This is a condition that is characterized by a crawling, itching and sometimes painful sensation in the legs and thighs, which is relieved by moving the legs either by shaking or walking. The condition rarely has an association with serious underlying neurological disease, although an imbalance in the central nervous system’s neurochemistry is hypothesized.

Other than being an uncomfortable situation and, as it usually comes on half an hour into sleep, being an infrequent cause of insomnia, this condition is not serious.

There is certainly a relationship to stimulants, especially caffeine and other compounds that affect the nervous system, such as nicotine and alcohol. Drug withdrawal may be the cause and it is important to remember that withdrawal may not necessarily be associated with a complete cessation of use from a high level. Missing out on a nightly ‘joint’ when this is a regular habit may create withdrawal and withdrawal may come into effect around midday for those who drink heavily each evening. There is hereditary correlation and pregnancy may trigger the condition. This latter aspect has led to the investigation of deficiencies, and folic acid and iron are frequently found to be deficient in those who suffer. It is important to establish why these deficiencies have occurred; if there is a malabsorption syndrome, deal with that rather than just supply the supplement.

Anxiety and stress may be relevant, causing the production of chemicals that interfere with calming processes.


Investigate through blood and hair analysis any mineral and vitamin deficiency and correct this through supplementation by taking three times the recommended daily dose in divided portions with food throughout the day. Pay special attention to iron, folic acid and vitamin B complex deficiencies.

Regular exercise, preferably in the evening, may reduce excessive stress chemical production at night.

Practise a meditation technique or Qi Gong, yoga or Tai Chi.

Please refer to your homeopathic manual for a suitable homeopathic remedy. There are many choices, depending upon the symptom picture.

Consider reviewing the section on detoxifying diets if a toxin or drug is taken regularly or has recently been stopped with each meal.

See a psychotherapist with a speciality in hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming or eye-movement desensitization.

Avoid situations that cause the anxiety whilst you are having treatment.