Making the Best of Restless Legs and Sleep Apnea.

At the same time I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, the Snorer Technicians noticed that I also had Restless Legs Syndrome.

This was 15 years ago before the mad medical marketers discovered this new market for a new drug.

Here’s what Dubner at Freakonomics thought when he saw a commercial for Requip.

The first time I saw a TV commercial about Restless Legs Syndrome, I was pretty sure it was a spoof. I figured I had stumbled across a prime-time Saturday Night Live special and was seeing a well-done fake ad. It was pretty funny, I thought — Restless Legs Syndrome, ha! Who thinks of this stuff?

I would had the same reaction when my bed partner (the two legged one) would wake me up and tell me I was jiggling the bed.  No, not giggling in bed (that’s a hand problem, not a leg problem.)

I would groan something like “I’m asleep.”  The next morning we would have a conversation which usually ended with me firmly asserting that I could not be moving because I was sound asleep.

Wrong, pillow-case breath.

1. Turns out I wasn’t sound asleep because I would stop breathing.

2. Turns out I was moving my legs involuntarily.

Here’s how it was reported in the NYT, from Freakonomics:

Writing in the New York Times, Nicholas Wade reports that researchers in Germany and Iceland have identified a genetic link to the condition, which “should help scientists understand the biological basis of the disorder.”

There is a dissenting opinion, by a skeptic, who obviously hasn’t seen a sleep study of a person with restless legs.

All I know is that when I started using a CPAP and then a Bi-Pap (a fancier CPAP) my snoring stopped and I didn’t need a nap every afternoon, and I could stay up past 9 p.m.

At the same time, I started drugging myself before I went to bed which causes full and complete paralysis for 6 hours.  It’s not Requip, the advertised drug, it’s something much better because it’s a controlled substance.

OK, if you’ve read this far, how do I make the most of restless legs?  Skip the meds, tie my ankle to an ice cream maker and have strawberries and fresh home made ice cream the next morning.

The CPAP mask  is used as an enhancement to the Child Particle Accelerator Experiment .


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Making the Best of Restless Legs and Sleep Apnea. — 15 Comments

  1. There’s a syndicated columnist who’s a doctor that I read in the paper (another one) who swears about a bar of soap in the bed for both leg cramps and RLS.

  2. RLS is definitely genetic and hereditary, both my grandmother and my father suffer and I’m starting to feel the first twinges of involuntary movement also.
    Cheers for the link also. 😀

  3. @Chris: I guess I suds up before bed and the slipperyness helps?
    @ b3n: thanks for the comment, keep me posted

  4. My mother-in-law has RLS. Either that, or it’s an excuse for kicking Ben’s stepfather in the middle of the night. (If I was sleeping with him, I’d kick him.)

    Ben has apnea and has worn a CPAP for about nine years now. Relief for me, since I don’t have to lie awake and worry if he’s going to start breathing again — not to mention, no more house-shaking snoring!

  5. @Prairie: 6:30, don’t wake me when you get the icecream!

    @Gretchen: RLS could be a good excuse for domestic violence.
    I was in denial about Apnea for a lot of years. My daughter uses on for central sleep apnea (not obstructive) because of a brain fart. She just got a new one and we’re trying to convince her husband to use the old one. He is a wall-shaker!

  6. Before my Papa passed away, he, too, swore by that bar of soap at the foot of the bed. We all just giggled and figured it if worked for him, well, just bless his little heart. My sister will get jumpy legs when she’s really tired and can’t wind down, so one night, in exhausted exasperation, she put a bar of Lever 2000 at the foot her bed, between the mattress and the fitted sheet. I asked her the next day how she slept and she said she woke up every 15 minutes thinking that bar of soap was a critter in her bed! Soap therapy – not for everyone.

    I will lay awake at night on a particularly bad snoring night for my husband and count how long he stops breathing. It’s more edutaining than counting sheep because I also mentally go over how to do CPR. Just in case.

  7. I have never heard of the bar of soap until you guys mentioned it.

    When I’ve been drinking or get really tired, even the meds don’t help.

    If you have medical insurance your husband should get that checked out. Google sleep apnea…

  8. I would Google sleep apnea, but he wouldn’t listen and then while I’m lying awake at night listening to him not breathe, I’d start planning his funeral.

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