Restless legs worse with exercise
July 14, 2010 1:41 AM   Subscribe

Exercise has made my Restless Leg Syndrome worse. Added extra 12 hour time zone shift.

Recently my restless leg syndrome has gotten out of control and I see a direct link between going for a long bike ride or walk the day before a night of discomfort. I've just gotten back into exercise again. My legs are driving me nuts. To add to my dilemma I recently moved to a new time zone. I've been here for a few weeks but the 12 hour time shift feels like it's mucked me about a bit. I'm worried my body is prone to insomnia at this point if I don't do something.

Aside from slowing down on the exercise does anyone have any suggestions for simple things I can do at home to curtail this before it becomes a regular issue? (The doctor will be my next port of call if I can't manage this on my own in the next week so no need to give that advice thanks.)
posted by BAKERSFIELD! to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)

but my i stopped kicking in my sleep when i started taking zinc tablets

one anecdote doesn't make a study, but it might provide some googlable search words.
posted by compound eye at 3:26 AM on July 14, 2010

Aside from slowing down on the exercise does anyone have any suggestions for simple things I can do at home to curtail this before it becomes a regular issue?

I've had the same problem (although my restless leg goes away if I don't exercise at all, so YMMV) and I found it was alleviated by a hot soak in a hot tub/bathtub.

I found that my muscles relaxed significantly with about 15 minutes of soaking in heat just after the exercise is performed (although for me, I exercise about an hour before bed, so the heat also zonks me out a bit anyways) and allows me to have restful sleep. Good luck!
posted by Hiker at 5:20 AM on July 14, 2010

IANAD, but I do have both RLS (creepy crawlies while going to sleep) and PLMS (periodic limb movement, kicking and twitching while asleep) and was told by a sleep specialist to make sure my serum iron was always not just within normal, but higher than the end of normal (women are supposed to have 50 to 170 µg/dL, I am supposed to keep mine above 55). I also take magnesium for a number of things and I find that it helps.
posted by sarahkeebs at 5:23 AM on July 14, 2010

Think about potassium and D3 supplements. Many people are D3 deficient without knowing it, and it does contribute to muscle efficiency. I used to get leg cramps every time I went to Phoenix, but now that I'm taking the supplements it seems to have alleviated.
posted by answergrape at 7:32 AM on July 14, 2010

THIS REALLY WORKS! I take Calcium, Magnesium and Nature's bounty (plus extra D) all one pill. Take one three times a day with meals for about a week then taper off.

My Doctor recommended this and it's one of the most unbelievable fixes of all time. No more leg cramps!

Honestly everyone I told that's tried this is astonished by how well it works.
posted by AuntieRuth at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2010

I second Auntie Ruth for calcium, magnesium, zinc ... I take 3 tablets daily (two in A.M. and one in P.M.) and it makes a world of difference. Been doing this for a number of years, and when I run out or miss for some reason, I pay for it severely in RLS symptoms ...

Adjust levels as needed ... I find three a day works best for me, YMMV
posted by batikrose at 8:27 AM on July 14, 2010

I've had positive results from the relaxing stretchy kind of exercise like pilates. Probably anything that reduces tension would help?
posted by curious_yellow at 9:11 AM on July 14, 2010

Ibuprofon is the only thing that works for me.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:10 AM on July 14, 2010

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