End Nighttime Leg Cramps and Restless Legs with Supplements
Have you ever tried to fall asleep at night, but discovered your legs had other ideas? For some people, leg cramps and a strange condition called restless legs syndrome (RLS) are frequent sleep interrupters. Diuretics, kidney dialysis and pregnancy can bring on serious leg cramps. Simply getting older is the main risk factor for increasingly severe restless legs syndrome.
Not all doctors know how nutrition affects these problems. The following nutrients are worth trying to settle your legs, get some sleep, and avoid drugs — which don’t work very well for either of these conditions, anyway!
For Leg Cramps:
- Take magnesium and calcium. Calcium allows muscles to contract, and magnesium allows them to relax. People are more likely to be deficient in magnesium, so start with 250 mg, twice a day. (Take one dosage at bedtime.) If that hasn’t worked in 3-5 days, increase the dosage to 500 mg twice a day. If magnesium alone doesn’t help, take an equal amount of calcium.
- Add vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium and magnesium. Take 1,000-2,000 IU a day of vitamin D; more if your doctor recommends it.
- Add vitamin E. It’s most likely to be helpful if poor blood circulation is part of your problem. Take 400 IU of vitamin E daily.
- Get more zinc. Deficiency is associated with nighttime leg cramps. Get 20 mg of zinc a day, or more if your doctor determines that you are low.
- Add some Bs. Research suggests that B12, B6, riboflavin and thiamine can help relieve leg cramps. Take a supplement that contains at least 250 mcg of B12, 5 mg of riboflavin, and 30-50 mg each of B6 and thiamine.
For Restless Legs:
- Get your iron levels checked. Restless legs syndrome is associated with iron deficiency anemia. If you’re low, your doctor will recommend an amount of supplemental iron to get your levels back to normal.
- Take folic acid. If you are deficient, getting more will help relieve restless legs syndrome. Get at least 400-800 mcg of folic acid a day.
- Get extra E. Up to 800 IU may be needed to get restless legs syndrome under control.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Sleeping well is absolutely critical to your health, happiness and longevity! Nighttime leg cramps and restless legs can make it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Don’t turn to drugs for these problems. Supplements can provide more effective and lasting relief!