Night time eating

Over the past few years my RLS has got worse. I take Clonazepam 1mg and I really don't want to go back up to 1.5 or 2 as that made me very tired during the day. Unfortunately I have developed a really nasty habit of eating each time I can't carry on moving my legs and get out of bed. I have put on 6 stones in weight and this has brought on other health issues.The eating has got out of control and I have been eating and drinking anything eg. Detergent tablets and thin bleach. My wife often finds me sitting in the kitchen eating. I put a lock on the kitchen door but i broke the hinges one night. I am interested to know if anyone else has had a similar problem and how they managed to deal with it. Thanks for reading this. Pete

22 Replies

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  • Wow, have you seen your doctor about this. I would be very worried about what you are eating. I dont know if its the med making you do this, i have never heard of anyone who i know who takes it and has had the problem of eating, or what you are eating. Please if you havent done so yet, then see your doctor. :)

  • Elisse - thanks for your reply. I have been seeing various health professionals for several years now the most recent being a Psychologist yesterday. She is seeing me for depression and seems to think the RLS is a psychological problem. I don't happen to think it is as I have had it to some extent since I was a young lad. Thanks for your reply. Pete

  • Hi Peterpillpopper, i am so sorry to hear you havent found an answer yet. But PLEASE do not let any professional tell you that RLS is a psychologial problem. If they do, you are seeing the wrong person. Yes, depression can follow RLS, as sleep deprivation can cause depression. RLS is neurological. !! I see you are taking various anti-depressants, can you say which ones you are taking.? And you are sleep walking hence the eating weird stuff. I havent any experience of people sleep walking, but your doctor should know and be finding a way to help you. I think maybe the med you are taking might not be doing you any good. What have you tried in the past for your RLS.

  • Elisse, I am currently taking 30mg Citalopram, 45mg Mirtazapine for depression plus 400 Quetiapine which is a mood enhancer. I was diagnosed with depression before RLS but I always put the depressiondown to lack of sleep. They kept looking for sleep aapnoea until a consultant realised I could not actually take the sleep tests because of my legs and that was whenI first heard of RLS. He prescribed Clonazepam and I have been on it eversince. When I ask if I can try other meds they say I can't because the anti depressants. Pete

  • Hi peterpillpopper, i know that anti-depressants can for most people make RLS worse. I dont know about the Quetiapine, i need to look that up. Yes, that is understandable that you had depression before you found you had RLS, that is as you have said is down to lack of sleep. I am not quite sure why they have said you cant take any other meds just because you are taking anti-d's. Lots of people take both, anti-d's and a med for RLS.

    You could email the doctor at rlshelp.org he specialises in RLS. and you can tell him of your problems and what meds you are taking right now and you have been told you cant take any meds for RLS. Alot of us on this forum have emailed him for advice and he gives good advice.

  • Pete, you are dealing with two different problems. Your GP is incorrect when he or she says RLS comes with depression. Those with RLS are so miserable they get depressed, but RLS is a genetic condition and has to be dealt with using replacement for the enzymes we don't produce in a quantity to stop the body movements. All those who have the disorder are not genetic, some are nutritional, but doctors usually try all the usual suspects first, and if it doesn't stop he will go to the dopamine affecting drugs.

  • @cfall Comment.  It is not depression, although after what we have been through we are depressed from disappointment. The problem is an over active THALAMUS sending unwanted and unneeded messages to the legs. Sound intriguing. When I heard that, it was the first time anything made any sense. The FDA has approved the Relax Pad as a medical device and many people have found it successful. Talking to your doctor about the Relaxis Pad. 

  • I HAVE BEEN ON GARBAPENTINE 600MG. BUT I SLOWLY GOT DOWN TO 100MG PER MY DOCTOR, AND EVERY THING WAS FINE FOR ABOUT A YEAR. THESE LAST TWO WEEKS, ESPECIALLY THIS WEEK I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO SLEEP ONLY TWO OR THREE HOURS LAST NIGHT AND ONE OR TWO THE OTHER NIGHTS BECAUSE OF MY RLS. EVERY TIME I GET UP I AM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO EAT AND I HAVE PUT ON ABOUT TEN POUNDS. TONIGHT I WILL TRY 300 MG OF GARBAPENTINE TO SEE IF I CAN GET SOME SLEEP. I AM ALSO GOING TO HAVE HIM GIVE ME BLOOD TESTS CAUSE I UNDERSTAND IF YOU ARE ANEMIC OR LOW IN CALCIUM OR POTASSIUM THAT MIGHT CAUSE. HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL

  • Thanks for you reply - I think I will ask for a review of my medication. Cheers Pete

  • Pete

    In your opening post you said

    "The eating has got out of control and I have been eating and drinking anything eg. Detergent tablets and thin bleach. My wife often finds me sitting in the kitchen eating. I put a lock on the kitchen door but i broke the hinges one night."

    Please tell us that this is a wind-up.

    (Have you heard they have taken the word "gullible" out of the English dictionary?)

    Also are you telling us that you broke kitchen door hinges in an attempt to gain access to food? How did you do that?

    If you are genuine then I am sorry to be so flippant but otherwise you need to see your GP today as an emergency.

    Best wishes

    Pete

  • when i have bad rls at night i go mad eating sweet food

  • The top hinge came away as the door frame splintered. I didn't get in the kitchen as I was suddenly wide awake and looking at what I had done. The same when I have swigged the bleached - it wakes you up fast. I have seen a number of GP's over the years plus a Psychiatrist and Psychologists. I can't take other meds for RLS as I am on various anti-depressants. We have moved all the cleaning stuff including the washing up liquid out to the garden shed.My wife locks the front and back doors at night as I was sleepwalking down the road. This may seem unlikely to some but I don't really care - I was just hoping some other poor sod had gone through this and managed to find a solution. Pete

  • It was my understanding that anti-depressants can actually cause, trigger, or make RLS worse. I read that Wellbutrin was the only one that was RLS friendly. Which anti-depressant/s do you take. Perhaps you could switch the anti-depressants and that would help the RLS?

  • Thanks for your reply. I currently take 30mg Citalopram and 45mg Mirtazapine for depression and 400 Quetiapine mood enhancer. When I first found this site I was straight to my GP will a list of medications from the link provided by the good people on this forum. GP said none of them would react well with the anti depressants. I have an appointment next week and I will put your suggestions to him. Thank you regards Pete

  • Pete, You need help from someone who has helped people like you before. You must be desperate to have written that 'post'. Your doctor is the best person to contact but if you need to talk try the Samaritans. You are in my prayers.

  • I have been seeing Consultants, Psychiatrist, Psychologists and Doctors for several years. My main concern recently is that I have vomited in my sleep three times. It feels like nobody takes me seriously. Thank you Pete.

  • i too have had crazy episodes of binge eating. i literally swallowed ceramic sealer, ellmers glue, and random edible- and not so- items during severe bouts of rls. i have been on 2- 4 mg of ropinerole for several years with some (albeit inconsistent) relief of the hand feet and lower leg attacks. i do however suspect that the meds may be partially responsible for late night "stress eating".

    my wife has also found me wallowing in food (or what i think is food) and tries to laugh it off but i know she suffers a great deal by trying to watch over me.

    do you crave carbs? sugar in particular?

    aside from the meds, i sometimes think that my brain is desperately trying to get a sugar rush. according to research i have seen, sugar consumption can set off a dopamine rush which is enticing to those who have rls and low dopamine levels. unfortunately, these spikes are detrimental in the long term.

    I know these following factors help me control what my neurologist calls "wickedly severe" rls and rlmd.

    full disclosure- i had major rotator cuff surgery 3 months ago and am not currently following my own advice.

    1. exercise- swimming, aerobic classes, some light weight training- whatever works for you.

    - in the evening, there are rls specific relaxation stretches and i have had good luck with yoga

    2. diet and supplements- try to get a lot of micronutirients like chromium as well as a fair amount of b vitamins. i take high potency b complex and definitely notice a difference if i stop taking it.

    -avoid avoid avoid MSG i have little doubt that it sets off sustained attacks.

    3. consistant bed time

    hope these help

  • Thanks for your reply. During the day I am not keen on sweet food. At night I will eat anything. If there is chocolate I will eat it. Not good for my diabetes. I like your advice - I do make every effort to go to bed at the same time every night. I don't use MSG at home. The exercise I do struggle with. Being so overweight and feeling constantly tired its difficult. I played a great deal of contact sport when I was young picking up loads of injuries. Now both knees and ankles are arthritic. I got to get myself swimming. When I asked the chemist about supplements he was surprisingly reluctant to suggest anything because the meds I take. Thank you for your very interesting reply. Pete

  • Something you might do to be proactive- go online, check the side effects of EVERYTHING you are on, and try to find out about how they interact as well. This isn't psychological, I'd lay odds. Doctors are so ready to fill out a prescription, and often don't know themselves about drug interactions or even the side effects to start with. (My mother is a case in point.) You need to try to find out all you can on your own. Doctors are overloaded to start with, and most of their "continuing education" is by drug companies pushing their latest money maker, so their point of view is warped at best, though most do have the best of intentions. Just don't put all your trust in these people. I am willing to bet you have some kind of drug/chemical thing going here. Research!!

  • Hi Pete,I do understand the eating as a desperate distraction from severe rls. In worsening of my rls had a direct correlation on me eating in the middle of the night. I also have narcolepsy which means as I am walking, kicking, stretching, I fall asleep.

  • Detergent Tablets??? I have the nibbles but I draw the line at Bleach, and detergent tablets. Weight is a problem with a large percentage of RLS sufferers. You can get some professional help to stop eating bad things.

  • Yep. I have a night binge- / over-eating problem, too. It's causing unhelpful weight-gain. I put it down to my Ropinirole (which is helping my sleep a great deal... with increasing doses). Tried a product with Glucomannan Fibre to increase my feeling of fullness. Didn't work for me!!! May help others out there.

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