Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for RLS/WED (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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xristina47
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Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by xristina47 »

All my life I have suffered from RLS – I inherited it from my Dad. You need to react to a RLS attack with an opposite action. Don’t lie awake in bed, hoping the RLS will go away. Get up and do something that is the opposite to relaxation. Then, when the RLS has subsided, you can creep back to bed and hopefully fall asleep. Here are some of my tricks:

• Get up and walk around. (I rarely do this as I find some of the following tricks are more effective).
• Have a midnight breakfast of muesli and a warm drink – fool your body that you’re getting up – the RLS will subside.
• Study a foreign language in the middle of the night – the brain stimulation will banish the RLS.
• Throw off the warm covers of your bed and get cold – the RLS will generally subside
• And here’s a really counter-intuitive one: Drink a cup of not too strong coffee. The caffeine will tell your brain you’re getting up and the RLS will usually subside. The caffeine won’t be strong enough to prevent you from finally getting some sleep. Downside is that you might need to get up later for a pee. My Dad used to do this with strong tea. If find weak coffee works for me.

Good luck!

ViewsAskew
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by ViewsAskew »

Thanks, xristina47.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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Polar Bear
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Polar Bear »

No way could I lie in bed hoping the RLS would go away. That would be impossible.
By virtue of just getting up out of bed I tend to use all of the suggestions mentioned, plus others. Much as a way of passing tume.
(Excepting learning a foreign language).
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

badnights
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by badnights »

You have some company here - a couple of other people have mentioned using coffee to help subdue WED/RLS sensations.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

Yankiwi
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Yankiwi »

Fight or flight
When I wake up with painful legs several times every night my brain knows I need to get up right away but my body wants to stay in bed so I usually try to stretch or rub my legs and ultimately end up getting up for an hour or two. I know I need to get up so for me "fllight" is necessary but I tend to "fight" until I always give in and get up. It's winter here now so I really want to stay in bed.

Rebeccalee1991
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Rebeccalee1991 »

Hi I just wanted to say that you tips are very helpful to me. I’m new here and I have very bad RLS I am up most of the day struggling with this and also all night it consumes my day. It gets worse at night of course but during the day my legged and feet want to jerk. At night it moves into my hands.
I am going to try the foreign language learning and the other tips you provided. I’m surprised about the coffee tip.

badnights
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by badnights »

The coffee is a weird one, to be sure. I haven't tried it myself (scared to !).

Have you tried the hot bath trick? As scalding hot as you can stand - calms my legs & arms right down (but only if the RLS/WED is not too strong). But for some people, icy cold water is what they want.

Also, if it's mild while you're in bed and so tired you can't bear the thought of getting up, try putting pillows under your hips, belly, chest, and head, and kneel or lie face-down on them, the center of your body supported, the legs bent and spread like a frog so the muscles are being stretched. This will only work if it's mild.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by ViewsAskew »

My BFF used coffee to help her fall to sleep. Always has. Fascinating when things work opposite how they do for others.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Polar Bear »

badnights said
"""But for some people, icy cold water is what they want."""
Before my RLS was under some control I used the icy cold water for relief. A big bucket as deep and full as possible. I'd put both feet/legs in and it would really take the breath from me but that quickly subsides. Gently use a cloth to run the icy water up as far as possible hopefully to the knees and gradually my symptoms would subside. It would usually take about 20 minutes to get to the stage where I'd feel able to go back into bed.
This would give me a window of about a half hour to get to sleep. (This was before my insomnia was as bad as it is now.)
This was before I was a member and had access to the information here on this Board. I tried the cold water in the bucket method because initially walking barefoot on a cold floor was somewhat helpful.
For some reason I never felt drawn to the hot water method, probably because the cold water worked.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

2BassetMom
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by 2BassetMom »

I just read through these tips and plan to try the ones I haven't used before. I too have cereal and coffee if I get up and it does help. My cereal of choice is Honey Nut Cheerios:) I take hot baths but I'm going to try to cold method too. My favorite brain distraction is crossword puzzles. I keep a book of crosswords with me in the car in case restless legs come on when we are going to and from our big town 50 miles away.

Kansas
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Kansas »

I will try decaf coffee! with two cookies as sugar is to help you sleep. I read to keep your legs outside the covers so they'll be cooler.
I think the low-oxalate diet is helping, I haven't been on it but a week yet so I will see.

Polar Bear
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Polar Bear »

Kansas - with regard to two cookies for the sugar content, bear in mind that sugar can be an RLS trigger for many.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Yankiwi
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Re: Counter- Intuitive Tricks to Get Rid of RLS, including Caffeine

Post by Yankiwi »

And two cookies regularly in addition to regular food intake would pile on the pounds or kilos very rapidly.

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