Rls made worse by iPad,mobile phone etc? - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

16,029 members10,138 posts

Rls made worse by iPad,mobile phone etc?


I suffer severe painful restless legs, usually starts about 4pm now and eases off as dawn breaks, have tried many remedies over the years but the condition just keeps getting worse, am now taking 4 Premipexole tablets in the evening just to get 4 hours sleep, which is better than no sleep...but these tablets come with side effects, as many here will know, and the more tablets you take the more side effects you get. Over the last 3 years the condition has become unbearable and I have started searching for triggers myself...I do computer programming and found on those sleepless nights playing on my iPad whilst constantly walking around the kitchen helped to keep me sane...however, I am now beginnng to see a connection between using a computer, iPad, mobile phone etc and my rls....I am now trying not to use any of these after 4pm, and found an amazing improvement in my condition...was wondering if anybody else has tried this?

23 Replies

Fair enough.

But I would also do a bit of research into "augmentation" if you find you've been having to take more Prami just to control the rls, and symptoms have spread to the rest of your body.

Good luck.

Mona23 in reply to Madlegs1

I need to do that, also, but still - anything that works for one of us could work for others. And will help build a picture of what’s really going on in RLS.

Hi Lynne9910

You could not be more right. I got to the stage where I had to get my mobile phone out of the room, locked in the car in the garage. Drastic I know but it had to be done. (caused a few laughs in the forum).

The significance was enough for me to realise that yes the mobile phone and all electronics had to be out of the bedroom for me to get a good night sleep.

Hi, It’s definitely a stimulant because of their blue screens. We’ve got ours on a night time yellow screen light not blue light from 9pm until 7am., think it’s in the settings etc.

I think you're barking up the wrong tree. I used to work in a recording studio and in recent years would be using computers all day, and the days sometimes being very long ones. It made no difference to my rls. What has made a difference is changing my diet. If you think why rls ease off overnight, the thing you don't do overnight apart from using computers is eating. When you get up you start eating and the triggers for rls start to build up so that it triggers rls in the evening.

I originally thought that the trigger was an artificial preservative (E202) but I'm not so sure now. What I am certain is a trigger is high blood sugar caused by ingesting sugar or high levels of carbs. It won't cost you anything to try it. Main culprits would be sweets, biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, and highest carb foods would be alcohol, fried potatoes, fried rice.

restlessstoz in reply to Eryl

Hi Eryl,

I've just joined the site and although your post was long time ago perhaps you can relate to my experience. I have severe restless legs for a lot of the day and have recently found that maybe gluten and dairy foods are a trigger. I am on my second month of abstaining from these and have found a great decrease in symptoms. After all, if people with Coeliac disease suffer from RLS a lot, them many be gluten can be a trigger.

I also have arthritis and certainly nightshade foods: tomatoes, eggplant (aubergine), capsicum and potatoes affect that being a food that causes inflammation and RLS is thought to be an inflammatory process. I also have cut out refined sugar and everything that contains it, as it seemed to affect them adversely. Being diabetic it seems to fit that something that is digested really fast increasing the glycogen in the blood stream and can trigger them. I've been on sugar free for 3 years now and it has helped. (That includes honey, maple syrup, rice syrup etc. The only sugary food I have is limited dried fruit.)

Eryl in reply to restlessstoz

You may be missing things that contain hidden sugar. Sugar is sugar, whether it's refined or not. They use sugar or honey to feed the yeast when making bread, so although you may think that the gluten in the bread is a trigger, it may be the hidden sugar and the carbs from the wheat. Also the lactose in milk is a form of sugar. When diabetics have hypo attacks, one of the standard methods of initial treatment is a biscuit and a glass of milk, not water or any other drink but milk, because the milk contains an easily digested form of sugar. The only sugary foods I have regularly are a scraping of marmalade on toast at breakfast time and a banana at lunch time. occasionally I have bread with soup at lunch time, but I restrict the amount of bread that I have.

restlessstoz in reply to Eryl

Hi Eryl, thanks for the reply. I will look at what I eat and see what hidden sugars I may be eating. I haven't eaten bread for weeks now so I know that's not a problem, gluten free or otherwise. I also don't have milk so no lactose. However, I will go through everything else with a fine tooth comb and weed out the hidden sugars. Thank you. :)


We turn off the wi-fi and take all of the wireless devices out of the room, and even though the RLS doesn't stop, it does help a lot. I guess my thought is, if something works and it isn't hurting you or anyone else, go for it..

Lynn9910 in reply to Hidden

I so agree x

I think it is probably augmentation. I started augmenting on one little pill. 0.125mg.

Four little pills is 0.5mg, is that not right? The new recommendation from the boffins is don't go above 0.25mg, or risk problems.

But there is no doubt that some people are very sensitive to EMFs.

Numbers of people have had to leave cities to find places to live where EMFs are few, they just get very sick.

Thanks a lot for the replies guys. x I am grateful for them all..whether you agree or disagree....it does seem what works for one may not work for another.

To answer a few suggestions given...yes diet does make a difference to my RLS, especially caffeine..been virtually caffeine free a few years now, except for the odd caffeine drink when visiting people, so its rare, and I don't drink alcohol at all. Tried giving up smoking but that had no effect except to make me bad tempered! However, I do try to smoke a lot less now. I also take magnesium and calcium supplements, just in case.

I am pre-diabetic and have been on a 3 month sugar free diet, reduced starch etc....this made no difference to my blood sugar or my RLS lol

I do think stress is a big factor.

Also my RLS got much worse soon after a major surgery...maybe the anesthetics ? ...or again it was stressful time.

I have been interested to read that RLS could be linked to epilepsy, and some people have found relief using epilepsy drugs.

I work on a computer all day, and have done so for many years, I was 59 last week so its been a very long time! I seem fine using it during the day, thank god as its how i make my living!, but between 4-5pm if I am still on the computer, like now lol, then i can start to feel my feet and legs becoming twitchy and irritated, if stay off computer after 4pm i find i get maybe another 3 hours completely RLS free. So I am going to sign off now and try to. reduce the symptoms.

It does seem this is a late 20th century condition...so it has to be related to something in our current time.

And thanks Madlegs, i will look into that x (I hate the side effects from the Prami)

nightdancer in reply to Lynn9910

You say you are taking Pramipexole, and 4 pills a day. What mgs are your pills? You ARE probably augmenting, but it is a guess. Dopamine meds are the ones that can turn on you when the dose is too high. More is not better when it comes to the dopamine meds. Put augmentation into the search box. LOTS of discussions on that.

Mona23 in reply to Lynn9910

I’m on .5mgMirapexx4/day. Have been for at least 5 years and was on lower doeses before that, but found nothing to switch to that I hadn’t tried, excpet triplicate meds that I didn’t want to touch. Now tryin CBD - would love to be off the Mirapex, or significantly reduced, at least. Stress is definitely a factor for me with my RLS; mostly, I think, because so many years of little andpoor sleep take their toll. On weight, too - I’m currently eating a high fat/ low carb (b.alanced proteins) eating plan (a modified Mediterranean diet) and have finall been able to lose almost 10 pounds. More to go, but it’s helping me feel better; the CBD may be giving me slightly better quality sleep...maybe there’s aglimmer of light at the end of the tunnel...

Hi Lyn,

I agree with madlegs and parminter. You’re taking more than the maximum dose of pramipexole and experiencing symptoms that sound like Augmentation.

I doubt that seriously. It is bad sleep hygiene, even though we all do it, to be staring at that bright screen too close to bed time. BUT, that is an insomnia thing, not RLS. I would never say that it is directly connected to electronics. The best idea is to shut down about an hour before you want to sleep. Try doing that. When I am up in the middle of the night pacing, I have made the rule of no computer during the night. It will stimulate you, probably not stimulate the RLS, but it will stimulate your brain. I know we have to what we have to do from going nutty. But, as far as a direct relationship to RLS, I seriously doubt it strongly. :)

Very interesting, Lynn9910. I hadn’t thought about tech equipment as being a possible factor (my RLS started long before there was tech stuff around). But it makes sense in some ways - the neurological stimulatino/suppression that happens with the screens we all watch, for one thing. It’s already after 4 where I am, but I’m going to try to stop using me computers, etc. after 4 or so, tomorrow.

I believe indirectly, mobile phone don’t directly cause restless leg but using them in the bedroom disrupts your sleeping pattern. They can cause increased stress level as they don’t allow people to switch off, well most people, unless you limit your screen time. Have you every find yourself checking your phone but you have received a message? We are so reliant on technology that we forget that as human we need to have a connection with nature. They is a really connection with human wellbeing and nature. They is a really good blog article you could read that might of you a insight to technology and nature it’s wrttien by Renee chi at Columbia university blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/...

Hi, I've just read your post as I was looking up RLS and computers as I've noticed my legs can not be a bother for ages and then I sit down with my laptop and wallop, my legs start. It happens time after time and I've always thought it's because I was sitting down but finally I've decided it must be related. I know your post was a long time ago but wonder if you've noticed a big difference since.

hi, I have tried using a iPad or computer later at night again and wham off go my legs! So it definitely does affect me. Without that stimulus later in the evening and an improved diet of less sugar I am finally getting some relief and sleep...but it does seem what works for one does not work for all. I also now take 375mg Tablet of Magnesium and 1.4mg of vitamin B6 and whilst this took a few

Months to build up in my system I really believe it is also a major factor to the relief I am now getting. Hope this info helps you x

Thanks Lynn9910. I try not to use the laptop after 5 pm but even in the afternoon it can do it. I've been advised by several on the forum that they think augmentation may be a problem due to the drug I'm on so I'm going to wean off that ASAP. Thanks for confirming that for some, IT devices can be a problem. :)

What I’m wondering at present is whether having an electronic device (iPad) on and a Bluetooth speaker by the bed is likely to affect RLS. On bad nights, after walking about a bit, I sometimes put music on to take my mind elsewhere and am considering buying a speaker but worry about the electronic 'waves' (or whatever). Is that why some of you have been banning iPads and phones, or is it to take temptation away?


I’m a computer programmer too. Hmmm? Weird remedy I found online that actually has worked at times...put a bar of soap between the sheets down by your feet! Crazy but it has worked for me. I agree, I think the devices before bed really do aggravate it though.

You may also like...