Restless Legs Syndrome: A Pregnancy Saga

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert.  I am just a crazy pregnant lady who wants other crazy pregnant ladies to know they are not alone.

Let me give you a little background…

Baby #1 – I acquire this strange sensation in my legs late in pregnancy.  My legs shake all the time, I can’t sleep, I have to get out of the car every 15 minutes, I feel like I could run a marathon on the pent-up energy in my legs.  OB says he’s never heard of such a thing.

Baby #2 – Nothing

Baby #3 – I have the same feeling, but this time have a name for it…Restless Legs Syndrome.  I often have to bounce on my birthing ball at night until I am so exhausted I fall into bed.

Baby #4 – Nothing

Baby #5 – The RLS is so bad I pace the floor nearly all night every night toward the end.  In addition to this, I am itchy.  I feel desperate.

Baby #6 – Nothing

Baby #7 – When I am away from home, it hits.  I have trouble falling asleep.  I jar myself awake with the shaking.  I feel anxious.  However, at home, I am able to cope.

Restless Legs is a horrible, awful thing.  The worst it ever got was with Emily, my 5th child.  I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t even sit still.  Sometimes, it felt like bugs were biting me.  I couldn’t have the children sit on my lap because their weight made it worse.  I hated for night to come because I knew I would not sleep until well into the morning hours.  I started having mini-panic attacks.  In short, I felt crazy.

My whole neurological system was out of whack.  I spent hours searching for remedies and relief.  This post is a direct result of what I discovered.  I humbly offer what helped me in the hopes someone else will find relief too.

*Take a Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate supplement
This was one of the first things I tried.  It did offer some relief for a couple of weeks, but then suddenly stopped working.  However, I have heard of others having good luck with it.

*Take Rhus Tox
This was suggested by a friend who had a lot of homeopathic knowledge.  This offered much more relief than the liquid calcium/magnesium.  They come in little pellets you let melt under your tongue.

*Take a warm bath
The heat was soothing and calming, and I rarely shook while in the tub.

*Scrub legs down with a bath brush or loofah
Something about this caused my nerves to have to “think” about something else rather than shaking.

*Use unscented soap.
Scented soaps really did a number on me.  Using something like Ivory made life much more bearable.

*Keep legs shaved.
It wasn’t a luxury, it was medicinal and HAD to be done…even if it meant having my husband do it.

*Keep skin well-hydrated with natural products.
Again, I couldn’t use anything that had scents or weird things added to it.  One of my favorite natural products for keeping my legs from getting too dry is a lotion bar from  The ingredients are simple and natural and it goes on without creating a greasy mess.

*Buying higher thread count sheets
I know this sounds crazy, but I really did sleep better when we splurged and bought at least 300 thread count sheets.  My legs were so sensitive to the pilling of the cheaper sheets, that I felt as if needles were pricking me.  Higher thread count sheets don’t pill.

*Sleep with music
It might seem contradictory to have music playing when you are already having trouble sleeping; however, this is another case of getting your mind to think about something else.  With Baby #1, I would put on Enya’s Watermark every night.  Usually by the 5th track I was asleep and could manage to stay that way.

*Sleep alone
Sadly, the disruption of someone else tossing and turning in bed was often enough to pull me out of a decent sleep and start my legs a movin’.  I slept much better during the day…in my bed…alone.  Napping is how I managed to keep up on my sleep with all the short nights I was enduring.

Yet another example of forcing your brain to think about something other than the RLS.  Some smells would send me reeling, but things like lemon and cinnamon seemed to calm me.

*See a chiropractor
I was able to get some relief with Baby #3 by going to see a chiropractor.  This was something I did not try with Baby #5, but should have.

*Avoid tight clothing
Anything that was even remotely constricting, especially in the belly and legs, made me crazy.  Now let me tell ya, when you have a belly the size of mine, it isn’t easy finding something that isn’t constricting.

*Do something else
This is still working off my theory that you can get your mind to shut down the RLS if you force it to move in a different direction.  Now, I’m not talking about doing something simple.  I’m talking about making your mind work.  I’ve done everything from typing articles on the computer to playing sudoku.  Things that forced me to really think had the best effect.

I firmly believe Restless Legs Syndrome is highly misunderstood and not something to be taken lightly, especially by medical practitioners. It can make a person feel as if they are going insane.  That is never a minor thing.  I wish I had all the answers of how to keep RLS at bay, but I do know that finding something, anything, that gives you even an ounce of relief is better than just living with it.

I’d love to hear from you any experiences you’ve had with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and what you have found to work that may not be listed here.

NOTE:  Please read the comments below!  They are full of experiences from others.

71 Comments on Restless Legs Syndrome: A Pregnancy Saga

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71 thoughts on “Restless Legs Syndrome: A Pregnancy Saga

  1. I anxiously read through your list praying, hoping, pleading with my computer screen that “Eat more chocolate” would be on the list
    :( But it just wasn’t there :(


    But, I was excited to know that Calcium/Magnesium is also good for RLS! I use it for…hmmm…something…can’t remember what. My m/w suggests it for me. After birth cramps, yes, but there’s something else and I forget…maybe I should start taking it for my poor memory?

    • Oh my! I about fell out of my chair laughing! I’m more than willing to test your theory that chocolate helps! 😉

  2. I am expecting our 4th baby and experiencing RLS for the first time. My nightly struggles are not as severe as yours but they drive me nuts -how hard it must be for you! I will definitely being trying some of your remedies, especially if things get worse as I am only half way along.
    Interestingly, after the birth of baby #3 I was having terrible headaches that landed me in the Dr.’s office where I was also asked if I was also having issues with RLS!? I wasn’t at the time but now I am having migraines during the late afternoon into the evening and then RLS issues at night which is making me wonder if there is some kind of connection.
    I have found that bouncing and vigorously kicking my legs in bed (when I am too lazy to bounce, poor hubby!) work best so far -along with music and a fan, and I have also actually noticed that wearing something tight on my legs(not my belly though!) does help me -I think it’s that whole sensation thing -my brain gets distracted by the tight -yet soft- feeling of the leggings.
    I will pray for you when my legs act up at night! Hang in there :)

  3. I have had RLS with both of my pregnancies. I have RLS when im not preggo on some days. Mine doesnt sound as bad as yours. If Im having a really bad time I just stand up. Some other things that worked for me were having my hubby massage(chopping motion) my legs as I was going to sleep. As I was ready for bed I would get on my knees and elbows and read til my legs went numb helping me to sleep. I have also found that if Im so very very tired that the sooner I fall asleep the less pain I am in. Thanks for these extra tips for any future pregnancies.
    God bless

    • I’ve also done the knees and elbows thing…even in the car! I can see where the chopping massage would definitely make things better too.

  4. I have RLS too and have done many of the things you suggested. All of those worked for some time. Finally, after about 5 years of it, I had to go on meds which I know is not an option for you now. Mine isn’t preg-induced, and I reached a point I couldn’t deal with it any longer.
    I do continue to keep caffeine intake to a mininum and do stretching exercises, like pilates or yoga.
    I know what you mean about having to sleep alone, too. If I’m having a really bad night, the slightest movement from hubs causes my legs to start dancing. And the poor man has bruises on his shins from where I kick him all night. lol

    • I’ve been blessed to not deal with it outside of pregnancy, but know so many people who do. Really makes me wonder what the triggers are.

  5. We too have listened to Enya but have found “Sing over me” Worship and Lullabies works in our family.
    Also Twilla Paris Lullabies good. Hope that helps.

  6. I get RLS badly right before my period. I know after three nights of what I call the twitches and insomnia, I will start. Things that help me: Keeping cool, if I am too hot I can’t get them to stop. A high protein snack with a glass of milk for some reason will calm my legs down. Lastly, a dose of ibruprophen. I don’t know why it works, but it does. Sadly, I also get the RLS in my arms and I can’t keep my arms from flailing around. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

  7. I got RLS for the first time with my first pregnancy, but it went away when I gave birth. It came back with the second pregnancy and stayed, although I do not have it every night. My tricks are:
    1) limit sugar after bedtime
    2) move to a different bed, or the couch (something about changing environments helps)
    3) drink a small glass of milk and go back to bed (this is after RLS starts after I’m in bed)
    4) my friend (a male) has the same problem and he limits his sugar and then eats a piece of bread if his legs are jumpy.

    Hope these help. Oh, btw, I mentioned it to my OB too with my second pregnancy because it felt like I had RLS in my arms and legs…. he acted as if I was crazy and said he’d never heard of anything like this.

  8. My mother always tells me to put a bar of soap under your sheets at the foot of the bed. I guess so your feet have something to play with! It helped me but I didn’t have it that bad. Bananas helped, too.

  9. I’ve suffered with RLS since my late teens, but was always told by doctors it was in my head. Four years ago, I began seeing a new doctor who listened to what I was saying. Pregnancy, anemia & other vitamin deficiencies are common causes of RLS. Routine blood work should be done in order to diagnose or treat and of those causes. Caffeine should also be eliminated from the diet. For many years heat (heating pad, heat-producing muscle rubs, etc) and excercise before bed worked very well. Rhythmic movement of my legs also helped, though I usually moved to our guest room so my usband could sleep. After 15+ years, though, my home remedies no longer worked. After two weeks with no sleep, I nodded off at the wheel and went off the shoulder of the road. No one was injured, but I made the difficult decision to take prescription Requip. THis was truly a last resort for me, but it has greatly improved my quality of life. (I would never take it while pregnant). RLS sufferers can visit for more information and home remedies.

  10. I found an article that my grandma sent my mom that said to put a bar of Ivory soap under your sheet to help with RLS. I usually take a calcium pill and go straight to bed (but I have only gotten it since I stopped having babies and for me it is a sign that my body needs rest)

    • Someone told my mom about the soap trick, but it definitely did not work for me (not to mention I felt a little weird sleeping w/ a bar of soap at my feet! lol)

  11. I had RLS when I am pregnant as well, but mine comes in the for of pain deep in my legs and the need to wiggle them. I find a hot bath and tylenol help a ton right before bed. Its like the insides of my legs feel really cold. Even in the summer. Its strange

  12. RLS—Leg cramps go hand in hand…. Mine don’t shake that I know of but they sure do cramp up.

    I have to limit my caffine intake… and drink lots and lots of water…Massages help, but don’t keep them totally gone.

    As I get older they seem to be getting worse. Hopefully yours will only be there while you are pregnant then go away.

    Have a blessed day.

  13. Oh Amy~
    That sounds miserable!
    I used to get the worst leg cramps (charlie horse)
    at night! I would squeal and jump out of bed and use my breathing to get through it!
    A few times my hubby jumped out of bed with eyes as big as a hoot owl, thinking I was in labor! lol
    Men can be ssooo funny!

    I pray that you find comfort in your remedies.
    You’re almost done girl…..hang in there. The finish line is in sight!

    Peace and Love,

  14. Hi Amy, I have the same problem when I am pregnant, and very occasionally when I am not. Things that helped me: bananas (is it the potassium? not sure but seems to help), and sleeping with a pillow between my knees. My chiropractor told me to do this for low back problems and it had a major impact on my RLS. Again, I don’t know why… maybe for me the RLS was related to my lower back/hip being out of alignment? At any rate, I thought it was worth a mention. There is something so discouraging about being up in the middle of the night all by yourself unable to sleep night after night. I will pray for peace for you.

  15. I’ve dealt with this for the last 3 pregnancies – not nearly as bad as you- but enough to make me dread bedtime with a paranoia that bordered lunacy! With the first two I learned to manage by exercising my legs before bed… squats & lunges, etc… If it didn’t work, I’d get up and do it again. For this last one, I skipped the afternoon nap that I usually take during pregnancies. I was so tired by bedtime that I went straight to sleep.

    I’ve read that it’s hereditary and my dad & his mom both have it. I’m hoping that it doesn’t develop into something that happens even when I’m not pregnant later in life!

    • I’ll have to ask my mom if she or my dad ever dealt with it. My fear too is that it will begin to happen outside of pregnancy.

  16. YES! I had it with my last three. Not so much with my firstborn. The only thing that would work was a hot bath before bed! DROVE ME INSANE! Thank you for the other tips. I am not pregnant now, but I will definitely know where to go when I need some advice!

  17. I had this too! Not nearly as bad, but it drove me nuts, especially when my mind and whole body was exhausted and ready to sleep EXCEPT my legs, and also during car rides. I felt like going for a long run but it was always too dark by the time it started, and my belly was so big that this wasn’t an option. My grandma said to put a dry bar of soap in the bed down by my legs–even under the fitted sheet was okay and then it would stay in place. I have no idea why, but it worked pretty well. And, um, I’ve also heard that sometimes intercourse will help it go away temporarily. This is the most comprehensive post I’ve seen on the subject and I will probably be referring back to it later, as we just found out a couple nights ago we are pregnant again! :-) I have been seeing a chiropractor so maybe I won’t have it this time. I’m not sick yet, so if it’s that or the RLS I’ll take the RLS, I think.

  18. I had RLS quite bad with my last pregnancy. The ONE thing that worked for me was drinking Celestial Seasonings GoodNight tea about 1/2 hour or so before going to sleep. I also started taking a Calcium/Magnesium supplement but the tea really, really helped me. I was afraid I would run out and not be able to sleep so I made sure the tea cupboard at our house was stocked with it! Being pregnant with four kids really made my sleep priceless to me!

  19. Dear Amy,
    I have had this too but no where as bad as you.
    I even get it when I am not pregnant but only whn I am sitting very still or lying dwn.
    thank you for sharing your research on this, the only thing I have ever tried was Bio Magnesium tablets and they helped a bit.
    I am going to link this to my face book account as it is has so much great information.

  20. I always had restles legs with every pregnancy (7) and I always found taking an iron supplement helped and right before bed. Your hemoglobin will only show a drop after your iron is really, really low…so if it doesn’t show a drop it could still be low. I could always tell if I missed my pill. And they say no caffeine.

    • hope that helps and praying for you during these last few weeks…I so remember little man is 2 1/2 months old.

    • I am anemic and have been with each pregnancy, which confuses me as to why every other baby has involved RLS and not every single one. Strange.

  21. I had terrible vericose veins with my last pregnancy and the doc prescribed compression stockings for me. They not only alleviated the terrible discomfort from my veins, but they helped the RLS that I’ve had since I was a kid. I don’t have all the trouble that you have, but RLS is at worst a nightmare (your case) and at best really annoying and uncomfortable (my case). I wore 15-20 mmHg compression and really got good results for both my problems.

    • That’s fascinating! My initial reaction would be to think it would drive me crazy, but maybe it would be the pressure needed to get them back under control. Thanks for the suggestion!

  22. I am heading into my 35th week of pregnancy and suddenly last week I got this horrible anxious feeling in my legs. It was the oddest thing. I am not shaking but just feel like they could explode!
    A friend posted this on Facebook and I am thankful! I don’t know if this is RLS, but I will try some of the things you suggested and see if it helps! Thank you!
    Also having fun looking through your blog, it is inspiring me for my homeschooling year coming up!

  23. Oh yes…been there with both of my pregnancies as well. I found great relief from sitting up in bed and just massaging both legs. The deeper the massage, the better.

    My RLS wasn’t as bad as yours…I just felt like I had to move my legs all the time and stretch them alot. Especially at bed time. Praise the Lord that the problem goes away after the baby is born!!! Praying for you! :)

  24. Pingback: Common Pregnancy Discomforts (And what to do about them.)

  25. I have had trouble with this during my pregnancies too. My fourth pregnancy was the worst. Now, I am not pregnant and I’m still having a good bit of trouble with it! That is making me nervous! At least I knew there was an end in sight when it was related to my pregnancies. I’m going to try the things on your list that I have not tried yet. Thanks for putting this together!

    • Another one I need to add to my list is magnesium glycinate in capsule form. This is something a friend recently told me about. Praying you find some relief!

  26. This was one of the final symptom I had just prior to being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Depending on which lab your doctor sends your blood to, you could be told you are normal with say a 3.8 TSH level but endocrinologists now believe a much lower range should be used. Once I started medication the restless legs stopped almost completely, I still take Citracal with vitamin D and magnesium at night as well just in case the medication was a coincidence. Just something to consider, thyroid problems are common after pregnancies

  27. This sounds crazy, but a friend of mine told me to try it and it has helped a TON! Put a bar of soap under the fitted sheet in your bed. Mine is down by my feet between the mattress protector and the fitted sheet. She (and I) used Dove soap. I have no idea why this would work, but it has been the most effective thing I have done. Try it and let me know if it works for you!

    • I tried this many years ago and it didn’t work for me, but you aren’t the first person I’ve heard who had this work for them. Very strange, but sadly, not my cure. :( (Glad it worked for you, though!)

  28. The first time I had an RLS attack was when I was 8 Yrs old. I remember being terribly scared and so my parents took me to the docs, but they could not diagnose anything then. Luckily it did not affect me after that until age 23! and since then (I am now 29) I have had RLS it was more when I was on a Low Carb Diet. It was more when I did more strenuous exercises focusing on the Leg muscles….but it has been on and off. This is my second pregnancy and I have been having terrible RLS attacks since 32nd week and its making me a walking zombie in the morning hours due to lack of sleep at nights! Hopefully it will get better after pregnancy!!…… I am used to taking Pain Killers out of desperation esp when it would get pretty bad at night….but other than that I have tried stretching for 20 mins everyday after workout which looks like has helped a bit. But yes I have taken several Tylenol and Ibuprofen tablets till date!! which I feel bad about….but I just did not have a choice!

  29. Surprisingly, the pharmacist knew about this condition. He also suggested a lack of iron, dehydration, calcium/magnesium definciency as possible causes. I’ve had it for all 7 pregnancies. A good deep tissue leg massage helps from Hubby. (Why pay someone when they’d be so happy to help?) I also switched to decaf and had improvements. Take all you multivitamins for sure! And your other suggestions are great.

  30. Good ideas for me to try. I have had restless “leg” syndrome since I was 10, only I have suffered with it in my arms. Luckily my mom has RLS, so she was able to “diagnose” it for me. I had never gotten it in my legs until after I had children, but not just during pregnancy. It is harder to deal with in the arms because you can’t get up and walk around. When it is really bad I shake my arms rapidly or have my husband give me a snake bite all over my arm. I have found that it seems to come on (in legs or arms) when I am overly tired – which explains why it has gotten worse since having kids :) I did go for a few years in my early 20’s without having it, which makes me wonder if it is a nutrient deficiency . . . When i first got it there wasn’t a name for it and i was sent to a neurologist who wanted to put me on some pretty heavy drugs. I’m glad that it is now recognized by doctors and they don’t treat us like wackos :)

    • The first time I experienced it, my OB told me it was in my head. I do wonder if there is a deficiency, but I haven’t figured it out yet. :(

  31. I’ve had terrible RLS in the third trimesters of my last few pregnancies (at least 3 out of 7) and found that I’m always the most affected in the evenings after the kids are in bed (maybe because it’s the only time I really sit down!) My head and body are ready for rest but my legs are jumping. I haven’t tried any supplements (other than my prenatal vitamin) so thanks to this post, I’ll look into them if we are blessed again! What worked for me (to alleviate but not completely eliminate the RLS): walking/a little exercise every day, taking a hot bath an hour before bed and sometimes just soaking my legs/feet in the tub, leg massage, wearing good walking shoes around the house (not going barefoot or in sock feet on the hardwood floors), pillow between my legs while sleeping, shaving regularly AND… (my special discovery that works for me) the nightly use of “Extra Strength Medicated Body Lotion” with Aloe and Vitamin E. I discovered this lotion in my last pregnancy (#7) and I’ve tried both Gold Bond and generic brands (either will do), so long as the lotion has .5% menthol in it. No, it doesn’t smell good at all (imagine smelling like Vick’s Vap-o-rub every night for the last 3 months of your pregnancy) but for me, it totally does the trick. Somehow the tingling/cooling on the outside of my legs overpowers the tingling on the inside of my legs and I sleep, and sleep very comfortably if I rub it on just after the bath and just before bed!! I’ve tried going without it and switching to other, more fragrant lotions, but the RLS came back with a vengeance. I’ve also tried other non-menthol “medicated” lotions, like regular Gold Bond, and your standard OTC drugstore anti-itch lotions, creams, and gels (even though my RLS is more tingling than itching – when you’re desperate you’ll try anything, right?) They didn’t work for me at all. In fact, my last trimester was one big science experiment. And the conclusion? That the menthol lotions worked and the others didn’t. So I stuck with what worked to get me through the pregnancy. Now that my baby is a year old, and I’m “in my right mind” (meaning not desperate for a remedy), I’m wondering, since natural menthol is derived from the peppermint plant, if I couldn’t just rub some peppermint oil on my legs before bed and get the same results. I’ve heard of ingesting peppermint oil for the relief of morning sickness, but what about rubbing it on as a topical treatment for RLS? A science experiment for the next pregnancy, I suppose. :) As a side note, I do happen to think there’s an underlying cause to RLS (some vitamin/mineral/body chemistry deficiency) but my OB thought I was crazy too. Until the docs/homeopaths/midwives figure this one out, I’ll be that hugely pregnant lady in the grocery store who smells like Vap-O-Rub. :)

  32. I’d like to second what another poster said about iron supplements. I always end up with pregnancy induced anemia. Otherwise I’m fine. I also found an article in which they talked about iron deficiency being linked to the brains inability to release dopamine hence – restless legs.
    Hope that helps! With my third baby I *needed* to take high doses of iron (as well as a stool softener! yikes!)

  33. Amy, Amy, Amy ……I TOO HAVE THIS!!!!!! In pregnancy it is the WORST!!!!!!! Feeling “insane” is the closest description. I often just shake em til my tantrum is relieved. I’m considering power walking before bed, this pregnancy. Ha, yea right, who am I kidding. I’ll probably eat Oreos instead.

  34. I know this is a really old post, but I have this problem in pregnancy, and my midwife said it was due to a mineral imbalance in the body. Calcium helps muscles contract, while magnesium helps them relax, if I understand right. I found that taking just the magnesium without the calcium helps, and eating a lot of dairy before bed makes it worse. Apparently, I get plenty of calcium in my diet and not a lot of magnesium, so the extra magnesium is needed without the extra calcium. I just take a small mag. tablet as soon as I feel it coming on, and it usually goes away in a very short time. I hope this helps someone as much as it helped me!

  35. i am on my third i use to have rls when i was growing up and havent had any problems till baby num 3 i already feel like i am going crazy iv talked to the dr and friends and family and they say to just deal with it !! that if it continues then after i have the baby i can get on pills i need something now!! im not sleeping and its getting me weak and tired and snappy with my other children im lost i dont know what to do

    • Well, you have come to the right place! There are a lot of good suggestions here that will give you things to try. Kristine’s suggestion to use Extra Strength Medicated Lotion worked well for me. Read everything here and it should give you some hope. Hang in there. I just prayed for you tonight :0)

  36. Your website and your memories of Emily especially are a blessing.
    With regard to RLS, you are right when you say that it can make you feel desperate and insane. In short, that is the reason we decided to stop having children after our fifth. I just couldn’t be the wife and mother I wanted to be without sleep. I do pray that a solution is revealed. However, while I was going through it, the ONE thing that consistently helped was to draw a bath as hot as I could stand, enough to cover my legs, and soak for 15 min. God bless every one of you struggling with this.

  37. I just came across this post about RLS. I too had it with my first, and I’m not an expert, but I noticed on another post that yo said you have varicose veins. That could very well be why you have RLS. One thing I found helped me was going for walks in the evening before going to bed, also rubbing them in with verigone lotion worked great. The only place I have found this lotion is Nature’s Sunshine. This is meant to help with varicose veins. Another thing my homeopath told me was to take a Vit. C with beta carotene in it as this will help with that as well (besides helping you with healing after birth).

    About the chocolate- sometimes pregnant women crave chocolate because they are lacking in Calcium-Magnesium. If you take a supplement you will probably notice that over time you won’t crave chocolate anymore.

    Hope this helps :)

  38. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this before or if they are connected or not but I get severe RLS when pregnant and my past two pregnancies I will wake up mid night freezing with the shakes (even if it is super hot in the house) and cannot stop shaking for several minutes until my body feels like it has hot pins and needles running up and down it and I warm up enough that my body calms. It happens worst on the nights when I experience RLS symptoms while falling asleep. Has anyone else experienced something like this? At first I thought it was cold/hot flashes from the hormones or something but the pins and needles feeling is so like the RLS and the creepy crawly want to get out of bed and fling around feeling is similar too.

    • I’ve never personally experienced that, but I have a friend who has restless legs even when not pregnant, and she goes to bed with a hot water bottle to warm her body and help ward off the RLS. Interesting.

  39. My natural remedies encyclopedia says that it is linked with iron deficiency. There are other causes, but deficiency seems to be a common cause of RLS during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester for obvious reasons. I had muscle cramps during my pregnancy’s and I was deficient in iron both times. Magnesium can also be low since it is responsible for relaxing the muscles during periods of rest. It’s amazing how the body is willing to sacrifice what it needs to be healthy, in order to care for a growing baby. It’s a miracle! :)

  40. I suffer from RLS during pregnancy, and it was worst with my 4th child. I used magnesium oil and that helped some. Toward the end of my pregnancy I found out I was anemic and started taking iron and the RLS went away almost instantly!

  41. I’ve had RLS since I was a child & its the worst ever right now (3rd trimester, pregnancy #3). Here’s what’s helping:
    * a warm bath in menthol/euchalyptus/sea salt (I bought it for cheap at Walgreens; its called “DeStressor Bath” or something like that & is a jar of something green that looks like salt); I’ve been soaking in it every afternoon
    * lower back / leg massage from my husband (I hate to ask him too often, because he’s tired at bedtime, too… but when I really feel like I’m going to get zero sleep otherwise, I’ll ask & this makes a huge difference. I can get to sleep & usually stay that way for at least 3 or 4 hours).
    * peppermint lotion (I read someplace that peppermint makes you blood flow, so I decided to try using peppermint lotion on my legs and it takes the edge off. I’m not sure if it really makes the blood flow better or just gives me the sensation of relief. At this point, I don’t care – I’ll take either!)

    My mom has also had RLS her whole life. She insists the only “cure” is sleeping with her legs propped up on pillows. She currently has a wedge-pillow that she LOVES and can’t sleep without. I have never found this helpful, but I’m posting it in case someone else does. The wedge seems to take away mom’s RLS almost entirely. For what its worth, she’s convinced its due to poor blood return & says it runs in families. It sure seems to run in ours!

    Hope all that helps someone. I’ve appreciated reading this post on RLS!! Beautiful blog, too!!

  42. MAGNESIUM. MAGNESIUM. MAGNESIUM. My SIL told me about magnesium years ago, got a bottle from Walmart- nothing. Then I read that it has to be a certain kind of magnesium for your body to absorb. Magnesium oxide will not be absorbed but work as a laxative. Magnesium oil is supposed to have the highest absorption, but it made my skin itch like crazy. I have finally found relief with Doctor’s Best Magnesium (pill, not an oil). It is not the brand but type of magnesium they use. It has magnesium glycinate/ lysinate, chelated. There are other highly absorbable magnesium; you can look it up, just not mag oxide.
    Taking magnesium has helped me with so much. I guess I had really become deficient over the years. It has helped with headaches I had had for over 25 years, rls, excessive sweating, and blood pressure.
    I hope this helps you too. :)

  43. I have problems periodically with RLS, a few drops of Young Living lavender essential oil rubbed on the bottom of each foot works every time for me!

  44. I have RLS when not pregnant and have found that doing yoga, specifically “moon salutations” help me. Just some gentle stretching.

  45. my husband was diagnosed with RLS & PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder). The only “treatment” they had was a drug that caused narcolepsy! Falling asleep while driving wasn’t of interest, so we’ve researched different natural remedies over the years. The one that works best is by Nature’s Inventory–for restless leg, called “night time leg calm”–essential oils rubbed onto the lower back–this is by far the best remedy for him. And no, I don’t work there or anything, we just finally found something that WORKS! I just stumbled on your site today and thought I’d put in a word. Hope it helps someone (and someone’s WIFE to sleep!!!) Link:

  46. My RLS started with menopause which hit with the birth of my last child.I found out that I had a vitamin D deficiency and had to take 50,000 IU daily for almost two years to get back to normal.This helped some but when I added 250mg of magnesium at night,that did the trick. I haven’t had problem’s with it for over two years now and that is a blessing as it was so bad that I couldn’t sleep.Ibuprofen would sometimes help but not always.The trick was taking pure magnesium every night.