Q. Dear Terry, “My legs move around a lot when I’m trying to sleep. While I haven’t received a diagnosis from a doctor, it seems like “restless leg syndrome.” I plan to see my doctor in a couple weeks, but is there anything I can try now?”– Andie H., Idaho Falls, ID
A. Dear Andie, Restless leg syndrome affects about 10 percent of the population and typically affects more women than men. Because there can be many causes or contributing factors to restless leg syndrome, I encourage you to discuss further with your healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I think there are some natural options that can help.
First, I recommend adding some moderate exercise to your daily regimen, if you are not doing so already. One of the issues with restless leg syndrome is that too little or too much exercise can make the symptoms worse, so do your best to find a comfortable middle ground. Also, you could 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 before bed. 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 would take 10 mg of vitamin B6 (as P-5-P), 100 mg of magnesium (as magnesium bisglycinate chelate), and 5 mg of zinc (as zinc bisglycinate chelate) twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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