Leg Cramps at Night? Sleep with a Bar of Soap in Your Bed
Today's wild internet idea isn't a new one. It's been around for quite a while and unlike some of the other "fact or crap" scenarios involving toilet seats, tennis balls in your suitcase, and bread clips in your wallet, this one may actually have some merit.
There are two reasons the idea of sleeping with a bar of soap in your bed have been floated in online advertisements and self-help articles. One of those is to rid your sleep area of bed bugs or other insects. The other has to do with easing this discomfort of restless leg syndrome and leg cramps.
The fact verification site Snopes.com suggests this aspect of soap in the bedsheets, the leg cramp and restless leg syndrome, is unproven. They aren't saying it's wrong, they appear to be suggesting there isn't enough valid information to confirm.
The hypothesis is that soap releases "something" into the air that when breathed in by sleeping adults will help ease the leg cramping. Among the "somethings" mentioned to be beneficial from the soap emissions are magnesium and the essential oil lavender. Some proponents of the practice even suggest that soap releases electrically charged ions that affect your muscles and how they rest or don't rest while you sleep.
If you'd like to give this a try there is no particular set method, at least none that we could find online. Some sites suggest putting the soap at the foot of your bed while others suggest the soap, which can be cut into slivers, be placed near the cramping muscles.
Again the scientific evidence for this treatment just isn't there but there is no harm in trying it.
As far as bed bugs and insects, the essential oils or fragrances used in many soap products are a deterrent to insects. So there does seem to be at least a hint of validity for that hypothesis. If you want to use soap for this, make sure you choose a brand that has essential oils, especially lavender or peppermint. Those seem to work well in keeping bugs at bay even in the light of day.
So, I guess the jury is still out on this particular home remedy. It did come recommended by Dr Oz and Ann Landers, now which one of those two do you trust the most?
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