1. R. Freeman

    Thank you for bringing this topic to the attention of others. I like that you were comprehensive enough to explore more than one perceived cause. I have a severe iron deficiency and it was posited that I have had RLS for years possibly. Once, I started an extremely high dose iron regimen, I was nearly entirely relieved of what is a very miserable condition. Because you are absolutely right, long road trips, which I would take frequently, sitting at the movies, sitting in bed at night and so many more activities were seriously stressed and sometimes excruciatingly painful because of it. It’s not a fun experience and some doctors are still very reluctant to diagnose it or treat it. I was lucky that for me the solution was my lack of iron. Others are not so lucky and relief is not that easy to come by. It becomes something that begins a vicious cycle for sufferers where health care providers often offer short term solutions. You providing your research and what may work for sufferers may really save someone a lot of stress. I must say that the dopamine connection was surprising to me, however. This is a great post!

    • I’m glad that you found the post useful. I think RLS sufferers get tired of well-meaning friends saying things like, “Just drink chamomile tea before bed” “take magnesium for the cramps” “meditate” and all things that they, the sufferer, have thought of, or tried! This is a complex syndrome that needs thoughtful answers and a strong dose of empathy. Some doctors, sad to say, are not much help as they think it’s all in the patient’s head. I hope anyone reading this post, if they suffer from RlS, at least knows that there are people out there who are aware of their plight and want to give real help. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have suffered from RLS–even if you haven’t. It’s time to speak openly and compassionately about this condition.

  2. Rose

    A very informative and needed post. Thanks for bringing this hard to talk about condition in the open. On a good night I might get about 3 hours sleep spread over the whole night, but on a bad night, I get no sleep at all. I have had to stop working after nights like this as I find myself falling asleep at the wheel and drifting off of the road. This terrified me and I have to be really be careful about when I am able to drive. Unfortunately most doctors don’t know how to deal with RSL.I wish some of these well-meaning “experts” could spend just a day in my shoes. They would understand that RLS is a real condition and not a product of a weak mind.

    • Hi Rose,

      Yes, unfortunately there are doctors who think Restless Legs Syndrome is not a real illness and as a result offer very little help for those suffering from the condition. They have no idea of what it’s like, for example, to try and sleep sitting up on the sofa. I don’t suffer from RLS, but I am aware of what people like you are going through. I know that sometimes a lack of iron can resolve the issue. Perhaps this is something you might want to look at. That said, I appluad your willingness to tell your story. Maybe by bringing the issue to the attention of more people,the medical world will start giving RLS the seriousness it deserves. I wish you luck.

  3. Larry cole

    Thank you so much for this post. I have always thought I was the only one experiencing this and many times I conclude its perhaps because of my athletic activities. But the urge begins to double in the last three weeks and that started getting me more and more concerned.
    I am really glad I found this post. Thank you so so much!

    • Hi Larry,
      As I said in my post, Restless Legs Syndrome can hit home quickly. Remember the example I gave:

      Imagine sitting in a theater and watching a great show, then suddenly you feel a tingling or tightening in your legs. You need to get up and move your legs. So you quickly leave the theater, missing out on another amazing evening.
      Just think how devastating it is not to know from hour to hour how your day is going to end. A perfectly planned evening with friends can suddenly be ruined, and the worst part may be the disappoint you feel for once again “bailing” out on people you care about. I also have a friend who experienced RSL. The attitude of her doctors to downplay her condition made her suffering worse, and that’s what inspired me to write this post. I want anyone who has ever suffered from RSL to know that they are not alone. It’s not in their head. My intention was not only to provide understanding about this devastating condition, but to also provide hope.

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