Going on a long flight

Going on a long flight from uk to Los Angeles next week (24th may),

11hrs long, does being on a plane that long effect people's rls?

I won't be sleeping on the plane as when I sleep while sitting I tend to kick out and the poor bugga's next to me on coaches before end up getting kicked hard :( so I have to make sure I stay awake, I have a window seat to look out at the clouds and take off etc, first time on a big plane etc,

22 Replies

  • Hi Mand! I had this problem a few years ago long before my RLS was successfully treated. I just had to get up and walk around the plane a lot... Now my RLS is controlled by x5 0.088mg pramipexole taken at night. I had the problem a few months ago of a long coach journey and wondered what to do. With some advice from people on this site, I tried staggering the dose throughout the day. So before the long part of the journey in the morning I took x2 tablets about two hours before leaving. I did the same about two hours before the return journey and took my final tab before going to bed. It wasn't ideal but it did work (only minor kicking on the return journey). I don't know what meds you're taking but consider trying the staggered dosage approach. All the best, Tpebop, Kent, Britain.

  • I don't take any meds for rls as my doctors refuse to diagnosis me :(

  • As stated below Mand8 this is simply not acceptable. All I can say is follow the advice below and take as much evidence as you can and make sure that you have a referral to a neurologist with an interest in RLS. Pester your docter if you need to and make them listen. If it is a practise is it possible to see another doctor?

  • Mand82, you are kidding...!! Why wont your doctor diagnosis you..??? If you have the symptoms of RLS, then your doctor should listen to you...and prescribe medication for your RLS.

  • Went to the doctor a few years back and they told me I didn't have it and that I was too young to have it etc but didn't test me or ask me any questions etc ,

  • Then you need to go back to your doctor. Any age you can have RLS. There isnt a test for RLS, you can only tell them your symptoms, if you have a good doctor, then he/she will know you have RLS, by how you describe the symptoms.

  • Don't have a good doctor tho the surgery I'm with is the worse surgery in my home town and can't change surgerys due to strict catchment area rules within the nhs :( and stupid adpointments can only be made on the day only by phoning at 8am when I'm not even awake as I don't even managed to fall asleep till gone 1/2am and wake up gone 10am

  • I know this might be hard to do as you are not sleeping and waking til late. But if it was me, i would set my alarm to wake so i could phone the doctor when they open to get that appointment, and make it late in the day so you can get there. You have to take charge sometimes, its your health that is suffering. One really bad nights sleep to get to see your doctor would be worth it so you can get some meds. Then you can get proper sleep. I know how it is with the catchment areas so changing surgeries is hard to do. So, you need to take some info on RLS along with you, tell hin/her you cant take this not sleeping anymore. You need some RLS meds.

  • mand82 - what a dreadful situation to be in, I'm sure we all sympathise with you. There are still some dreadfully ignorant medical people about - how do they function with their head buried in the sand? Are all the doctors in your surgery as pig-headed as this one? Try a younger, newer one -may be more amenable to 'new' ideas.

    Sometimes the only answer is to pester the Gp to death, and take along printouts of facts about RLS. I did this and also mentioned a drug that often helps with RLS -Gabapentin [also called Neurontin]. It's the cheapest med for neuro pain, so it won't affect the precious budget too much. Good luck.

  • Could it be time to start making a compliant about the practice?


  • Doctors don't listen tho :(

  • It definitely affects me and it really sucks because there really isn't a lot of space to walk before prope start wondering about you. And if I stand in the back I usually am in the way of the stewardess. Can you ask for a perscription of something to take while travelling. If you are already on meds for it tho, then you should be o k.

  • A similar question was asked in Feb. Go to the bottom of the questions page and click on box 4 and scroll down to - 'I get terrible RLS when flying. I am planning to fly to Australia in a year but I'm dreading it, any tips or advice that you can offer?' 28 Feb 2013, 18 answers

    I flew to the USA in Dec. and you'll see my comment in that string but the advice did work!

    Hope it helps! Good luck with that and with finding a better GP! The RLS UK website may be helpful. Perhaps you should print out pages for your GP! rls-uk.org

    As another person said, even children can get RLS.

    Kind regards

    Rosie - Vie Chair RLS-UK (tiredparent)

  • I fly all the time from Ft lauderdale to Dhaka. Ft Lauderdale- JFK( 3 hrs),New York- Dubai (12.5 hrs), Dubai-Dhaka (4.5 hrs). I take Isle seat because when RLS starts you need to walk around or stand, stretch etc. Also take your med in advancs so RLS won't attack, not sure looking at cloud will keep RLS away also most transatlantic flights are night flights. But don't be nervous, be prepared. Good luck.

  • Mand82, with all due respect to Brirain, here in USA we pay for Doctor's visit and med so they never refuse.People that have RLS knows how it is and I don't even want the worse person in the world should have it.

  • I have read others posts on different forums. where people in the USA, can have just as much trouble getting doctors to take them seriously as we can do in the UK.

    The difference is, in the States you can fire your doctors and find another one. Something we cant do here.

  • Tired parent, please read my comment above.

  • Hi there. I was on a flight last year for 4 hours and although I had my meds the flight back was an evening one and I had problems but thre meds did help. I just had an isle seat and made sure I could move my legs. The problem also is there is somtimes a long check in too which does not help as there can be a lot of sitting or you end up pacing. I hope it goes OK and you have my best wishes.

  • I went to New Zealand and found flight socks helpful. When I had RLS I would sometimes wear them in bed if it was not too hot

  • In a month I'll be in 15 hour flight and now that the RLS is a problem again and Neupro not working as before thought last night I took 5 mg as well as pregavalin, Co codamol, and many others. But still could not sleep until 5.50. I make jewellery so I'm busy and I enjoy it. But what can I request and prepare for journeys and to take on holiday?

  • I always insure I have an idle seat so I can stretch my legs. I also walk up and down the isles and stand at the rear. I take a mirapex about an hour before my flight and

    if it is overnight I will take another with a zopiclone to get thru an overnight flight!

  • You can never prepare for EVERYTHING! Neupro and quick acting Sinemet (25/100) got me through a trip from Detroit to Amsterdam with only one pacing incident. I boarded the return flight with such confidence. All was going well until the man in the seat next to me (well, almost on top of me!) started kicking in his sleep. As a long time RLS sufferer, I was NOT about to wake him up! And so I avoided his kicks all the way home, thanking God repeatedly that my meds were working.

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