Restless Legs Syndrome
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Desperate to know what's causing RLS and Night Cramps

Hello fellow sufferers. I get RLS a few minutes after sitting down in an armchair every evening. This follows me to bed and I writhe around with RLS as soon as I get horizontal. This is often followed by cramps in any/all my leg muscles. This can only be stopped by getting out of bed walking around and/or taking a hot shower. I can then get back into bed and may enjoy an hour or so of rest, only to be woken up by another RLS/cramps attack. This can only be stopped by getting vertical and padding around the house until the cramps subside. Hot herbal tea, porridge or beans on toast can help, but symptoms return after a short while of being horizontal. I am sleep-deprived and getting quite depressed about the horror of going to bed. I am causing serious disruption to my wife who now has to sleep in a seperate bedroom. Help!

11 Replies

Time to seek professional help for this. Do you get RLS AND cramps?? Cramps are muscular "charlie horses". RLS is that URGE to move that you cannot ignore when "horizontal". So, if you are having true cramps also, you have 2 different things going on. RLS is neurological. Are you on ANY meds (there are a lot) that could be making RLS worse??

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Oh if only someone could find what causes this vile infliction. I've had it 30 years and although pramipexole helps I think it is just beginning to make it worse.


If only one one could find an answer but there is help ,I have had it 45 yrs ,if yours is getting worse it's time to change meds ,I am on the patch with Tramodol and it's going good nearly scared to say the word incase it upsets things ,go back to the docs and don't feel a pest ,good luck


JLP- thats one mighty can of worms you've opened up. As Nightdancer says- two separate issues- and many potential causes.

RLS - what medications are you on, food triggers? ( salt is a trigger for me -baked beans are high salt )and so on.

Check out the leaflet on meds to take or avoid on RLS UK .

Cramps- I am not knowledgeable on possible causes for this- again , I am suspicious of high salt or low magnesium. ?????

Others will comment further.

Good luck.


Thanks for the comments. I am on low salt diet and taking Magnesium Sulphate baths and Mg supplements. The RLS usually leads to cramps due to weird contortions trying to find a comfort zone for sleep. However that said I sometimes get cramps independant of RLS. RLS mostly affects legs but sometimes affects arm/shoulders too. Leg effects seem to centre on groin area.

Nice to know that there are others out there



I have been all through the same thing. The cost of the Relaxis Pad is a little high, but when I considered the amount of money I had already spent over many years to no avail, I did purchase it. The very first night I lay with it between the calves of my legs, I fell asleep in minutes , stayed asleep all night. I also use it when at rest on the couch. It has been a miracle for me.


I did suffered with RLS and cramp in my feet ankles calves and hands, for years then my doctor gave me ropinirole 2x10mg and quinine tablets 1x300mg I take them every evening about 6 o'clock. I haven't had restless legs or cramp for over six months.

Talk to your doctor perhaps he will prescribe something for you.


I have Restless Legs Syndrome which I am still trying to sort out. was on Clonazapen for over two years. Brilliant no side effects and did the job. Unfortunately I have got used to them. Dr gave me Ropinirole but made me so ill , was in bed all day feeling nauseous so i won't take them anymore. Regarding cramps I began taking magnesium,took a fortnight to get in the system but cramps now stopped. Someone wrote that molasses helps restless legs so trying that at the moment. Will try anything to get some sleep. joan storer


Hello RLS sufferers. I have suffered for 13 years unable to sit comfortably in most chairs and anywhere for more than an hour and going to to bed I can expect 1 to 3 hours extreme discomfort of painful muscle spasms which often turn into unbearable long-lasting cramps at back of thighs and in groin. This problem started when I was abroad on holiday in hot conditions and it kicks off at any time of day now when I am in a very warm place. I also get throbbing and tingling which mens I cannot stand still long now, with my legs too weak to support me. The only time I feel any reasonable comfort is when on the move in the cool. I am on ropinirole and amitriptyline. Has anyone else got the extra tingling systems during the day or could these be related to my back problems or my history of re-occurring cellulitis?


Hi tonyfinch,

I believe your questions above have been answered in your thread entitled "RLS is Changing my Life".


Hi JumpyLegsPowys

Cramp is often a sign of an electrolyte imbalance. Can I suggest you monitor your diet and see if there's any pattern in eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages that coincide with the cramps? Cramp is often a very easy problem to solve by doing this.

In my experience if RLS comes on when sitting down it's as a result of eating or drinking something sugary. However, again, this could also be down to an electrolyte imbalance, purely because muscles are involved.

Best regards


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