Impact on partners

This web page had been a god send to me!! It really helps to know that I'm not the only one pacing the floorboards each night (unfortunately).

I'm interested in how your partners feel / cope with sharing their life with someone with rls. I've had rls for many years but now im pregnant it has got significantly worse to the point where we now have to sleep in seperate rooms and I fear that its never going to go back to sharing a bed again!

Also, as much as I try to explain/read him other people's experiences I feel that I'm to blame for this (although its never been voiced out loud). I can barely cope with getting by on the little sleep that I do get without having his snoring etc waking me up.

Has anyone any advice for him/me/us as to how we can make it any better?

I am keeping my fingers crossed that once baby has arrived I will go back to my 'normal sleep pattern' of 5hrs a night although am sure the baby will have something to say about this!!!!

12 Replies

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  • I'm very much in favour of separate rooms. You get to sleep whenever your RLS allow,and you're not woken by snoring etc. and have more chance of feeling refreshed enough to invite him into your boudoir sometimes.

    You can't expect him to understand RLS it's impossible unless you've suffered from it. But you could print out a copy of the description of RLS by Sir Thomas Willis written in 1685 and hang it on the wall. (Look under recent popular posts)

    Congratulations on the baby. When is it due? Boy or girl? I love babies, I had four. I'm now expecting my third greatgrandchild!

  • Hello, your other half might have sleep apona where the air ways semi collaspe,

    and your breathing stops you wake-up without relaising it and it starts all over again,

    have a look into it as said before until your baby is born it might be for the best,

    sleeping in seperate beds are you on Med's for your RLS??? a bit tricky while,

    your pregnant or if you choose to breastfeed

  • No chronic illness is the fault of the sufferer! However, partners can be scared or uncertain in how to handle this, damned if they ask, damned if they don't! Unless you actually ask him if he feels RLS is your 'fault', you won't know! No one is a mind reader ;-)

    When's the baby due?

  • my family used to get up to find me pacing and they said

    "What the hell is wrong with you" and made it my fault

    entirely. They all told me that I have to get into a routine

    dismissing that my legs are what keeps me awake.

    Yes, It's a family disease because it causes me to lose

    control of my emotions after such sleep deprivation.

    The family dreads those times..

    There's a school of people and doctors that are certain

    that it's due to lack of exercise or it's a hormone imbalance,

    part of menopause... It's diet, it's because I don't stretch

    the muscles, It's just me being dumb for giving into it...

  • i to always feel guilty that my wife has to go to bed alone whilst i.m walking the carpet with rls but 2 of us awake all night is.nt fair on the children or us both working full time lucky my wife understands after one night when my wife and daughters filmed me and we all understand how bad this horrible condition can be to all involved being it the sufferer or family.Now that doctors are taking it more serious we may find answers to a cure or to get it under control so we can all go back to living normal lives the sooner the better.

  • Hi Jojamy,

    I'm afraid my partner and I also resort to separate rooms on occasion, partly due to my RLS, partly due to him sounding like an old walrus sometimes! My partner has been really good, he's read up on the internet about RLS and doesn't doubt the symptoms as he can feel them twitching and hear the profanities when I am at my wits end with it. I should say that my partner is blind, hence the reference to feeling and hearing but friends of mine have seen my legs twitching and jumping. I have even kicked a friend's dog who curled up by my feet one evening when when I went to her house for dinner and a movie - I had forgetten to take a pill with me!

    I have been on pramipexole for almost a year, initially 0.088mg but then had to double this. I cut out alcohol, caffiene and smoking, plus started weekly acupuncture treatments and now, most nights I only need half of a 0.088mg pill. If I don't take it in time though (I.E. before the twitching starts and for me, this is when I sit down to watch TV in the evening) I have to take a whole pill and walk around on the freezing cold kitchen floor for a long time until the medication starts to kick in - pardon the pun. However, this medication is not advised during pregnancy and we're trying to conceive. So I am hoping that continued acupuncture will get me off the half a pill.

    There's loads of info on the internet, perhaps encourage your partner to do some research? I know that's helped my other half understand the condition and what I am going through.

    Let us know how you get on - with partner and pregnancy!

  • Baby due in September and have heard that the rls will peak about month 8 so have got that to look forward to!

    I just think he gets grumpy cos we're in seperate rooms and he misses that closeness, as do I and I do feel its difficult for someone who doesn't suffer to understand fully how it can effect you. Ill encourage him to read some I the stories on here as I do think it would help.

    I am at the beginning of a long road, only on opiates on a night and not tried any thing else yet...partly because we were wanting a family and partly because I was coping before I got pregnant.

    Looking forward to baby coming and my interrupted nights are for a reason :-)

  • Close family and friends told me that I will end up pushing my

    husband into the arms of another woman by not sleeping with

    him.

    I don't believe that especially if you invite him in your bed

    for chocolates and romance... or you give him a nice

    backrub- vise versa...

    People can strike out at you so beware of who you share that

    with. My story is not a secret anymore but I do wish that I

    didn't ever tell the extended family about seperate beds..

    They all go "she makes poor Todd go sleep in another room!"

    and they think that it's me being mean!

  • My husband and I tried a couple things.

    The first was white noise of a louder fan. (drowns noise)

    Noise maker (plug in, some have aroma as well as fan noise)

    He took to another bedroom but we always started in our

    married bedroom. Once he woke, he left the room to his own bed.

    We purchased twin beds...(bummer) and moved them together,

    then pushed them apart keeping the fan running in the background.

    Someone in this group said to invite him for chocolates, candy

    and sips of a favorite wine... to my bed..

    Now we are back in one bed again.. I just get up and start chores

    around the house. I get the cooking done, clean the kitchen up

    along the way so the next day I can take it easy... I even do the

    laundry and floors... trying to be mouse quiet. *I have a 17 yr

    old daughter who has school and work.

    Eventually I stand next to a bed in another room and flop my upper

    body to sleep onto the bed.. (feet on the floor) I have the noise

    maker plugged in to lull me to sleep or sometimes I listen to

    an oboe playing to soothe myself...putting my feet up on the wall

    and walking them, freezing them (wall is ice cold) then resorting

    to standing again, top half of me on the bed...

    It works for me... 80% of the time.

    My doctor upped my dosage of Pramipexole if I need to. I have

    emergency narcotics to get control of myself if needed.

  • We also have seperate rooms. Sometimes my partner can jokingly tell other people that I use the rls as an excuse to sleep alone. I find this quite hurtful as I would love things to be different. However, when we do have to share a bed in hotels or when visiting family, he is amazed at how little sleep i get. I do hope thyings improve when you've had the baby. My rls was worse when pregnant, then went back to being manageable. Unfortunately it has got much as I've got older (50 now).

  • Your partner needs to go to his GP and ask to be referred to a Sleep Clinic. If his snoring is sleep apnoea, not only is it loud and disturbing you but it is negatively affecting his health. Although I have suffered with RLS since boyhood it was only when my wife had had enough of my snoring, I went to my GP and was referred to a Sleep Centre were both sleep apnoea and RLS diagnosed. As you know RLS can be treated but so can sleep apnoea. Lot's can be done including the use of a CPAP machine. Get your partner sorted and give both of you (and baby too in t'future!) a good night's sleep. Best of luck, Tpebop, Kent, Britain.

  • I go to bed after 2 am, ( some times later ) and over-ally I get 6 to 8 hrs sleep in every 24 hrs

    She understands and sleeps with me in the same bedroom but I try not disturbing her good night sleep unless for some ........ once in a while.

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