Over the holiday I became one of those people who doctors love: a guy who diagnoses his own problems via Wikipedia and WebMD. The problem? Restless Legs Syndrome.
RLS is not what it sounds like. It’s not shaking the legs constantly as some folks do. That’s Robert Klein Syndrome. With RLS, as you’re laying down, trying to go to sleep, you get a weird sensation in the leg that causes you to move it in order to make the sensation go away. Soon afterwards, the sensation comes back. As a result, it’s really hard to get to sleep.
This has been affecting me for some time. It’s my right leg only, and the sensation is like a numbness or weird “hollow” feeling in it. I move the leg, it goes away, and then comes back again. It only happens when I’m lying down, trying to go to sleep.
Sure enough, this is pretty much textbook RLS. It sounds like I have a mild case of it; it’s annoying, but I can’t say it’s ever kept me up all night long. (I mostly looked it up because I was tired of thinking I was crazy.) I have a doctor’s appointment next week and will talk to her about it. It looks like iron supplements are often used to help.
I mentioned this on Facebook and pal John alerted me to a folk remedy: putting an unwrapped bar of soap in the bed. Like most folk remedies, not only does it seem questionable that it would do anything, it’s even more questionable how it could possibly do anything. Nevertheless, always up for some SCIENCE!, I went ahead and put some soap under the fitted sheet Friday night.
I have not had any symptoms since doing so!
Now, I don’t have symptoms every night anyway, so these results are, at best, inconclusive. Also, if this were real science, Becky would secretly be swapping between the soap and a non-soap substitute randomly. So this blog post is not a rough draft for a paper to be published in The Lancet or anything. Still, I will keep you all updated on the progress.