Let's Do the RLS Time Warp Again

I love The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and when I was trying to come up with a way to explain the "time warp" sensation that can sometimes happen when you have RLS, it made me think of the song "Time Warp" from the movie.

I tweaked the chorus of that song for this article. I know I won’t be winning an Emmy with it, but I hope for those of you who know the song, you will get a chuckle out of it.

It's the RLS Time Warp again!

It’s just a jolt to the legs

And then a spasm you can’t control

It feels like bugs crawling around

You feel the need to move

But you must hold still

It feels like you're going insane

It’s the RLS Time Warp Again

It’s the RLS Time Warp Again

While it’s fun to do the "Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when you have RLS, you can experience a not-so-fun time warp. When you have RLS, sometimes 1 minute and 34 seconds can feel like 5 minutes and 34 seconds instead.

RLS makes time feel longer than it is

Now, you might be thinking that I chose 1 minute and 34 seconds for a specific reason, and you are right. When I make my warm milk to help me go to sleep at bedtime, I heat it up for 1 minute and 34 seconds in the microwave before stirring it and putting it on for another 1 minute and 34 seconds. My RLS makes that time feel so much longer than it really is, especially if I stand still.

As a result of this reality, I often need to sit down during that time while my warm milk is heating up in the microwave, even though it’s not something my sensitive heart is a fan of. There are times when I will try to find something to do to occupy my mind and to be moving around a little bit so that I don’t have to stress my heart by sitting down.

Hoping a new medication will help

The RLS Time Warp can also happen in situations where I’m sitting in public at some event or having to hold still for a protracted period, like for a medical test — especially if it’s really important that I must hold still.

I’m normally not that great at being able to sense the passage of time, even if it is something short like just 5 minutes. This can make things all the more challenging when I slip into the RLS Time Warp. I have had times during an RLS Time Warp where I will check the time and be shocked at how little time has actually passed. It can be quite disheartening at times, and other times almost maddening, to see how little time has actually passed. I really hope, now that I’m on pregabalin and not experiencing RLS symptoms anymore, that I no longer experience the RLS Time Warp.

What helps you avoid doing the RLS Time Warp?

Does this happen to you? Do you find there are points where time seems to move really slowly because your RLS is acting up, or when you need to hold still? Have you found anything that helps when this happens?

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