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Sleep Disorders/Restless Legs and Sleep

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Hello,

For the past year or so, I have been dealing with a restless left leg. I don't experience the tingling, "creepy-crawly" feeling that many people describe. However, around the outside knee area of my left leg, I get a strange feeling. It's hard to describe, and the closest description that I can manage is that it feels warm, and somehow my attention is just drawn to it. It is very distracting. I absolutely do not try to sleep on my right side or back, because that just intensifies the feelings. If I sleep on my left side, the mattress pressed against my leg does help numb the feeling, but it still keeps me awake. I have taken to sleeping on my floor because the hard surface either helps numb the feeling or distracts me from it. Even still, it usually takes me two or three hours to fall asleep.

I did speak to my doctor about it, and progressively was put on stronger and stronger weekly doses of anti-inflammatories: first ibuprofen, then meloxicam, then a decreasing dose of prednisone. Each time, the anti-inflammatories just seemed to make the feeling worse, sort of like a antibiotic can sometimes make an infection worse at first. It seemed to stir up the issue and made it actually painful, as opposed to just a strange feeling. My doctor now suggests an EMG. I have done significant research and have found people with severely pinched nerves who say that the EMG was so painful that they absolutely regret doing it. I am terrified of that test, and I can't justify pain like that when my leg is functional, albeit annoying.

I am at the end of my rope. I have panic attacks almost every night at bed time, which usually in massive amounts of tears and near hyperventilation. I am stiff and sore from sleeping on my floor, I dread trying to fall alseep, and I jump out of bed as soon as I am awake in the morning. Usually the feeling is much worse at night, although long road trips are very uncomfortable too. I have tried anti-inflammatory medications, anti-inflammatory foods, magnesium supplements... nothing is helping. Any advice? In a few months, I am moving out, and will be purchasing a Sleep Number bed, in the hopes that a quality mattress will help me. But in the meantime, I am stuck here.

I have been told that drinking tonic water can help, but the things that I'm reading about quinine are startling. I don't want to solve one problem and create another! I cannot find anything online to indicate if the level of quinine in tonic is safe. However, I really need relief. Is tonic water with quinine safe?

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Cate

Answer
While I am not that familiar with restless leg syndrome.  You should ask your doctor about trying requip which is one of the medications
The mayo clinic website is very helpful  :http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/restless-legs-syndrome/DS00191  
You should go to a sleep center to get diagnosed for your RLS.  As far as quinine water.  I would not drink it.  Years ago my dad would tell me that his mother would soak her feet in the quinine water, which I think is what you might of misunderstood.  feel free to email again,  A sleep center wouldbe better equipped to handle the RLS.  I also would cut back on my caffeine intake during the day.   Take a hot bath at night.  You might also try a glass of warm milk Milk when heated contains trytophan , a very relaxing, amino acid that relaxes you at night and may help.   feel free to email again.  Karel

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Karel Sleis

Expertise

all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms

Experience

i have narcolepsy since age l6

Organizations
past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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