Anxiety & RLS

Good evening fellow sufferers, it's almost 3am here & of course I'm still awake. RLS has made my life miserable for as long as I can remember & I can honestly say that I hate it. I have multiple health issues & carry a lot of resentment towards my RLS because it just makes everything else that much harder. If I'm really having a hard time with pain for example, I'm beyond frustrated by the fact that I can't sit quietly to rest, let alone even think of having a lay down with a book. Instead I'm on my feet , in agony trying to walk around inside my house, often in tears of frustration & feelings of hopelessness of ever getting long term relief.. I've been through all of the drug cocktails & Miriad of treatments with varied results but never had anything that lasts. I have researched RLS voraciously so am pretty well informed. I guess I just want to have a whinge & reach out to others going through the same. I get extremely anxious about my RLS & have noticed how often Anxiety is mentioned on here & wonder if the two are closely related ? Interested in other people's thoughts. Sorry for the novel.

13 Replies

  • It's definitely beyond frustrating, isn't it? And the worst part is trying to get the support needed -- from anybody!! The suffering we have to endure is so indescribable. I would definitely say there is a connection between anxiety and RLS. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets highly anxious in the evening because I don't know what kind of night I'll have. I'm actually in the process of developing a new nightly regime for myself -- a regime that is 100% geared towards calming me down. I am making a playlist of sleep mediations and binaural beats. Now that I can lie down (yay! because I couldn't for several months) I put some Dr. Hauschka's Moor Lavender Soothing Body Oil behind my ears, get my playlist started, put a mask over my eyes to keep it completely dark, and fall asleep (and hopefully stay there).

    Have you tried any form of mediation? Tai chi is a good one. Yoga didn't really help me with the legs -- too little movement I guess. The UK recently held their annual conference on RLS, which was very informative. Did you know that anaerobic (without oxygen or oxygen resistant) as opposed to aerobic (with oxgyen) is better for those with RLS because it builds muscle mass which in turn builds dopamine? I am now incorporating more intense exercise with weights into my regime.

    Take care,

  • Hi Jess,

    I'm interested to know how you're getting on with the anaerobic exercises. Immediately, I had hope but have found that the standing up and sitting down on a chair( which he demonstrated) actually triggers my rls - so disappointed.

  • Hi,

    Yeah, that is disappointing! I guess maybe the movements weren't dramatic enough for you? I know that when I feel the need to exercise, I REALLY need to get my heart rate up or I feel like I haven't done anything. Have you tried any pilates exercises or a stationary bike? One of those might be worth a try. Exercise is very touch-and-go for those with RLS, isn't it? Before the conference I took spinning classes twice a week, but those didn't help with my leg movements at all! That was very surprising! BUT... the weight training class I took last week seemed to! So, I'm thinking that maybe it's the weight and really using the legs to lift said weight that makes a difference. So maybe that's the trick -- to really use the legs!

    Take care,

  • Thanks Jess for your reply, yes I spent a couple of years learning to meditate, but I'm not all that good at it still. I Do Mindfulness as well, I find it a bit easier. Sometimes those help me, some times nothing helps & those are the worst times. My Husband has always slept well ( how rude of him ) so the nights can be very lonely & sometimes I feel very alone. It helps to have support from others who know exactly what I'm going thru.

  • Hi Vichic, I am so sorry you are suffering with so many things at the same time. You are right, RLS stops you being able to rest just when you need to. You have tried many meds but have you tried pregabalin yet? It is meant to ease RLS symptoms and anxiety as well. It is now 2.49 at night and I am still up but this time I am not pacing the floor. I have started with pregabalin and am up to 50mg so far and ....IT WORKS for me already!. Wow, it has been years since I could sit and read a book witthout jumping up and down and wearing out the kitchen floor!

    If you could get the same amount of relief I would be so pleased for you.


  • Thanks so much Neil, it really helps knowing there are others going thru the same thing. I have tried Pregabalin & it actually made my symptoms worse. Isn't it strange how things help some of us but not others. My Doctors are talking about trying Methadone which makes me feel quite anxious just thinking about it. But we have to be guided by our Medical people. We can only hope for a cure on day. Hope you continue to have relief.

  • Yes! Very strange how that works! I've recently given up trying to understand RLS -- life is just too short.

  • Hi Jess, wouldn't it be nice if something worked for everybody. We could all sleep instead of being in pain or pacing or both! Mind you I really like communicating with the community here and exchanging thoughts.

  • Thank you Vichic. Has anyone talked to you about LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone)? This is sometimes taken on its own in small doses and has few side effects for many and some take it in combination with other meds and it has a wide range of healing. it possibly could help with other ailments you suffer from as well as restless legs. I am reading "The LDN Book" and I am amazed what that med does! Might be worth asking?

  • Ok thanks Neil I'll look into that, no one has mentioned it to me. As you know we get to a point where we'll try anything.

  • Absolutely right! Let's hope that LDN is your answer to many problems

  • Make the best of it Neil I am on 150 mg pregablin 100 mg tramodol and the patch and some nights I sleep and some you just keep walking also with the pain in my legs, good luck x

  • Hi beady3, thank you, I am so lucky that I don't have the pains many have, I am now on 50mg pregabalin and due to see the doc on Friday to discuss a higher dose. I had RLS symptoms on waking this morning and have just felt "that feeling" in my left arm so I think probably 75- 100mg will be plenty for me. I am glad that you do get sleep, it really helps, I hope that you get a little more too.


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