Is Magnesium Good For Restless Legs?

Updated May, 2021
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According to recent clinical trials, magnesium is beneficial for resolving restless legs syndrome symptoms in patients whose primary cause is a deficiency. Though in the early stages of trials, magnesium has often been used as a holistic method for RLS treatment. This is because magnesium has muscle-relaxant properties that help correct the physical discomfort suffered by those with RLS.

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is a long-term sleep disorder causing the uncontrollable urge to move your legs. This causes reduced instances of productive sleep, causing daytime symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness. It's a common disorder suffered by approximately 10% of Americans each year.

What causes restless legs?

There's no single cause to this disorder. However, there are a few things known to contribute to the development of the condition.

  • Low iron. Low iron counts into the blood negatively impact dopamine production, which has been known to aggravate or even cause RLS.
  • Uremia. This condition, associated with worsening kidney function that often indicates kidney failure, leads to decreased iron production and calcium level. These factors, particularly together, can cause or agitate existing RLS.
  • Diabetes.  A hallmark trait of diabetes is inadequate blood flow as a result of varying blood glucose levels. This can create instances of pain and discomfort, which contribute to restless leg syndrome.
  • Gender. Women are generally more prone to developing this disorder. In part, this is due to increased instances of RLS developing or worsening during pregnancy and menopause.

Can magnesium help treat restless leg syndrome?

Yes, it's possible! Though in the early stages of clinical trials, results indicate that magnesium can be effective at treating RLS symptoms, especially in cases in where a deficiency of magnesium is thought to be the primary cause of the syndrome. While the clinical trial is in the early stages, magnesium has long been used as a natural remedy for RLS. It's thought that magnesium contains muscle-relaxing properties, which decrease the instances and severity of the infamous urges to move your leg.

What are things I can do on my own to relieve restless legs?

In addition to magnesium, you can try to improve your RLS with a few other natural remedies. These are simple things, many of them only calling for a simple lifestyle changes.

  • Massaging your legs. Most experts recommend 10-30 minutes per night. Massaging your legs is a great way to increase blood flow to your limbs while sleeping, reducing discomfort. (Tip: This is also a great thing to do if you have other conditions contributing to your sleep issues, such as chronic pain, diabetes, or nerve damage.)
  • Taking a bath. You might find relief if you take a bath before bed. Try both cold and warm water to see which works best for you.
  • Sleep environment. Finding comfort helps you get a better night's sleep. You have to ensure your bedroom is a sacred space engineered toward your personal sleep preferences. So, buy a pair of blackout curtains, set that thermostat to your favorite temperature, and maybe even replace some of your old, worn-out things!

Will a new mattress help with restless legs?

A new mattress goes a long way to ensuring you have the comfort you deserve and gives you the best shot at overcoming your nightly battle with RLS. Like taking a bath or magnesium, replacing your old mattress for an upgraded model is one of the most important steps at getting the good night's sleep you deserve. Remember: your mattress is the foundation of your sleep environment, if it's not ideal, your rest won't be.

When can I expect my restless legs syndrome to end?

This is a chronic condition, so you'll likely experience episodes on-and-off for a while. Relief depends on many different factors. But if you find a course of treatment that works and integrate it into your daily routine, you can expect to find some relief soon. Within a few weeks of dedication to your treatment, you should see improvement in your RLS symptoms.

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