My doctor told me that I have restless legs.
Q. Dear Terry, “My doctor told me that I have restless legs. Even though I’m tired, my legs just feel like they want to move. It’s really been affecting my sleep for the past few months. Can you help?” – Ritchie M., Milwaukee, WI
A. Dear Ritchie, If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to add some moderate exercise to your daily regimen. One of the issues with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) 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. For example, some of the over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants can contain ingredients (pseudoephedrine and synepherine) that act as stimulants, which can further aggravate RLS symptoms.
You might 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 three 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.
To assist with a restful night’s sleep, you could consider a combination of mandarin zest extract, lemon balm leaf, ravintsara leaf oil, and lavender flower oil. These ingredients all work in slightly different ways to help support a good night’s sleep. I would take these ingredients thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime. You could take these ingredients every night.
Terry . . . Naturally