Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural Remedies

Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

| Modified: Oct 01, 2020
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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is effectively a sleep disorder but is more directly considered a neurological disorder where nerve endings in the legs signal pain, throbbing, tingling, or other sensations without external stimulation. Those nerve signals trigger an uncontrollable urge for movement in the legs. RLS symptoms occur principally upon laying down for sleep or when you are at rest, though the condition is likely to keep you from easily falling asleep or relaxing entirely. In fact, the only thing that sometimes relieves restless leg symptoms is to get up and walk around.

RLS typically can affect the feet as well as the upper and lower legs with a variety of sensations, all pushing the sufferer into moving their legs. Your legs may twitch spontaneously as well (something called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)). Unfortunately, the cause of RLS is not well understood, though it can occur alongside pregnancy, and risk of enduring the condition rises with age. Furthermore, iron deficiency may at least worsen restless leg syndrome.

Find a Natural Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome!

Where modern medicine fails, a number of home remedies for restless leg syndrome may help you relieve your RLS symptoms, get some sleep, and get back to your normal life. However, the most popular (very popular!) is to place a bar of soap between or near your legs as you sleep. You have to read about it to understand! Baking soda and a few other home cures have helped others relieve restless leg syndrome as well, and you can find all the details below.

A Bar of Soap

Posted by Bob (Denver, Co) on 09/30/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! A small piece of soap in each sock ended the restless leg almost immediately. Did not help me get back to sleep, but what a wonderful cure for the restless legs!

Posted by Joe Balke (La Palma, Me) on 02/05/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Restless leg sufferer for 35 years. For the past five years I have had complete and total success with one or more of the following:

1. Bar of soap under the sheets in bed.

2. Rub the bar of soap on your legs, just gently stroke the bar on the legs a couple of times.

3. Aloe Vera on the legs. Sometimes this might take up to 3 applications.

Posted by Edgrolvr (Nantes, France) on 05/20/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I can't believe that this works, but it does. My husband often gets restless legs at night and after checking this site and seeing the soap suggestion, I figured "why not, " especially because we had two fresh unwrapped bars of Dove soap (it happens to be shea butter scented but I don't think it matters). My husband put one bar each in a pair of ski socks (ha, lots of room for a bar of soap) and put the socks on while he reclined on the couch. He said it worked within a couple of minutes. He's now used this remedy about 5 times since then and it works every time. He leaves the socks on for about 15 minutes and even after removing them, he has no problems for the rest of the night. Bizarre.

Replied by Tracey
5 out of 5 stars

OMG thank you! I seriously never thought to put it in my sock while I'm relaxing. It worked in seconds!

Posted by Joe B. (Reno, Nv) on 12/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have had RLS for 30+ years. The following have worked for me, and my RLS will recur without one of these very convenient and inexpensive "cures":

1. Bar of soap in the bed by my legs...sometimes 2 bars. Brand doesn't seem to matter.

2. Massage calves with aloe vera or any type of body lotion(I prefer coconut oil). For some reason, icy hot doesn't work. Also massage small amount of lotion into lower back.

3. Carbonyl iron.

Posted by Sonia (Cohutta) on 07/30/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Soap absolutely works, my husband has suffered with RLS for years, I read about soap and thought I'd give it a try without his knowledge to avoid the placebo effect. That was almost four weeks ago and he has not had an episode since. He filled his prescription for Requip on 7/8/16 and hasn't taken the first pill. He's NEVER gone this long, in fact he was taking a pill EVERY night. First I placed one bar of dial under the fitted sheet at the foot of the bed, the soap was YEARS old so after two days I added a fresh bar of Dove with it...they're both still there and working like magic. I was very skeptical and assumed it would NOT work but to my surprise it work even better than the Requip!!! So don't count this one truly works and believe me I'm just as surprised as you are!!! I finally told him about it and he too was skeptical but it's still working so we're going with it!!!! There's a lot more to these old wives tales than we know or understand!!

Replied by Maureen
East Sussex
5 out of 5 stars

I tried Dove and it didn't work as it is a cream. So I tried something else and yes, it works. I too have suffered for many years and actually had a lie in this morning. Try it.

Replied by Rlsheadache

I just read your message about the soap n saw how it bothers him & me massaging n cooling his feet. So I put a new bar of Irish spring n now it's been about 10 mins he is not moving anymore! Thank you on soap idea

Posted by Arleen (Stanton, CA) on 08/17/2014
5 out of 5 stars

The earliest I can remember having Restless Leg Syndrome is at 20. I didn't know it than. I now 36 and have found that diet has helped control the RLS. For me, egg yolk and various dairy products spark my RLS symptoms. I also discovered that taking baths or showers with lots of soap prior to retiring to my bed helped reduce my RLS. I use my husbands soap Dove for men or Zest or Irish Spring. All work. When I place a bar in my bath water and let it dissolve and stay there for 20 minutes I get better results. I also found that deodorant Secret clinical strength works when I rub it on my leg. I am sharing this because I have researched many ways to overcome this excruciating discomfort. It is not a joke to me and I can only hope that my sharing can provide someone else with some relief. I too believe that no one persons body chemistry is the same but we have to stick together to find ways to live the best quality of life that we deserve.

Replied by Jean
California, US

I have had Restless Leg Syndrome for about 50 years and went to hosp for surg just lately. Guess what I needed IV Magnesium.

I have had rls since my first pregnancy a lot of years ago. It is definitely not funny and has kept me awake and miserable for over 50 years. I am trying the baking soda now and will try other non drugs also. Say a prayer!

Replied by Mmsg

Jean, why baking soda if you need magnesium?

Posted by Marcia (Lenexa, KS) on 08/10/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hello From Lenexa Kansas!! I have been having a terrible time with this restless leg thing. I was so uncomfortable and it was already 2:30 am and so tired from not sleeping the night before for this same reason. I was beside myself and then I remembered this web site. I got out of bed and turned on the PC to look for it. I was relieved just knowing I found the site! LOL

I had read somewhere that it was a magnesium deficiency that caused this problem and even though the magnesium tabs would stop it the other side effect of the magnesium is profuse diarrhea. It (diarrhea) stops in about 24 hours when you realize that it's you who is causing the dilemma.

Anyway....I drank that baking soda and water thing and added apple cider vinegar and that didn't seem to work for very long. So here it is 4:30 am and I am frustrated beyond words. I go back to the PC....and thought about the soap testimonies for a moment. I had read the wonderful "yea's" for the soap. I thought it sounded to good to be true....but what the heck....I had nothing to lose but sleep....right?

I got up laughingly from my chair. Grabbed a fragment of a gold colored bar of Dial soap. I broke off a couple small pieces. (I didn't like the idea of soap lying in my bed with me) I put those pieces under my toes and put a light weight sock on. Did this to both feet.

I was soooo shocked that with in minutes it was as if nothing had ever happened and that whole thing was just an absurd nightmare! Boy O Boy!

I was a happy happy girl (age 58 - tee hee hee) because I could relax and just fall right off to sleep. I woke later in the morning and had to look to make sure I actually did this. LOL What a silly but powerful remedy!

Thank you Thank you Thank you for all of the wonderful testimonies!

Replied by Grace
5 out of 5 stars

I suffered with RLS for 12 years, for many of them I googled remedies and found that soap did work - well recently I googled and I found that not enough magnesium was the culprit! Well I have been eating foods and making shakes with all fresh veggies and fruit, nuts, seeds with high magnesium levels and this has CURED the problem. Good luck

Replied by Wendy
Maida Vale, W.a.

I have used magnets to help me, they do work, I have also had my pharmacist make me up a cream, consisting of sorbelene and menthol (stops it drying out your skin.)

I have recently used Acupuncture, and a course of 7 weeks was advised then a maintanace of 1 month . This has given me a great relief, I do take 1/2 of 0.125 every night, but haven't had to increase, but have been told I have to stop taaking sifrol as my sodium level is too low.

Replied by Chris

Did the acupuncture help with the RLS?

Replied by Elle

Would it help with restless arms. I have rls but at times the arms are 10x worse.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Ella,

Have you tried magnesium for your rls and restless arms?

Another great remedy for it is blackstrap molasses - 1 Tablespoon in the evening. I think it has the potential to help both of your issues.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Stained Glass Gal

Restless Arms. I have that also and I haven't heard it mentioned before. Must be rare or less common that the legs. I'm going to try the soap.

Posted by Lockamy (Salemburg, Nc) on 06/03/2014
5 out of 5 stars

New to Restless Leg Syndrome, but this morning I was so in need of relief. I came across this site. Grabbed a bar of ivory soap still in wrapper, placed between knees and on seconds the pain, tingling went from my thighs to my knees. It stayed there but it wasn't as bad as my full leg pain. I was asleep in minutes of doing this. I'm amazed! A bar of soap stood between me and some sleep, usually my husband needs the soap. lol, blessed it be.

Replied by Rls Plagued
Oregon, US
5 out of 5 stars

Plagued with severe Restless Leg Syndrome. Tried many things. Bar Irish spring soap. One between knees and some pieces in socks under toes. Haha was shocked and so excited when I got sleep and at how fast it went away! Thank you all for your input and sorry to all of those who haven't yet found something that works for you. Good luck to those of you. Everyone should at least try soap. Doesn't hurt and so glad now that I was desperate enough to try it. Had to be, when nothing else worked ya know. Who woulda thought Irish spring soap. I was happier than I had been in a long time. And so excited. Sleep deprivation from rls is no joke. And helps also knowing that people out there understand exactly what it feels like. Support leads to coping mechanisms, often sometimes solutions and often sometimes good friends who actually get it. Thanks guys! :)

Posted by Guri (India) on 09/14/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Yea, the bar of soap works for me. I used to apply some moisturizing lotion to my feets before sleeping and it also works.

Posted by Taylor (Zillah, Wa, United States) on 09/03/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I'm only 18 and I've recently been experiencing RLS, I'm a student in high school trying to get into college and get some scholarships, so you can see why I need every minute of sleep I can get. One Saturday night I couldn't get to sleep till 1am and I had to work the next day. I tried everything, but nothing worked until I put a bar of Irish Spring soap under my leg. It beats me how it works but it's amazing! Plus I enjoy the minty smell :)

Replied by Karen Stropki

I have tried the bar of soap and got some relief. After reading several of these posts, I am going to use the sock idea. I used to take Klonopin for years and it completely took care of the RLS. Then it went generic and the generic did not work. However, I would like to report that I tried aspercreme pain reducing Creme. I rubbed it on my calves and got total relief. You can get this at any drug store. I am puzzled that it does work. It suggests that there is some inflammation. I have always read it was a nerve problem. Unless the nerves that are involved with the muscles are so irritable that they cause the muscles in the leg to be inflamed. However, the aspercream should not work on nerves.

I guess it is just treating a symptom of RLS and not the underlying cause. I have had RLS for 30 years so hopeful that some of these new tricks will manage the problem.

Posted by Pam (Clinton, Nj) on 06/04/2013
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

I have been using a bar of soap successfully for RLS for some time now but recently, it seems to have lost its efficacy. At first, I thought it was because I was using a handmade bar of natural soap in place of the packaged soap from the market. But even going back to the Ivory didn't help. I will try the niacin and vitamin C.

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hello Pam, Try a half teaspoon of baking soda in a quarter glass of water... Dissolved of course. Now put a teaspoon in your hand and rub on knees and legs. Apply twice.

If restlessness still persists, get all sugar out of your system. Especially no sugar after five pm. Sugar in anything if you are borderline could present as restless leg or other extremities pain.

Posted by Nightdancer (Land Of, Oz) on 03/25/2013
1 out of 5 stars

I was looking at the comments under Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and using a bar of soap for a treatment. There is no cure for RLS, so I refuse to use that word. I manage many support groups for RLS and other neurological sleep disorders, and have done so for the last 15 years. The only way soap can "fix" a neurolgical condition would be the placebo effect. While there is nothing wrong with a placebo effect, I hate to see desperate people hanging their hopes on a bar of soap. The first kind back in the 90's was use Dial, then Irish Spring, then Caress, and now Ivory. As a chemist friend told me, who also has severe RLS, "there is no way the molecules from the soap is going to jump onto your legs and quiet down those restless limbs". We say "limbs" because it is not only legs, it can be your arms, hips, back, in between your shoulders, etc. Whatever kind of soap it is, it will make your sheets smell better, and it is cheap, so not much money lost on a bad idea. What works for one person does not work for the next one. That is the only rule of RLS. IT is all trial and error, and I see most of the comments are "anti" soap, or some people tried it, and it did nothing for them. Yes, I was desperate enough years ago to try it. 65% of all RLS is Primary or genetic, so it is a genetic neurolgical disease with no cure, and it needs to be taken much more seriously than a bar of soap. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic in this country, and the world, and a bar of soap is not going to "save us". Never mind all the ridiculous "cures" being sold on the internet. Keep your hands on your wallets.

Replied by Citygirl27
Richardson, Tx, Usa

RLS is from a magnesium deficiency. Maintaining adequate magnesium levels either through food, supplementing, both, or other methods (such as magnesium oil or epsom salts, etc), will prevent it from coming back, until your levels drop too low again. I had it for years before it ever had a name. It improved with upping my magnesium, and with eliminating MSG.

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, SC

To Night dancer and Citygirl,

First, Night dancer says there is no "cure" for RLS.

Well, there has been one for me. I had RLS for seven years; every night crawling irritation around knees especially. Just about drove me crazy and kept me from much sleep.

My short term cure... Take a third to a half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in purified water. Disolve and then apply a teaspoon topically to most affected area. With me it is right on my knee caps. Apply twice to three times within ten minutes. The irritation leaves almost immediately.

The long term problem for me and others I've discussed this with is harder... NO SUGAR. Sugar is the key to triggering RLS. I note Citygirl uses magnesium and there might be a relationship between magnesium neutralizing the effect of sugar.

But I have seen a DIRECT relationship between sugar consumption, especially after 3 pm, and RLS. I would guess it is a insulin issue that RLS suffers are seeing... perhaps a bit borline diabetic.

So the cure is: long term, eliminate sugar and if you can't do that then try the baking soda applied topically to get rid of the symptom of excess sugar.

Oh, and here's an interesting aside. Sometimes I will "feel" the RLS when I've had no sugar and will go back to what I ate for supper only to discover that... Sure enough... Sugar (like in pasta sauce) was a big part of the ingredients. So the RLS can actually inform me of hidden sugar intake.

Just remember: Sugar is the enemy.

Replied by Carolyn
Fort Myers Fl

I have been a sufferer of severe RLS for almost 10 years and have tried almost everything that is homiopathic and nothing has EVER worked. I also find it frustrationg when people say, try this, this worked for me... I HAVE tried. If you think about it, how is a bar of soap supposed to help nerves?? And magnesium isn't the solution either... Been taking it for a long time and nothing. Only thing that has worked is medication from my Dr.

Replied by Mat

It's important to realize that 1. the body does know how to heal itself, it's been doing it for millions of years as we allow it to do so. 2. Nutrients/vitamins play a huge role in nervous system health. 3. It's crucial to try natural and non-harmful remedies whenever possible.

Iron, Folic acid, Vitamin B, Magnesium…exercise daily; no smoking or caffeine; apple cidar vinegar and molasses mixed into a glass of water all have provided relief for people suffering from RLS.

And, of course the soap in the sheets, baking soda/water rubbed on the affected area and no sugar.

And, before we judge something as "placebo effect, " we should actually realize that the most powerful healing tool each of us has is our MIND…Our mind tells our bodies how to heal, what to let go of, etc.

That's not to say we don't need a bit of help from the body and a few outside sources here and there, but when we harness the mind, we harness the power of nature to heal ourselves!

Again, I think it is crucial to determine the underlying issue - is it a nutrient deficiency? A hormonal issue (some research says it is - for both men and women…men have hormones, too), stress? A combination?

Good luck - I've had success with vitamins and exercise and placing my legs against the wall/feet up at night for about 5-15 minutes while lying in bed. My mom has had success with Calm (a magnesium drink).

Replied by Faith
Sd, US

i researched restless leg syndrome the causes vary It can be from an allergic reaction to supplement, refined sugar, or wheat. My ND suggested that going on a elimination diet is the best way to figure out if you're intolerant/allergic. Apparently statisically allergy tests scratch test /blood tests are not as accurate as we have been taught to believe .

Ntritional deficiencies such as Iron deficiency Deficiencies in other minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium, may cause RLS Some people have been helped by adding Vitamin E ,

Replied by Mark
Ky, US

Sugar seems to be my number one enemy also. I always have restless legs but if I eat sugar or starch mirapex doesn't stand a chance. Here's something weird... If mirpex doesn't work well enough I get up and drink a cup of espresso. In fact I have started to drink espresso every night before bed. For some reason the initial effect of espresso is always sedating for me but after 30 minutes it tends to wake me up. My sleep is kind of off and on but way better than it was. I wake up frequently but always go back to sleep quickly. I told my doctor about the espresso but he looked at me like, you are nuts! All I know is that is works for me and it might work for others.

Westminster, Ca

Mark Ky.

Espresso = coffee, which = (beans) legumes. Guess what you get with a concentrated serving of legumes? Magnesium. Looks like you just might need magnesium supplementation in your diet, but preferably without the caffeine of espresso, so you don't keep waking up.

Replied by Johanna
Canberra, Australia

I have been reading all the comments above and believe me RLS is very debilitating, I have had this problem since 1963, I have tried everything and I can tell you magnesium is not the problem or the cure, neither is sugar.

I have been placed on a medication called Sifrol and this really does help( it is used for Parkinson disease ) and it works but it must be taken every day at the same time other wise my legs start up again.

If you want to try, you will need to speak with your medical practitioner.

Good Luck

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hello Johanna,

I've suffered with RLS for over 10 years. And in my type of RLS, I found a direct relationship with consumption of sugar with leg irritation especially at night. Your RLS and mine may differ as to cause or trigger. You state categorically that sugar is unrelated to RLS but in my case and many more that I've heard of ... sugar is very much related.

Just because you can not see a cause and effect relationship is not justification for saying the same is true with everyone suffering from the condition.

By the way, I found that topical application of baking half teaspoon dissolved in a half glass of water and then the liquid applied to knees....twice or more applied in four or five minutes gives me a lot of relief.

I'm happy for you that you have found relief with the medication you mention. RLS is a frustrating and a nearly debilitating condition so any suggestion is appreciated.

Replied by Karen

I too believe we can overcome with the mind. It is important to line the mind up to receive the healings.

Replied by Rw
Bluefield, Va

It's possible that there is some type of energy in the soap that transfers to the legs. Radiation was always present but it took Marie Curie to discover it. Bacteria were there before we had microscopes to see them. Just because we can't explain something, doesn't mean its effect isn't real.

Replied by Cocobolo

I think you must be right about the sugar being a huge part of triggering RLS, and along with trying the soap bar (I think just because we see no scientific explanation that we understand, is not reason to throw out something that has helped so many) and bicarb treatments. Sugary food seems very bad for health, and is never really required although it is craved. I have been to EarthClinic and am fascinated. I was looking for peptic ulcer relief, and that too involves expunging refined sugar. You may not be diabetic, or have insulin pathology as one poster announces you must, (and, of course, you might! ) A lot of people, as they grow older retain more glucose in their blood as the renal threshold rises. That is a normal phenomenon.

Replied by Rick
Walking Dead Land

You might preach to your victims that there is no cure, to keep up business at your "support" groups, but you are simply wrong. As mentioned above, magnesium deficiency is often the culprit, along with B12 and selenium. Anyone with an ounce of nutritional and/or physiology knowledge would know this. If you possess neither of those, you shouldn't be managing 'support' groups.

Replied by Cathrine

Yes, I'm wondering if it has something to do with static electricity. Perhaps the soap neutralises the static in the sheets.

Replied by Jennigreene
Rockport, Texas

In my personal opinion, I think if people are desperate for a solution and they finally have one that works it should be left alone. If you are supposedly part of one of these "support groups" then, to me, you should be more attentive to the support mission of the website than the undermining of people who want to get back to nature and organics to help with their remedies. If you do not agree with what people are actually saying works for them, and yes, outside influences do play a part in RLS whether you know it or not, then the old saying should be applied "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." Especially if you feel you need to log into an ORGANIC supported site to preach about the overall effect of "modern medicine." What do we see nowadays? Every RX you take has added side effects, allergic reactions, etc. For millions upon thousands upon hundreds of years the human body has sustained itself through natural means. It is what our white blood cells and lymph nodes are hard at work doing. Natural remedies are easily absorbed by the body, compared to new medications that your body has to learn to adapt to, which does not always work. Each person is different as is their "genetic make-up." So, take the prescribed medication, then what? End up with a new side-effect if your body cannot process it correctly.Also, what is the long term medical evidence that attest to prolonged periods of these medications? I have had lymph node cancer in the past and I have found that switching to natural products, choosing a plant-based diet and taking care of myself have helped in the long run, compared to "quick fixes" have worked for me. I'm not saying that it will work for everyone but why not, at least, try it? Sugar and a lot of these "ingredients-in-food-that-we-can't-even-pronounce" have been a huge problem for all of the US. You see illnesses popping up everyday that we have not even heard of before. Think about this for a second. You're eating things that are not naturally broken down by the body, and you are surprised when you start contracting illnesses, diseases and ailments. I went to Texas A&M (Go Islanders!) to study anatomy, forensic science, entomology and microbiology and I am still surprised every day from my findings on how resilient the human body is. I know, as a person with some medical background (my mother also has a masters in Nursing and specializes in Oncology and works for Hospice), that I am the LAST person to give medical advice but what I just read in your comments warranted a rebuttal. You are getting second-hand information and, as you stated, your friend is a chemist, then he/she should have SOME idea that some of these Vitamins/Minerals (or lack thereof) do cause a problem and can actually make the illness worse. 'Iron, folate, and magnesium are thought to have the most direct impact on RLS symptoms. (Source: HealthLine, Can certain foods ease my RLS symptoms)'

I apologize for my abruptness in advance but I can't help but be a little unnerved by someone claiming to help people and they decide to take their frustration out on a community trying to work together for a common solution. No, it might not work for everyone but it's worth a shot. And I agree with Rick, maybe managing a support group(s) might not be for you.

ps. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic, but its what we put in our bodies for nourishment, hydration and ailments that cause the bigger problem. You'll find that research in those categories explain a lot. These are sources that are trusted and written by MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS that combat these problems on a day-to-day basis. Notice that SUGAR is listed in every one of these articles.

Which foods should I avoid if I have RLS?

  1. Chocolate
  2. Sugary sodas
  3. Fried foods
  4. Foods and beverages that contain caffeine may stimulate your nerves and aggravate RLS. This includes:
  5. coffee
  6. tea
  7. energy drinks
  8. chocolate

You should also limit or avoid fattening items, such as:

  • soda
  • fried foods
  • processed foods
  • foods high in sugar

A 2009 study showed people who are obese have an increased risk of RLS. This may be because obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lower dopamine receptors. All of these conditions have the potential to cause RLS.

Iron Supplementation

The significance of low iron in causing RLS is outlined in the segment on Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome.

Since the 1950s, it has been known that iron therapy, even without the presence of anemia has benefits for RLS symptoms. Studies have shown a strong relation between body iron stores as determined by serum ferritin and the severity of the RLS symptoms. A study has shown that in patients whose serum ferritin was < 75 µg/l, oral iron therapy (325 mg ferrous sulfate twice a day on an empty stomach) on average improved RLS symptom after 3 months.

A recent study has shown that giving oral iron more than once a day or at a dose greater than 85 mg per day does not necessary lead to a greater increase in absorbable iron. Oral iron equivalent to 65-85 mg of elemental iron will be best absorbed if given once a day. It should NOT be given with solid or liquid food/dietary supplements or with milk. It should be given on an empty stomach an hour before eating or two hours after eating along with 100-200 mg of vitamin C. An iron panel (early morning fasting blood to check iron, ferritin, TIBC, and percent iron saturation) should be done after three months to check on progress of the treatment. Oral iron should be stopped 2 days before the iron studies are done. The goal is to get the serum ferritin above 100 µg/l.

If the patient cannot tolerate the iron, or, if after three months there has been very little change in the iron stores, an iron infusion may be appropriate. Delivering iron directly into the blood by vein allows the iron to bypass the gastrointestinal tract, which can limit absorption of iron when iron is given orally. Several different formulations of iron are designed for intravenous treatment and are used for the treatment of anemia. Two formulations of iron dextran exist (Dexferrum and INFeD), with the low molecular weight (LMW) iron dextran (INFeD) demonstrating better safety profile than the older version of iron dextran, Dexferrum (Chertow et al. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2004:19, 1571). Other iron formulations currently available for intravenous use include: iron sucrose (Venofer®), iron gluconate (Ferrlicit®), ferumoxytol (Feraheme®) and ferric carboxymaltose (Ferinject®).

Two, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies using 1000 mg of ferric carboxymaltose versus placebo (subjects just received the solution with no iron in it), have shown that RLS patients who received the iron had significantly greater improvement in RLS symptoms (Allen et al. Sleep Medicine 2011: 12, 906; Cho et al. Sleep Medicine 2016:25,16). None of these patients had an anemia and some of the subjects has serum ferritin values of greater than 100 ug/l before the iron infusion. Approximately 35 percent of subjects who had received the iron treatment still remained off of all RLS medications even 6 months after the treatment. (Site Source:


Replied by Littlewing

One other thing some people may want to avoid is milk, not sure if all dairy. I remember when I was 12 (I'm 51 now, have had restless legs since I was little) I was having headaches, and the doctor thought it may be an allergy and I remember he told my mom to take milk out of my diet for a month to see what happened. It didn't help my headaches but I remember clearly to this day that my restless legs went away. Came back of course when I started back on milk. The only thing that helps me now, food related, is to AVOID REFINED SUGAR completely. It takes a few weeks to kick in (no pun intended).

Replied by Alison

@Dave from Fountain Inn: I'm relieved to read about the impact of sugar. My restless legs and arms drive me insane during full moon (and the lead up to it).... I tried magnesium and soap but both made this worse. I try to keep sugar intake down, but have recently been a bit lax. So am now going to be very strict about this, and see what happens. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Jean (Palm Desert, California) on 02/14/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Two years ago I had quadruple bypass heart surgery and a defibrillator implant. Well recovered but in last six months my body, especially left side, throbs as soon as I get into bed. Became sleep deprived and would fall asleep during day. Went to Earth Clinic and saw that possibly what I was feeling was a form of RLS although I had been blaming my defibrillator. This is crazy but a week ago I put six leftover pieces of soap in a sock and placed it between the sheets. For a week now I no longer dread going to bed. The throbbibg has stopped. Thank you Earth Clinic and all the wonderful people who contribute. I am a health nut, take no meds and am 92 years old.

Replied by Golditoo
New England

I realize these are old posts, but I want to respond. I've had restless legs on and off for years. Lately I've discovered what's causing my current severe RLS: venous insufficiency. A couple of years ago I had some deep leg veins cauterized through a procedure that was once called "vein stripping" that was done during surgery. Today it's outpatient. The dr told me I would be back, as there were other veins that needed attention. It has been excruciating yet it doesn't strike every night. Last nite I finally got to sleep at 4 am. I tried everything. One thing that helps that I read about here, I believe, years ago, is quinine. We used to be able to buy quinine pills over the counter years ago but no longer. Thus I drink tonic water, at least a half cup. This helps me. I also discovered that my new magnesium pills were 1/3 the strength of the former pills, so I have upped that. Magnesium is important for muscle/nerve transmission. In any case, I can't wait until the summer is over so that I can get the vein procedure taken care of. I'd do it earlier but you have to wear thick black, tight support stockings 24/7. In the summer it's torture: no going to the beach in those! Good luck, everyone. Please report if you have any success with treatments.

Replied by Kelly

Venous Insufficiency is indeed connected to RLS in studies. But surgery won't fix the underlying cause of venous insufficiency, which is typically from a high carbohydrate diet, and a lack of bioflavonoids.

Several nutritional compounds help with venous insufficiency and thus RLS:

Pycnogenol, Rutin and Diosmin, although Pycnogenol was found to be more effective than Diosmin.

Posted by Doc (Youngstown, Florida) on 03/31/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have never tried Ivory soap, but have found that Dial (gold) or Leaver Brothers 2000 (green) works really well. They were the ones recommended by my vascular physician. I unwrap the soap and place it in a clean, somewhat thin cotton sock. It is easy to smell the soap and know when it is time to change bars. Be very careful taking additional magnesium without also taking calcium. If the magnesium/calcium ratio becomes out of balance, the result may be jerking muscles in the shoulders, etc. which can make sleep difficult.

Replied by Share

Hi I also have had some improvement with soap relating to my RLS I also was wondering did my RLS symptoms slowed down from the smell of the soap? Therefore every night when I use it I made a point of smelling as well.

In the last few weeks I have been seeing a different doctor this doctor believes their could be something from the nose that triggers RLS, in me the doctor injected a substance in my nose just to see the effect. However, I really couldn't say if I had a improvement from my symptom or not, because I have had the RLS, for 20 years, and in the last ten of those years it has been disabling. Nonetheless, after I leaving the doctors office from being injected in the nose, I wasn't sure if it was true or not I began to feel cool inside which is one of the symptoms of the RLS becoming dormant in me. Mine would stop for months at a time, and return with a vengeance like it had never left. However, as time past after being injected maybe a half hour or more, I notice the RLS started re-blooming full force again.

PS; in my last post I meant to mention over the years I have tried acupuncture it has helped with the right technician. I went to a acupuncture school so technicians change from time to time, however they normally have a history of all sessions given; anyway the Dr. at the clinic stated RLS, comes from stuck blood that's why the throbbing occurs, which mainly is a liver problem in Eastern, medication, however the same diagnosis is not equivalent from a Western stand point.

Posted by Surveyor65 (Jefferson City, Mo, Usa) on 07/01/2011
1 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with RLS for about 20 years now and have been taking prescription medications to help for the last 10 or so. Since I HATE the idea of having to take a pill for the rest of my life, I tried searching natural remedies for RLS, and here I am. My RLS starts in my left leg, then, if I don't start moving or medicate, it will "attack" my left forearm, them my other leg, then the other arm (I usually take something before it gets to my right leg). I also have issues when just sitting at rest. I work two jobs, and my part-time gig requires a LOT of sitting (it's at a mental hospital). It will also start in on me while trying to watch TV in the evenings.

In reading the comments on the website, I decided to try the bar of soap remedy last night. NO HELP. I used a bar of Ivory soap, still wrapped, in the sheets. First below my feet, then between my knees and feet, then unwrapped the bar, shoved it in a sock and kept it between the sheets, then held it in my hand. After an hour and a half, I broke down, took my pill, and went outside to walk it off for about 30 minutes. Finally fell asleep about 2:45 AM!! UGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Thoughts, suggestions, snide remarks?

Replied by Blanche
Iberia Parish, Louisiana

I read somewhere that restless legs sometimes occur if you are anemic. Just a thought.

Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia

Surveyor65, From the website:

Just thought I'd let you know another great use for Niacin -- restless leg syndrome. My husband has never been officially diagnosed, but has a lot of trouble sleeping. This year when the work season started again, he began kicking me all night. It got so bad that I wasn't going to be able to sleep in the same room. Every few seconds, his legs would move and it was driving me up the wall. I persuaded my husband to try Niacin with Vitamin C right before bedtime. Works like a charm, in fact when he missed his vitamins the other night, I could tell within minutes. What a great solution to a problem that so many suffer with! "

"Doses vary from person to person, ranging anywhere from a low 50-100 mg to a high 500 mg".


Replied by Sherri
Houston, Tx
1 out of 5 stars

The bar of soap didn't work for me either. I try not to drink caffeine in the afternoon, and get plenty of water intake. I'll try the niacin. The best thing I've found, is "Restful Legs" a homeopathic remedy that you put under your tongue. It lets me get back to sleep in 10 minutes. If I run out, I drink a large glass of water, and that will help. But then you might wake up to go to the bathroom. It's very frustrating!