Symptoms worse during Summer?

For everything and anything else not covered in the other RLS sections.
psychick
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: Midwest

Symptoms worse during Summer?

Post by psychick »

Has anyone noticed an increase in their symptoms seasonally? My sleep got really bad last Summer, which is when I took action to get my first sleep study and was diagnosed with RLS and PLM off the charts. I assumed that the worsening of my symptoms was related to the severe stress I was under at the time, however, now it's July again and my sleep is getting really bad all over again. And my stress level is probably at the lowest level in 3 years. Nothing about my meds has changed, except that I've been without my Singulair (allergy med) for about a month. Anyone else experience anything similar?

Aiken
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:53 am

Post by Aiken »

Yeah, it gets worse in summer for lots of us. No one's sure why, they're just sure it's so.

I'm just about at the limit of what my meds can handle right now. If it gets much worse, I'll need to hit up my sleep doc for something to supplement them for the next month or three.
Disclaimer: I often talk about what I do and what works for me, but these are specific to me and you should always consult a healthcare professional before trying these things yourself, lest you endanger your health or life.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

I guess I am pretty fortunate, as it seems to hover at around the same mostly all year round.

FidgetBoy
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Location: Minnesota

Post by FidgetBoy »

Psychick- My symptoms are always worse in the summer and in hot weather. My theory has always been that since we know heat can slow the transmission of signals along brain synapses AND since RLS has a lot to do with neurotransmitters and the transmission of them, I always figured that heat might also effect RLS symptoms.

I know MS patients are actually told to avoid heat/hot showers for this reason-- I think it's called Uhthoff's phenomenon. I've often wondered if this can happen in other neurologic conditions? (but I'm probably grasping at straws)
Josh

becat
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Post by becat »

I'll add my vote in this one, as well.

Yes, hot weather is a killer to my body and there goes my sleep in turn.
I'm with you Aiken.

Josh love the thoughts on this, awesome explaination.

Weather change, like rain or even snow, is bad as well.

Must moved far from Tx.....LOL Summer home in Alaska maybe!

Lynne

moonlight
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Location: scotland

Post by moonlight »

I do wonder about that as for the last few weeks my Rls has got bad and the weather has been really hot...also my arthritis is hurting bad as well .could the hot weather affect this too?

Both are so bad tonite that Ive taken double codeine to see if I get any relief.

huggles
moonlight xxx
sleep is not only a dream

psychick
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: Midwest

Post by psychick »

Well, I'm sorry you all are suffering with me, but glad I'm not the only one who's noticed a connection. I'm a florida gal who's lived in the midwest for 10 years now - I still miss the florida weather in the winter, but it's just as hot here in mid-summer as it is at home - only there aren't nearly as many lakes and pools to cool off in!

If I had realized there was a link - I would've been more careful with divvying out my lunesta - as it is I'm without insurance coverage at the moment and the prescription is way too expensive to refill without coverage. Plus, doctors aren't allowed to give it out as samples. Instead, I'm lying awake until 4am on average right now. Oh well, at least my job doesn't require early mornings from me.

Thanks for the feedback and best wishes towards easing of your symptoms!

Alan
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:29 pm

Post by Alan »

First thing I do when I have restless legs is throw of the covers--clearly helps to be cold. Unclear why. I tend to be worse in hot weather, too.

angelab58
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:39 pm

rls symptoms in summer

Post by angelab58 »

I just came back from vacation. I was on a houseboat on the Erie Canal. I noticed that my symptoms were alot better. I usually am a big diet pepsi drinker. All we had was the caffeine free aboard. I think that made a big difference...and surprizingly I think the level of stress had much to do with it all! :idea: There was just us on the boat, nobody else really around, and nature. I had no deadlines, nothing I had to do, I was away from stresses at work. I do take Requip 1mg every night.
I guess I really need to work on the stress level in my life. I work full time, go to school full time, and try to run a household. :shock: There is not alot of time for me I guess, so maybe thats where I need to focus!
Thanks for listening!

Angel P.

HeatherB
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:00 am

Post by HeatherB »

Could the worsening of symptoms in the summer also be do to more activity? I know I am a lot more active in the summer then in the winter. It is much to cold here in Michigan to be outside in the winter very much.

Aiken
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:53 am

Post by Aiken »

HeatherB wrote:Could the worsening of symptoms in the summer also be do to more activity? I know I am a lot more active in the summer then in the winter. It is much to cold here in Michigan to be outside in the winter very much.

It could be for some people. As there are lots of things that exacerbate RLS, it could be that there's a whole range of stuff that's more common in summer, and each of us has two or three things that make our own case worse in that time of year. Hard to say.

Myself, I'm just as sedentary in summer, as I overheat too easily in the sun. For the same reason, I obviously don't get more sun in summer. My RLS still gets worse, though, so neither of these potential causes are my problem.

There are lots of other possibilities:

- Overall temperature rises
- While relative humidity does not rise, absolute humidity does
- Brain/circadian rhythms reacting to more hours of sunlight (even I notice this, thanks to windows)
- Different emotional state in summer
- Different clothing
- Could even be an electrical charge in the air--lightning is more common in summer, perhaps the rise in charged particles affects us too
- etc.
Disclaimer: I often talk about what I do and what works for me, but these are specific to me and you should always consult a healthcare professional before trying these things yourself, lest you endanger your health or life.

ed2008
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:06 pm

Post by ed2008 »

just spitballing here.. but circadian rythym is poorly understood. if seasonal affective disorder (cabin fever) is related to low sun exposure, then i think the other extreme could be problematic.

Ed

HeatherB
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:00 am

Post by HeatherB »

Thanks for your thoughts. I just found out I have RLS and PLMD so I am just now starting to try to figure out what makes it worse for me.

psychick
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: Midwest

Post by psychick »

I'm still struggling with my sleep this summer, but I've added 6mg of Melatonin to my night-time routine and that's helping some, also Lunesta was running a 7 day free trial offer, so I got some free, which I'm divvying very carefully for myself. fingers crossed that I can get my rx coverage back soon! Thankfully my gabapentin is a generic and cheap!

I like your thoughts on the subject Aiken -
- My level of activity is the same summer/winter - I play roller derby year round!
-I do wonder about circadian rhythms - it's not just my RLS/PLM's that have worsened significantly, it's my insomnia too (non RLS related). In fact, the insomnia is a much worse experience for me than the increased RLS/PLM's.
-as for the other factors - humidity, charged particles, etc - I'm sure it's possible - I wonder if scientists will ever study that stuff?

SquirmingSusan
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Post by SquirmingSusan »

ed2008 wrote:just spitballing here.. but circadian rythym is poorly understood. if seasonal affective disorder (cabin fever) is related to low sun exposure, then i think the other extreme could be problematic.

Ed


I was reading something about this recently. Yes there is a seasonal affective disorder that affects people in the summer. I get a wicked case of cabin fever in the summer when it's in the 90s and humid day after day after day after day and I just don't get outside.
Susan

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