by Maximilien Weinstein
Restless leg syndrome is an ailment many people know all too well. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, the disorder is, according to Dr. Whitaker, caused by disruptions in the nervous system which can make your legs (and in some cases, arms) ache, feel strained, and even move uncontrollably. These symptoms can lead to very poor sleep, as they make it difficult for the body to truly relax. So what can be done about it? A mysterious home remedy may be your answer.
Dr. Julian Whitaker confirms that patients of his swear by this method — placing a bar of soap in your bed at night will help relieve the symptoms in a significant manner. Derek H. Page from The People’s Pharmacy writes about the process: While it has not yet been determined in a completely conclusive manner, Page theorizes that the scent molecules in the soap are capable of evaporating and depositing on your leg, where they’ll then be absorbed into your muscles and affect your blood supply.
No matter the reason, people everywhere have taken to this seemingly infallible remedy, slowly turning it into a household staple. People’s Pharmacy took it upon themselves to engineer a soap bar that is completely flat, in order to be less intrusive in the bed while remaining just as efficient. The lavender scent that it diffuses is also said to help with sleeping. While some people choose to place it in a free-roaming sock in the sheets, you could also try hiding your bar of soap under your fitted sheet and seeing if that works as well.
There are other remedies, however, if you’d like to try multiple methods: Dr. Whitaker recommends stocking up on supplemental calcium, magnesium and iron, as a deficiency in any of these could be responsible for your aches. Healthline also stresses the importance of daily exercise, even as low-intensity as walks, to help reduce RLS. Getting your body used to a recurring sleep schedule and minimizing stress are also highly recommended.