS, but helped get a good nights sleep, as well. So, I thought, what the heck, I’ll try it. I swear, I have not had RLS, or a sleepless night since!! I’m totally sold!!!

  15. Sharon

    I use the bar soap trick and it works and the only thing that does. It may sound crazy, but do I care! lol

  16. Dorothy
    United kingdom

    I use two lumps of soap in my socks at night goodbye restless legs
    It does work

  17. Emilie brewer
    Duncan ok.

    My legs and feet hurt from nurophathy i work four 10 hr days and i could not sleep and barely walk. I remembered that abar of soap helps leg cramps, so i tried. I worked 53 hrs this week and no pain my soap was dove senitive. By the way im a LPN.

  18. JANE
    Washington State

    I read about putting soap in your bed for restless leg symptoms, and I laughed. Then I thought, “Well, just try it out.” So I had some Irish Spring bars, the blue ones, and put one in the bed. Well, it was great! I finally got good rest!I had medication from the doctor but did not ant to take it. Have been off the meds for a month now. I don’t know how it works,but it does.

    Take a chance. You might be forever grateful.

  19. Marilyn

    Exactly where do you place the soap? Top, middle or bottom of the bed

    • MCH

      I just put the soap in our bed last night. I put it at the foot of the bed under the bottom sheet. My husband still twitched, but he didn’t kick. (He usually kicks me most nights) This was only the first night. I’m hopeful that tomorrow he won’t even kick. He woke up more rested than usual this morning.

  20. R.M.J.

    It works! I have Fibromyalgia & RLS. A friend suffers from the same conditions. I readily admit that I doubted her when she said it worked, but I went right out and picked up some Dove. That was over a year ago, and I can’t go to bed without it. (One bar in a pillowcase at the end of the bed…usually I’ll rest my heal on it.)

    I even keep a bar on the couch in a sock. I went on vacation, and made sure to bring a bar for the bed in the hotel room. I asked my doctor if it was a placebo effect and he said if it works for me, then no! I highly recommend those suffering to give it a try. It can’t hurt and could possibly help. Best wishes!

  21. Kitty Rodriguez

    A bar of soap in bed sounds like ” Old wives tales”, so how on earth can this really work ?

  22. Ellie

    I read all these comments last night and read some others that they called it BS!

    Listen to me! It works not sure why and how but who cares!!! I finally had a great sleep without any pain!

    I put a few small hotel soaps I had and it worked!!! Good bye RLS, I will not miss u!

    • Craig
      Ontario Canada

      I was diagnosed with RLS and put on 1 mg Ropinirole HCL to help combat it.It helped a bit but the RLS still drove me crazy.I put 2 bars of soap in my bed and weaned myself of the Ropinirole over a 2 month period.I also did a 2 month cleanse prescribed by a naturopathic doctor to rid me of a high level of Aluminum determined by a urine test by a lab.It has been 5 months now without any RLS. I was very skeptical about this remedy but figured it was worth a try.It was simple and cheap. I am not sure if it was the combination of cleanse and the soap or just the soap or just the cleanse but I just know it has been 5 months now with no RLS or leg cramps.My own medical doctor was of no use and it was sleep center doctor that had put me on the Ropinirole and when things were not really improving at all I seeked the advice of a naturopathic doctor.

  23. diana

    Bed soap works for me and when I changed the sheets and forgot to put the soap back, I soon replaced it as I immediately had RLS again.

  24. Cora
    Dubai, UAE

    I’m doing this for the first time. And it worked. I’m trying to sleep but RLS attacks and I felt like I’m going to have leg cramps. I tried it just now and I really felt relieved. My legs felt relaxed now. I just learned about it this morning and I wasn’t aware that I have a restless leg syndrome until I read it on fb and felt it tonight when I went to bed as I can’t sleep. Thank you for sharing.

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