Creepy-Crawly Restless Legs Syndrome

by BrendaReeves

Beware of restless legs syndrome, it might annoy you to death.

If you experience an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, sometimes described as a creepy-crawly feeling, crawling worms, electric shocks and itching inside the leg, you are experiencing restless legs syndrome symptoms. It usually occurs at night in bed when in a relaxed state, but it can occur anytime during the day.

I suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS), and I'm experiencing an episode of it as I write this article at 11:00 A.M. A creepy-crawling feeling is how I experience it: Never painful, but certainly annoying, and for me it occurs day and night.


Sleep Disorder

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, restless legs can interfere with the sleep of some people -- earning it the classification of a sleep disorder. It's estimated that 10% of the U.S. population suffers from RLS. Men, women and children can suffer from the disorder, but it's most common in women. In most instances, the onset occurs in middle age and upwards.

Relief for Restless Legs Syndrome

Homeopathic and Traditional

People with mild to moderate RLS may benefit from some lifestyle changes that can alleviate symptoms:

  • Regular exercise
  • Decreasing or eliminating caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
  • Establishing regular sleep patterns
  • Leg massages
  • Hot Baths
  • Heating Pads
  • Ice Packs

Although there is no cure for restless legs, alleviating symptoms is possible. Drugs may be the best treatment option for people with severe RLS. Ask your doctor about these medications:

  • Dopaminergic Drugs
  • Sedative Medications
  • Narcotic Pain relievers
  • Anticonvulsants, or antiseizure drugs



Although there is no definitive cause, about half of the people with RLS also have a family member with the disorder. This leads doctors to believe that genetics play a role. Both my mother and brother experience restless legs.

A minority of the people affected with the condition suffer from iron deficiency, diabetes, end-state kidney disease and Parkinson disease. Pregnant women can also suffer from it.

Medications also play a role. Check your medicine cabinet for any of these medications:

  • anti-nausea drugs
  • anti-psychotics
  • anti-depressants
  • cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines

Alcohol consumption may trigger or make the symptoms worse.

Great-Grandma's Treatment for Restless Legs

She Knew What She was Doing

Before advanced medicine in the Western World, Grandma treated many disorders with household wisdom. Try some of these:

  • Sleep with a bar of soap (no joking)
  • Sleep with socks on
  • Eat a banana
  • Take calcium, vitamin E and potassium supplements
  • Take quinine tablets at bedtime

If I eat a banana every day or take potassium supplements, my restless legs symptoms subside. My mother's doctor told her to take quinine tablets. I've tried that, and it works also. Tonic water also has quinine in it. Recent research indicates that over consumption of quinine can cause problems. That's why the FDA limits the amount that can be included in tonic water. Consult your doctor before starting that regiment. If she gives the okay, you can find the tablets on the shelf of Walgreens, Walmart or any other pharmacy.

Updated: 01/26/2013, BrendaReeves
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BrendaReeves on 05/14/2013

It's definitely annoying.

sheilamarie on 05/14/2013

Thanks for this advice, Brenda. I've been suffering from this since I was in my 20's. One of my many annoying health issues.

BrendaReeves on 05/01/2013

Yes it does. If I don't eat my banana everyday, I have restless legs.

PeggyHazelwood on 05/01/2013

I bet the potassium in bananas is what helps. I like the natural cures you've listed.

BrendaReeves on 03/02/2013

It's definitely annoying.

CindyAdkins on 03/02/2013

My sister and I both suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome! Her doctor just told her about drinking tonic water for the quinine. I should have read your article first!

BrendaReeves on 02/09/2013

Yes, a banana a day keeps those pesky things away. Thanks for the comment.

Tolovaj on 02/09/2013

I have experienced RLS few times and it always helped if I improved my eating. I think it is connected with electrolyte balance and banana is one of best possible treatments. Professional cyclists can confirm this common fruit is a life saver.

BrendaReeves on 01/24/2013

Yes, A doctor once told me that if people would just eat right and exercise they would never get sick. Last night my dinner was a whole avocado, cucumber and tomato. Avocados raise your good cholesterol, so I don't worry about the calories.

katiem2 on 01/24/2013

I bet you're right, it's amazing what both drugs can do to contribute to other issues and what good healthy food can do to prevent disease also knowns as dis ease, not at ease.... :)K

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