Daughter suffering with RLS - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Daughter suffering with RLS


Hi, we have a daughter who we think is suffering from RLS, she is waking up in the middle of the night stretching her legs and arms while seeming to be in discomfort. This has happened ever since she was a baby, however recently she has had a stomach bug, which lasted a long time and it seems to have triggered a really bad episode whereas before it would only be once in a while, she now is barely getting sleep and is suffering in the day which hasn’t happened before, is there anything you can recommend us to do for her or that she does, bearing in mind she is five. Thanks in advance for your help.

19 Replies

After the stomach bug, did she take energy dtinks to recover? If so, I'd guess that the high levels of sugar were the cause of the increased rls.

My daughter has been like this in the past and I rubbed her legs with cream and have her calpol. Maybe try that and if that doesn’t help,see the gp? It’s such an awful thing to suffer with. I hope this helps.x


I am sorry to hear about your five year old daughter. Perhaps there is something in this link that may help: rls-uk.org/rls-in-children/

No caffine (including soft drinks) getting up in the morning and going at the same times, no technology in the bedroom and healthy diet. Try and not have sugar or artificial sweeteners, my RLS got tons better once I stop drinking artificial sweetener (these have to same effect on the body as sugar but since they are no calories the body has insulin in the blood stream within the need for in). Exercise like yogo, Thai chi, walking.

After that medication, dopamine agonist- help stop the need to move

Quinine sulfate - can help stop the cramps

Painkiller - I use tramodol just one at night

Some medication like anti-depressants, over the counter sleeping aids and antihistamines that make you drowsy can cause RLS to increase. I can go weeks without RLS by doing the above. However as soon as I have a drink of coffee my RLS drive me crazy to th point I which I could have them removed.

Hope this helps. If you want to know more pm me


KaarinaAdministrator in reply to Gazleebryan

Hi Gazleebryan

Rlck's daughter is only five years old so some of your suggestions are not relevant in this instance.

Gazleebryan in reply to Kaarina

Sorry must have read it half asleep. Normally on here in the middle of the night if I wake up. I will bare this in mind in future

As your daughter is only 5, medications are not advisable so try diet and supplements.

See your GP to make sure she is not anaemic- low iron can cause RLS.

Ensure she eats a healthy diet with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Keep a note of any foods/ drinks that seem to make it worse. Diet can make a difference to a lot of people.

Try magnesium supplements or Epsom salts in the bath. Magnesium spray on the legs and gentle leg massage before bed would also help.

Avoid anti histamines as they are known to make RLS worse.

I’m really sorry that your daughter is suffering from this and I really hope you can find some relief for her.


I’m wondering if a sleep doctor or neurologist would see her? I had a neurologist at a very young age and my 4-yr-old nephew is seeing an ENT, so it’s not unheard of for very young children to have these specialists. I hope she feels better soon!

Perhaps keep track of how much potassium your daughter is getting each day from food. My rls symptoms became less problematic after increasing my potassium intake to at least 3000mg per day. But be careful as it's dangerous to ingest too much potassium. In the US, the RDA is 4700mg.

I'm not sure what answers there are four children but why not try calling one of the RLS Sleep Centers? They could tell you one way or the other

Have her ferritin levels tested.

Brain iron deficiency is quite possible in early childhood and is the primary problem with RLS, the 'first cause' as it were.

While you're at it, have your own levels tested.

Would go for the magnesium spray and a probiotic as maybe it's just her gut bacteria that needs rebalancing. My children use probiotic Biogaia chewable tablets.


Since you daughter is only 5, it may be that she can't fully verbalise her subjective experience. You say "seeming" to be in discomfort. Have you talked to her about it? Some useful suggestions on here about how to manage RLS. Who diagnosed her?

Have you taken her to a GP and referral to a paediatrican, or if you can, directly to a paediatrician? Ar age 5 I think it irresponsible to suggest anything else.

R1ck111 in reply to Hidden

Thanks curiouscat, we took her to the GP on Monday he didn’t have any answers, he literally said “I don’t know” we agreed he would check back with us in a few days, to see how it’s going. I used the the word seems but I should have been explicit, she definitely is in discomfort. We have tried to talk to her about it but it’s difficult to get any coherent answer since most of the time it happens she’s asleep, she has described it as pain, but pain medication doesn’t seem to have any effect. From observing her she is extending her limbs in what looks like a very strenuous way she appears to be very agitated by what is happening to the point of sobbing. I’m not sure what else would make sense, I think you are right the next step is a paediatrician.

KaarinaAdministrator in reply to R1ck111

Just a thought, R1ck111, are you able to video your little daughter's movements, whilst asleep/waking in distress so that you can show the doctor or paediatrician?

Thanks for the help and advice everyone.

Just to clarify she hasn’t been diagnosed with RLS, it’s just that it seems to fit the bill. She is waking up extending her legs in a very strenuous way repeatedly, she seems frustrated and agitated to the point of sobbing but can’t really articulate what is happening to her, the best we’ve got is that her legs hurt, but it doesn’t really add up, as we have given her the usual pain killers and she will wake up again with the same issue. She also doesn’t keep still much when awake she seems to be constantly moving her legs/feet, we had put it down to having a lot of energy but it seems to make sense with RLS.

We have taken her to the GP, but we don’t have any answer as of yet, on the back of some of the advice about lacking in nutrients/minerals we’ve got a good kids multivitamin to help boost her intake. She’s normally in a steady bedtime routine, but after the bug she had it’s not been as regular, we are trying to get this back to normal.

We’ve also started to reduce sugar and sweetness in her diet, so hopefully this will help.

Thanks again,


Hidden in reply to R1ck111

It really doesn't sound like it's definitely RLS to me. A pity that the doc hasn't seen what you've seen.

I can't find any mention of what age RLS can start at, but it does seem that if it was RLS she would show signs BEFORE going to sleep. Does she go to sleep easily, is she very restless before going to sleep.

A thought is that she does have pain in her legs for some reason, that might be connected with her recent infection. She might be literally trying to shake off the pain.

If the usual painkillers don't work then it could be joint pain, bone pain or nerve pain

In any event, it sounds like you need a paediatric speciaiist.


On further investigation. The leg shaking may be because of the pain. I take it, it's both legs? She doesn't limp or show pain in the morning. In which case it's probably "growing pains". Try googling it.

1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar. make sure its organic. 1 tsp of organic honey in a 1/2 cup of water. she can drink it through a straw to minimize the taste. works wonders.

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