Q. Dear Terry, “I have Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD). My wife says I kick violently at times throughout the night during sleep and I wake up tired. What are some natural supplements I can possibly take to help this condition?” – Jeff W., Birmingham, AL
A. Dear Jeff, If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to add some moderate exercise to your daily regimen. One of the issues with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is that too little or too much exercise can make the symptoms worse, so do your best to find a comfortable middle ground. Also, try and reduce the amount of stimulants (such as caffeine) in your diet. You may also want to try taking a warm shower or bath in the evening. If you don’t have dairy issues, you can drink some warm milk (I prefer goat’s milk) or eat a small piece of cheese. The protein will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable as you sleep, and the calcium will help to relax the muscles.
In addition to diet and lifestyle choices, there are natural ingredients that I think could be very beneficial: vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc. I strongly recommend vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) in combination with magnesium glycinate and zinc glycinate. P-5-P is the biologically active form of vitamin B6. Many people (some estimate up to 50% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements, because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely. In addition to optimizing vitamin B6 metabolism, the magnesium in the glycinate form delivers a good dose of magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability. Zinc also works synergistically with magnesium and vitamin B6.
I recommend taking vitamin B6 (as P-5-P), magnesium (as magnesium glycinate), and zinc (as zinc glycinate chelate) three times daily.
There is also research demonstrating a link between PLMD and anxiety. If anxiety is contributing to your symptoms, I would recommend adding narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) to your daily regimen. Researchers have discovered that compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to affect certain brain receptors, which helps to instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
I would take 20 to 40 mg once or twice per day, or in the evening, of the coneflower extract. This ingredient is safe enough to be taken daily to help prevent anxiety as well. Make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract standardized for alkamides in the right ratio to reduce anxiety.
Terry . . . Naturally
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