This year has dissipated in a weird and creepy way, and I cannot believe it is September already.
I suspect it is the stressful world in which we are living at the moment but restless leg syndrome seems to be on the rise. The following information may help reduce the unpleasant sensation of restless leg, if you are a sufferer.
Restless Leg Syndrome.
Described as the inability to relax the legs and an oversensitive, though painless discomfort. Some people describe it as a feeling of insects crawling over their legs… really horrible for them.
It usually occurs at night, while trying to fall asleep, and relief may be obtained by moving the legs or walking. (Clearly not conducive to a good night’s sleep.) Legs may continue to move even while the sufferer is asleep, resulting in a disturbed night for the partner. (double wammy!)
The cause of Restless leg is unknown, although there are conditions which are associated with it.
- Iron deficiency. (Even mild). Please get an iron profile done.
- Depleted magnesium and folate.
- People on kidney dialysis
- Heavy smoking
- Advanced age
- Lack of exercise
Your doctor may prescribe tranquilizers, drugs used to treat Parkinson’s, epilepsy or sleeping pills. All of these may contribute to a more restful night in spite of the continuing syndrome but before trying the stronger, allopathic medicines, try the following.
- Take an iron and magnesium supplement. Please don’t just go onto an iron supplement without getting your iron and ferritin levels tests. Either come to me or go to your GP, and get a test done. If you have too much iron, it is extremely inflammatory, so supplements, even ‘over the counter ones’, are not to be taken lightly. Magnesium, on the other hand, is a wonderful and safe supplement and far too many people are deficient in magnesium, especially if you are diabetic or have Insulin Resistance. Choose a supplement that has at least 200mg of ELEMENTAL magnesium. Don’t think that because the box says…1000mg magnesium citrate, for example, that there is 1000mg magnesium in the tablet. There isn’t. Most of it is the citrate part. Slow mag, for example, has very little magnesium in each tablet. If you have muscle cramping or your eyes twitch, there is a very good chance you are magnesium deficient. Take between 400mg-600mg elemental magnesium at night. Magnesium relaxes the vessel wall and allows the muscles to relax. Solal has a very nice option. It isn’t cheap but I believe SO worth it. Magnesium is also important for insulin management, plus is involved in over 300 metabolic processes, so not to be ignored.
- Improve circulation by increasing exercise.
- Take supplements that improve circulation such as;
Ginko Biloba. 120mg, horse chestnut. 2.5g, butcher’s broom.1.5g.
- Valerian and passionflower to help you sleep. I have also listed some tips for better sleep.
- Omega 3 supplementation. Up to 3000mg per day is safe and effective. Monitor your body if you have a cardiac condition. Omega 3 is great for hearts
Try these treatments for at least 6 weeks before considering stronger measures.
To sleep better, the following tips are very helpful, regardless of whether or not you have restless legs.
- Plan for 8 to 9 hours in bed. even if you are only resting
- Get into bed before 11pm
- Avoid late afternoon naps
- Keep daily naps to 20-30 min only
- Have a light meal at night
- Finish all eating 3 hours prior to going to sleep.
- Avoid drinking more than 4-8 ounces of fluid before going to bed.
- Have a soothing bath before bed to raise your core temp. It is the drop in temp that will allow you to sleep. Add a cup of Epsom salts.The magnesium is relaxing.
- Start to dim the lights about half an hour before you plan to go to bed.
- Especially the blue ones. TV, computer, cell phone or android, all emit blue light and blue light blocks melatonin secretion.
- Place electrical fields at least 5 feet away from your head.
- Do not leave your cell phone on and near your head.
- If you need to work on your computer or watch TV, Cover your eyes with amber or yellow glasses to filter the blue light. Blue light disrupts melatonin release.
- Practice belly breathing or meditation before bed.
- Ensure your pillow is the correct height
- Make sure your feet and hands are warm
- Take time in the morning to face the light for about 10 minutes
- Avoid alcohol 3 hours before bed. Avoid any caffeine after 2pm. Including coffee, coca cola, flu medications or decongestants.
- Avoid Aerobic activity after 6pm
- Chamomile and herbal teas before bed may relax you
- 5-HTP – 50-300 mg 1 hour before bedtime
- Taurine – 500-2000 mg 1 hour before bedtime
- Magnesium/Calcium – 250 mg /500 mg is a typical dose OR magnesium citrate or glycinate 400-800 mg at bedtime.
- Calming Herbs – Lemon balm, Passion flower, Valerian root