How to Read When Legs are Restless

Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for WED/RLS (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.]
TimG
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How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby TimG » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:46 am

I enjoy reading in the evening, but often get restless legs, which of course causes problems sitting still. I've read some of the strategies that others use, including positional changes, reading more quickly, and distractions.

Some things I do when WED is active and interfering with my ability to sit and read are:

(1) Get up and move around frequently

(2) Listen to music when reading

(3) Get on my stationary bike and pedal slowly while reading with the book on the bike reading rack

(4) Take my nightly pramipexole at least 30 minutes before sitting down to read.

These are strategies that work the best for me. Do any of you have strategies that you would like to share about how to read when experiencing WED symptoms?

During the day, I sometimes have restless legs while sitting to read, but not nearly as often or as severe as in the evening.

ViewsAskew
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby ViewsAskew » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:28 am

I stand by the couch, put the book on the back of it and rock back and forth. Or take meds first, as you mention.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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rthom
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby rthom » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:41 am

LOL -I used to do the same thing. I found a way to sit and move, though. I put my running shoes on and sit in a recliner/rocker (got it on freecycle--woohoo), anyway in front of the chair I have a 5 gal pail with stuff in it (to provide weight/ stability) and the top on it. Then I put my heels on the top of the pail (I like to cross my feet at the ankles), and then just rock and read, type, work on puzzles etc. It's the best for me because this is how I sleep and move withought waking myself as much. My wife says I'm rocking all the time while I sleep (all the time meaning frequently). It's the most relaxed I've been in a long time.

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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby Polar Bear » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:11 am

I walk slowly and read, can sometimes do this in the bedroom if it is later on in the night as kindle fire has a back light.
Early evening, I walk, I rock, at first I do it at a reasonable speed and then I can go more slowly and it's easier to read.
I get up to get movement as soon as that first wee symptom indication flickers and before it gets up a full head of steam.
Also, like Ann, stand at the back of the couch and lay the book on the back of it but can only do this when symptoms start to ease off.
Betty
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TimG
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby TimG » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:30 pm

Thanks for your replies everyone. I have had some success with doing progressive relaxation exercises while sitting and reading, especially the legs and feet, tensing and relaxing them. I've also tried a foot soak while sitting in the evening, but it has a neutral effect on restless legs--neither helps nor hurts. It sure makes my feet relaxed, however.

The surest help for me to be able to read when in the throes of restless legs symptoms is to get on the stationary bike and read while pedaling. If I try to sit and read,using willpower to relax my legs, it invariably gets worse. Movement is key to reduce the symptoms.

Chipmunk
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby Chipmunk » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:42 pm

Reading on the stationary bike is a really good idea!
Tracy

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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby badnights » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:55 am

I tired reading on a stationary bike and found the book wiggled too much. It was someone else's bike and maybe not a very good one.

I stand to read all the time. I lean on the kitchen counter (which I think is slowly causing some kind of structural imbalance in my upper back or shoulders). At work, I have a table that goes up and down with a motor - salvaged from an optometrist's office and modified.

When standing is not enough, I rise onto my toes, or go up and down that way. I might lift one foot and do one-legged squats, balanced against the counter while reading. And when I get tired, I squat on the floor beside the counter for a while.

I wonder how much of this our doctors know.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Chipmunk
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby Chipmunk » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:36 pm

It must have been the bike or the rack because the ones at the health club were very sturdy and didn't wiggle at all. I get motion sick easily so that would have driven me nuts!
Tracy

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TimG
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby TimG » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:23 am

I have a very sturdy stationary bike ( a Tunturi F300), which I've had for 15 years. I got a metal reading stand that is designed to fit on a table and modified it to fit on the center of the bike handlebars. It works great for reading and doesn't move excessively.

badnights
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby badnights » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:54 pm

My mother has confirmed that her exercise bike was crappy!
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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EeFall
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby EeFall » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:09 am

To use my laptop when RLS makes it so I can't lay down or sit down I put 3 pillows on our sectional and put the laptop on it (pillows laying by one armrest) with another pillow behind the laptop to that it is at reading level while standing in front of couch and not so far back away from me to make reading or typing difficult. I can then stand and read, even type, until the RLS gets so bad that I can't concentrate, then I wouldn't want to read. It works though.

doety
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby doety » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:33 pm

I lay on the floor, on my stomach. Have no idea why that works.

It's not reading, but when I know I'm about to get RLS, I lay on the floor, turn on Netflix and watch an engrossing detective movie.

badnights
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby badnights » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:00 am

my ex used to lie on his stomach to deal with it, but I never could - my back hurts too much. However, I do place pillows under me and curl up over them, stomach downward and legs bent; I guess the same principle is involved (if there even is a principle and it's not just coincidence).

eefall doesn't your laptop overheat from the pillows?
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.

doety
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby doety » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:49 pm

I used to keep a "sleep diary," looking for those coincidences, some pattern, anything that made sense. After years and years, I gave up. The closest I've come to a theory is this: pain sets my WED off. I have arthritis and I know that you just have to keep moving or it gets worse. Two things that have helped me with WED are laying on my stomach on the floor (hard surface, but carpeted), and washing the kitchen floor (another hard surface) on my hands and knees. Maybe it has something to do with my skeletal structure. Or maybe it's the phase of the moon.

Polar Bear
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Re: How to Read When Legs are Restless

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:17 pm

I also kept a sleep diary for about 2 years and did not ever see a pattern, other than lack of sleep.
But the diary came into it's own when I took it with me to a doc appointment. Seeing it laid out in black and while with barely more than ever 2 hours consecutive sleep, and an average of between 3 and 4 hours sleep per night over the 2 years at last got the doc to take on board just how bad it was. That was when I got my first ever sleeping pill.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
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