A quiver of arrows with tonic water, a loofah, and NSAID tablet at the top, all remedies for restless legs syndrome.

Middle of the Night Help With RLS

You're probably here right now because you have or may think you have restless legs syndrome, or RLS.

I know exactly what you're going through and it's a miserable situation of needing to sleep and walking the floor, so let's try some middle of the night remedies.

I've done or tried everything that I'm going to share with you and sometimes one worked well and maybe the next time it didn't. So having a variety of "do it yourself" remedies that have actually helped in the past is definitely something one needs in their arsenal of fighting RLS. You're not alone in this.

Things that have helped my RLS

So here it is the middle of the night. There goes the electrical sensation that seems to start with a zing or two before it settles in like it's nesting in your leg or legs for the night. It's a nightmare to cope with so let's start with what can be done right now about getting you settled in and getting the rest you desperately need.

Hot bath soak and water massage

Time to get naked! Run a hot bath and add Epsom salt if you have it. I've even used table salt and baking soda as a substitute for the Epsom salt. Start off with the water as warm as you can stand it but not to the point of it hurting! You're trying to relax your body and your mind. Slowly add hot water to tolerance and begin to massage your legs just by firmly running your hands up and down the thigh and calf muscles for a minute or two then relax for a few minutes and repeat a couple of times.

Just be careful doing this if you have blood pressure problems. Hot water can lower blood pressure so be careful getting out of the tub, please.

Tonic water

It's usually found in the section of the grocery store that sells cocktail mixes. The active ingredient is quinine and for years was what I used to prevent my RLS from occurring after it became apparent it was going to be a nightly event.


While waiting for the interventions to take effect, if you're still walking, kicking, and moving your leg(s) for relief, try pressuring instead. Lie down and put your feet against an immovable or sturdy object. Push with your legs as if you're trying to push the object steadily away from you. Hold for as long as you can and repeat as needed. I have actually gone to sleep while doing this particular maneuver and even discovered it when I was a teenager dealing with RLS.


Another help for me was NSAIDs. It seemed any over-the-counter medication that was known for anti-inflammatory responses was helpful in getting the syndrome under control in the middle of the night but not in combination with anything else. There are very limited over-the-counter medications that are NSAIDs and you're going to see these same common, usually 3, ingredients presented in a hundred different ways to get you to buy them. You will also see these ingredients mixed with a plethora of other ingredients that could actually be causing your RLS to flare.

Register with our site and let me know in the comments below which of these seemed to work best for you. I know that many people don't want to have to take medication but remember that it's available and to always consult your doctor.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RestlessLegsSyndrome.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.