Buzzy brain on bad rls nights

Another question? Do any of you get a 'buzzy brain' on the nights when you get bad rls as if you can't switch it off? I think it's probably linked with stress and maybe it just stops me sleeping and then the rls symptoms pounce. I try to meditate to slow the brain down then but that's not always easy. Just wondered. Now I'm linked in with you all I want to make sense of it all. Other people don't understand and would find all these details boring.

19 Replies

  • Oh yes, I did!

    Although now that my rls is better controlled and I get to sleep rather well, I don't have that any more. Well, that is, I always have and have had an active brain, always thinking and racing. But not so much any more at night keeping me awake.

    It may be owing to glutamate. Look up the Center for Restless Legs Syndrome of Johns Hopkins Medicine - look in the menu under What's New in RLS? And read: Restless Legs Syndrome, Insomnia And Brain Chemistry: A Tangled Mystery Solved? (click on link on website).

  • Never been one for being able to switch off my brain easily, it has a mind of its own :)

  • Tramadol has that effect on me, calms my legs but has my brain buzzing and can't switch it off x

  • Funny you mention that, Pippins, as for me it was tramadol that finally send me to sleep for more than 1-2hrs in a stretch.

    But to be honest I think the CBD-oil (just before bed) is the one calming my racing brain.

  • LotteM it just goes to show how we all react differently to meds x

  • Pippins, I couldn't agree more.

  • Yes! A buzzy brain is a good description of how I feel. During the day I feel happy and calm, but when I get rls at night I feel as if my legs are agitated and so is my brain. Out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. Then in the morning I am again calmness personified. It's weird.

  • Interesting I have always had a problem to stop thinking when I want to sleep. When RLS was bad I couldnt get my brain to think about anything else other than the discomfort, so I couldnt even sit up and type emails or concentrate on catching up on work.

    Lately I found the best way to go to sleep is to put on an old DVD (light comedy) on the TV and I rarely see the end of an episode. I have noticed that many people say that after the drugs quieten their RLS they still have insomnia.

    Perhaps there is a relationship between an uncontrollable brain and susceptibility to RLS?

    Another avenue of research for a PhD student!

    Incidently I have found "Yes Prime Minister" is a good sedative even though I love the show I think I have probably watched my favourite episodes 300 times. Lack of sleep = poor memory = "play it again, Sam"


  • This sounds like me. One habit I have gotten into is deliberately staying up late to make the nights shorter. And yes, my brain is almost always in high gear. I can relate to the DVD's .I relax my brain late at night if I'm wide awake and know I reallyneed some sleep with Agatha Christie. Miss Marple is my favorite. But the actress has to be Joan Hickson-the DEFINITIVE Miss Marple. I have all the DVD's . For me, living in a big,crowded american city (Atlanta) I love to transport my brain to the peaceful English countryside in another time period. I can watch them over and over. And if I'm busy doing something-cleaning or in the kitchen, just hearing them in the background slows me down. One thing I don't do is watch the local news-with murders and other bad things. I watch CNN if I really need toknow what's going on-like hurricane updates right now. But I don't watch before bed. (No TV in my bedroom.) And as far as other news=world, us, etc. I read the news off my phone and that's usually enough for me. Negative news upsets me and stays in my brain, esp if someone has abused animals.

  • In a similar vein I think I might try some gentle radio podcasts. I often find that if my legs are particularly bad as I watch TV in the evening I then get straight off to sleep when I go to bed.

    Incidentally isn't this global rls community amazing? There you are in Atlanta Burmag and I'm in a northern UK city and it feels like you're all next door!

  • I love this forum. I never blogged before. It is amazing for me that I have access to the whole world to talk with someone about things that would not be understood by most people living physically near me.

  • The med I take (gabapentin) would keep me up til 2-3 in the morning every nite. I started taking it at 8:30 instead of 9:00 and can fall asleep more easily @ 11:30 or so.

  • Ok, I'll start off this reply with a humorous mis-hearing of a word between me and my doctor:

    me: "my brain is so fogged up"

    doctor: "no, Jessica, your brain isn't fucked up"

    While this was funny mis-hearing, it was nice to hear that my brain is normal!

    Steph: how is your overall sleep quality? Also, some meds. can be the culprit when it comes to (as you say --perfect description, BTW!) buzzy brains.

    Take care,

  • Hi Jess my sleep isn't great though I do have some good nights. It's not down to medication because I don't take any. However the John Hopkins Uni research paper about glutamate talks about racing brains being a known common symptom for people with rls. What a pain but nice to know it's kind of normal.

    Sleep well all!

  • Hi Steph, I think taking CBD-oil just before bed helped and helps taking care of my racing brain.

    I had a phase of trying so many things, anything that seemed to make some sense, that I am not completely sure what did the trick. Because bad or even simply insufficient sleep itself may cause a lot of problems.

    Anyway, one of the most recognised effects of CBD-oil is the calimg effect. Usually "CBD-oil" has a mixture of cannabidoids, but pure CBD helps best for sleep issues. I take pure CBD-oil, 5%, of biological origin and certified (brand Medihemp) : 4 drops under the tongue just before bed. Result: I usually fall asleep quickly and I think it has helped getting more deep sleep. Before starting CBD I did sleep but always woke up still very tired. Since CBD I have started to feel more rested. And much less or no more a racing brain at night. So whether that is owing to better sleep quality or CBD directly, I don't know.

    That is my story about my racing brain. Hope it provides some help to you.

    Let me know if you want to know more.

  • Sounds well worth a try. Do you get any bad effects? Grogginess or anything like that?

  • Steph, no, not at all! Only a less racing brain and somewhat better sleep.

    If you are in UK, I think cbdbrothers (from the top of my head) is a good place to order - according to someone on the forum. @Raffs, was that you? Ordering from Netherlands (where I am) may drive up postage costs.

  • Yes, I get a 'buzzy brain' until my meds take the RLS away.

  • Yes, I get what you are saying. If what you mean by buzzy brain is over active, can't turn off repetitive thoughts or songs running thru your mind. And that sets off the RLS - these disturbances can go back and forth both ways. (I have read this in several books, it is not just my opinion or experience.)

    From what I understand it may be the adrenal glands acting up inappropriately at night. You might try a few things that are easy. First, the Adrenal Cocktail which helps by supplying potassium and sodium. has the recipe and a good explanation.

    The other thing is an amino acid supplement called GABA CALM by Source Naturals. It supplies 125 mg of GABA plus a few other things that you take sublingually, under your tongue. Gaba is the neurotransmitter in your body that is inhibitory, rather than excitatory, so it is calming to the brain as well as the nerves and muscles. It also has taurine which does the same. If you decide to try this, get a small bottle first to see how you react to it. There is a controversy with using it as GABA and glutamate (the excitatory one) can turn into each other back and forth, BUT, I will say that I have been taking GABA CALM and have not had any problem with it at all, at this small dose. It has been helpful quite a bit. A larger dosage pill may be problematic, so stick with the small dose.

    These things are worth a try, and the Adrenal Cocktail is made of orange juice, Himalayan salt and cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate.) You can even take this in the middle of the night if needed.

    Check it out and decide for yourself, but I do find these helpful.

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