Q. When I read about putting soap under the sheet to stop nighttime leg cramps, I thought it could not possibly work. How could it make any difference at all?
Several family members convinced me to try it. For weeks, I had no leg cramps at all. Then suddenly they were back with a vengeance.
I wondered why this odd remedy had quit working and realized that my husband had changed the sheets. I didn’t know if he had put my soap back, and when I checked I found he had not.
Anyone who thinks this is all in someone’s head is just plain wrong! I had no idea the soap was no longer in place, yet I suddenly started having leg cramps again. When I replaced the bar, they disappeared. If you are a skeptic, just give it a try.

A. What a great testimonial! We offer the details on this and many other remedies for leg cramps and restless legs in our Guide to Leg Pain. Perhaps some day there will be a scientific explanation for why putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet near the legs can keep the muscles from cramping.
Almost any type of soap will do the trick, but you might want to consider our special Bed Soap. It contains as much soap as a standard bar, but is flat so it does not create a lump in the bed.

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  1. DS

    I have tried this and sorry had NO luck.

  2. Missy

    Works for me!

  3. dc

    Nothing sounds more silly than putting soap in your bed…. but I was at the point of trying anything. I did the quinine, tonic water (yuck!), exercising, not exercising, fetal position, eating bananas, you name it. I finally put Ivory Soap at the foot of my side of the bed. My husband says, what in the world? Let me testify, it worked! I am a believer — thanks so much for publishing this.

  4. GBK

    My Dad heard about this on the radio and mentioned it over the holidays. Since putting a bar of soap in our bed, my joint aches have gone away. For the first time in about a year, I realized last week in yoga class that a stiff knee is no longer stiff. Even my husband says he is sleeping more soundly. What an amazing yet simple cure! Thank you so much!!

  5. RH

    I tried the bar of soap under the sheet for maybe about three weeks. I thought it sounded crazy, but I didn’t care. I really wanted it to work, even if I didn’t understand how, because having restless legs is a torment. I used Ivory. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. But I’ll tell you what has been helping, and that’s taking a chelated magnesium supplement. I’ve been on supplemental magnesium for about a month now, and the benefits just keep increasing.

  6. EBB

    I put 1 bar at the mid-calf level of each leg.

  7. BB

    Where under the sheet do you place the soap? I have placed a bar below my feet and wonder if I need to place one under the sheet on my husband’s side?

  8. EBM

    I read about this remedy in your weekly column. I’ve been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. I was offered prescription drugs (Neurontin and Lyrica); I declined and decided that I would just use relaxation techniques and massage to deal with the intense pain and cramps. I put 2 bars of Safeguard soap under the sheets. I haven’t had any more intense pain or cramps.
    I don’t care about HOW or WHY it works…………………… Have you noticed the number of RX meds that state “mechanism of Action unknown?”

  9. RND

    I tried everything, some helped for a few days. But the night time cramps always came back. I accidentally found a permanent solution, one night I tried sleeping in a semi fetal position with my knees toward my chest. Wow! I don’t know how or why, but the cramps are gone!!!!!

  10. B. Roop

    I tried the Ivory soap over two years ago and have not had any leg cramps since. It works! I told my exercise group about it and now they all keep that bar of Ivory soap under the sheet. It has worked for all of them.

  11. Cindy Black

    Same with me! I spent the nite away from home recently and found I had several leg cramps — very annoying! This never happens at home because I have the soap. It’s kind of magical.

  12. dawn

    Tonic water works for me with restless leg. I will try bar soap tonight.

  13. Mick

    I’ve heard that Niacin works too.

  14. Norm

    The bar of soap did not work for me! But I found drinking about 10 OZ of Gatorade a day works for me! I believe the electrolytes in Gatorade, help. I haven’t had leg cramps for four months, when I used to get them every morning.

  15. Thelma

    I was kept awake at night with restless legs. I thought I would give the soap a try (it couldn’t hurt). After about the third night, the restlessness was gone and haven’t had it since. I just used a small cake of soap that was used down, so it didn’t even leave a hump under the cover. So it doesn’t even need a big cake of soap to do the trick. I did this a couple of months ago, and haven’t had any trouble since. What a relief!!!

  16. M

    There is no effect with any kind of soap bar. The sulfonic acid (detergent) should be water soluable. The molecular weight should be below 300.

  17. lisa g.

    I used the bar of soap for a a very long time for my restless legs. I never understood why it worked but I didn’t care because it did. My husband discovered his own theory why it worked. He said that I while I was sleeping I would maneuver that bar of soap with my feet – but I never woke up. This explains why I would always find it the next morning at the gathered edge of the bottom sheet. Interesting huh?

  18. cll

    Similar results… am going to make a mesh bag which can be pinned onto the mattress pad to keep it from drifting…
    Thanks for letting people know of this wonderful solution!

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