Q. Dear Terry, “When I’m winding down at night, my legs just want to move. I think what I’m experiencing is “restless legs.” It’s not painful, but uncomfortable and can make it hard to fall asleep. I haven’t seen my doctor yet about this, so what can I try that is natural? – Samuel A., Ottawa, Canada
A. Dear Samuel, 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.
Terry . . . Naturally
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