More RLS Triggers: Sweltering Heat, Life Changes, and Stress
Last updated: June 2023
I live in Alberta, Canada. We had a very unusually hot May. We were going up into the 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) range, which is more of the peak-of-summer sort of weather than May. It is extremely dry as well, and we haven’t had nearly enough rain. I am just hoping for rain to cool things off a bit.
Temperature regulation and RLS
I don’t have air conditioning in my new studio apartment and, man, I miss that. But I sure have a couple of fans going all the time.
We had air conditioning at my old residence, and I highly recommend it for anyone with insomnia, sleep disorders, and restless legs syndrome (RLS), because it is almost impossible to sleep in that sort of exhausting heat. And for me, it really aggravates my RLS.
Entering a brutal forest fire season early
Another complication is that normally when it was extremely hot I would open the windows at night to cool the apartment down. This year, we have entered a brutal forest fire season very early. Going outside, there is a strong smell of smoke, and we are at the lowest low of air quality possible wherein they recommend no one spends time outside.
This aggravates both my allergies and asthma. I definitely can’t open the windows and let that all in without consequences. So I have to deal with the heat as it is.
Worsened sleep quality and sleepwear struggles
I have always had a problem in the really hot part of summer with RLS. I think it is the added discomfort of the heat that is the issue.
Already I am uncomfortable and having problems sleeping. I am actually restless because I simply can’t get comfortable and my pajamas seem to cling to me. I loathe it when my PJs are not loose and comfortable.
I loathe this insane heat and inability to cool off. The lack of sleep is exhausting, and I am always trying to play catchup. RLS doesn’t care if you have a nap later; it cares you had no sleep at night, so it will come on faster and harder the next night.
Stress caused by major life events
I have also been in a lot of stress from a separation from my common-law spouse of 24 years — moving to my new place, separating all the things, and so forth. I don’t mind living on my own; in fact, I find it peaceful.
But then there are all the stresses of settling our assets and clearing joint debts, and the fact that I have to deal with my ex when the separation was unpleasant. I don’t think the stress is helping my rather crappy sleep quality.
Hoping for better sleep and some rain
If the RLS isn’t getting bad when I fall asleep, then it does in the middle of the night, waking me up and preventing sleep. I have to take my medication and wait and wait for it to kick in. Or, I have such a horrible sleep that I only get a few hours, and being exhausted and sleep deprived doesn’t help the situation. Then, the RLS kicks in mid-day because that is how it rolls.
Looking forward to settling in here and for just some nice rain.
Do you find that what you eat or drink impacts your RLS symptoms?