Cold Water Treatment: One of the Non... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Cold Water Treatment


One of the Non-Medical treatments suggested by RLS-UK (on, is a shower alternating warm and cold water for 20 second intervals in the evening. Well - OUCH - I tried to do that but standing under cold water on a November night? I can't cope with that! HOWEVER - I've tried getting in the shower and spraying JUST MY LEGS for 10 seconds with warm water, then 20 seconds with cold, alternating a couple more times, finishing with warm water for a while, then dry off. I do this immediately before getting into bed for the night. It doesn't take long, but I find it really helps me. We're all different, but hope this might help some of you. Best wishes to all anyway.

18 Replies

Whatever does it for you!I prefer soduko myself.😜

Hi sudokufan, I have been doing the Wim Hof course recently and went from hyperventilating in a 10 second cold shower to enjoying a 10 minute cold shower.

The key is slowly adjusting yourself to the cold in 10 second bursts for a week, then 30 seconds for a week, then a minute then 10. It goes a little quicker in the course but that is a doable way.

It is amazing how much you can get your body to tolerate in a short time, even more so if it stops the RLS symptoms.

LotteM in reply to raffs

Sounds powerful, raffs. I admire you.

But you left us on a cliff hanger!

Does it affect your RLS symptoms? Or your otherwise your general condition?

I knew about Wim Hof. Of course, he is Dutch like I am 😊. But I never knew about the science now underpinning his achievements. Interesting. Very. Maybe worth trying. Please elaborate - in a different post? Because, if he can control pain, will he also be able to control the RLS feelings? Or at least temper them, which may help to reduce the use of medicines.

sudokufan in reply to raffs

Hi Raffs and LotteM - this sounds very interesting - I'd like to know more about this! I'm sure the cold water/warm water does something to the nerves - would like to know what it is. I don't find the effect always lasts very long, but when it's long enough for me to get to sleep and stay asleep I find it's worth it's weight in gold. If someone has already done some research, bring it on!!

raffs in reply to sudokufan

Well, I have been take the showers in the day so not when the RLS is playing up. I can say that I find them exhilarating and definitely wake me up :) I did have a night or two where I had some very mild symptoms during the 5 weeks doing this (am poorly this week so had to pause it) and have had a couple of worse nights since it stopped! I have also been doing Yoga stretches at night which may have been helping too.

In the past when RLS has been bad I have stood in the snow or sat with my feet in ice water. I did it as my feet tended to burn as well not to treat RLS. I had always looked to hot water to treat the RLS mainly because it worked and partly because up until recently I would have thought anyone having freezing showers were either very strange or very weird :)

I'll have to experiment with cold when I'm feeling better...or worse, you know what I mean :)

sudokufan in reply to raffs

Hope you're better soon! Your total cold showers sound impressive, but way to touch for me. I'll stick to just spraying my legs - quick and simple but it works for me. Good luck raffs.

raffs in reply to sudokufan

As long as it works!

I highly recommend the cold showers for general vitality. I can't say how good for RLS but will try the next night my legs play up and I have the energy to crawl into the shower.

As I said - when I was trying the 10 second cold showers at the beginning I was hyperventilating. I can now do the 10 minute one as long as I concentrate at the start and don't let my breathing get out of control. I guarantee anyone can do it if I can, persistence, gentle increase and a desire to do it, like anything, else will ensure it happens.

I know form reading that cold helps reset the vagus nerve which I think has a role to play in RLS so i

Bruxelles in reply to raffs

Interesting - I. Didn't know it reset the vagus nerve. Where did you find that information?

raffs in reply to Bruxelles

It's on a variety of life hack sites as well as cited in different bits of research I had read some time ago but cannot find at the minute.

Wim Hof cites it on his site as well however he's hardly an unbiased source.

sudokufan in reply to raffs

Thanks Raffs I had a look at ?Hot Vim's website but at my age that looks a bit too challenging. But well done!

Yes I find several mugs full of cold water alone poured over my legs can help.

Thanks! I'll try that this evening/tonight!

My mum leaves a jug next to her bath so she can pour cold water over her legs if she wakes up in the middle of the night with RLS. For me, it's a soak in a hot bath that works.

Hi thank you for your suggestion, its something I've never tried but I certainly will give it a go,I think most rls sufferers on this forum are grateful for any input on what could ease this horrible feeling.

sudokufan in reply to Whymelord

Best wishes. We're all different, so what works for one doesn't necessarily suit another, but good luck.

Interesting. I'll try it!!


I used to paddle in a bath of cold water, and found it very effective, but now I,m older I just can't bear the thought! I really should toughen up!

sudokufan in reply to Clarina123

Hi Clarina. I'm 75 myself - had RLS for 60 years. I'm sure you have other tactics to cope. I have to grit my teeth to take cold water on my knees so don't blame yourself!

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