a pair of restless legs under a blanket showing the four seasons

RLS and the Four Seasons

Whilst those of you out there that enjoy classical music may think I am diving into Vivaldi's back catalogue, I am in fact going to discuss the connection between weather and restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Do RLS symptoms change depending on the weather?

Last night I had yet another breakout of 'The Creeps,' resulting in me fidgeting around the bed, turning my duvet 360 degrees, and resembling a hand-rolled cannoli, myself becoming the sweet cream filling.

As it has been bitterly cold in my neck of the woods, I reverted to trying to divert my mind from the feelings in my legs by watching fungal nail videos on YouTube, resulting in the reduction of creepiness. I refused to put my feet outside the bed for fear of frostbite!

This made me think: Do my symptoms or my reactions to them change depending on the weather?

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Using a heated blanket during the cold months

Due to a global cost of living crisis, I am using my heating only when necessary — predominantly when I need a shower, as I do not want to be a Nikki-shaped icicle! This has resulted in my home being freezing cold most days. Subsequently, I have turned to heated blankets to protect against the elements.

As you all know, RLS and needing to sit still are not good bedfellows. As soon as somebody tells me to sit still, I break into a Riverdance jig, complete with kicks and taps! So, I have found myself actively trying to stop moving. It's no good heating up a blanket by plugging it in and cultivating a warm area on the couch, and then your legs decide it's party time, chucking the warm pile of fluff onto the floor.

I have managed to barter with my limbs to allow me to stay covered up in bed, being toasted on both sides like a filled panini in a press, by both my heated under- and over-blanket! Thank you progression in technology! As my body wishes to stay heated, a reduction in movement ensues. I will never be completely still, but it is a huge improvement from the normal.

My RLS symptoms and the seasons

Alternatively, in the summer, when it is a blazing hot day leading into a steeping warm night, my RLS seems to increase. Is it because my body is aware that I can get up and wander around the flat without having to worry about losing a toe to frostbite, that dawn is breaking so much earlier that I will be in daylight in a very short space of time?

Additionally, if I am in a hotel for the night, my RLS kicks in; it seems to know it is okay for me to be awake at odd hours, allowing me to watch television and have a steaming hot shower to alleviate some of the most annoying symptoms. (Or, even better, a steaming hot bath — unfortunately, most hotels have permanently changed to all showers these days!)

It seems, at least for me, that my body reacts to what season we are currently in. When dawn breaks and the leaves start to fall from the trees, either giving my legs freedom or restricting my movements seems to be a good thing for my RLS.

Do seasonal changes, climates, or temperatures have an impact on your RLS symptoms? Share with us in the comments below!

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