While some physicians may elect to treat Restless Legs (RLS) using pharmacologic interventions, potential shortcomings to this approach include a real risk of developing tolerance to the treatment or creation of a rebound phenomenon.
Magnesium and Restless Legs (RLS) Study
In order to investigate and validate an alternative treatment modality by characterizing anecdotal observations documenting the benefit of magnesium in the treatment of Restless Legs (RLS), Dr. Hornyak, of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, at Albert-Ludwigs-University, in Freiburg, Germany, and colleagues, conducted a clinical study in patients suffering from insomnia due to periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS).
In this investigation, magnesium was administered orally, every day, over a period of 4-6 weeks. The outcome of interest, in this study was the number of arousals observed, due to PLMS.
After the end of the treatment period, the number of night time arousals significantly decreased. In addition, a modest decrease in the number of PLMS events, not leading to arousal, was also observed. Importantly, sleep efficiency improved significantly.
Interestingly, in the group of patients who felt that their sleep improved, the effects of magnesium on PLMS were even more pronounced.
The authors concluded that magnesium treatment may be a useful therapy in the treatment of patients with Restless Legs (RLS) or PLMS-related insomnia (Hornyak, et al. Sleep. 1998 Aug 1;21(5):501-5.)
Further to that, according to a recent report generated at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Center, magnesium plays an important role in regulating sleep, by maintaining a proper balance of body chemistry. In this report, they make the observation that people with long-term sleep issues, or abnormal brain waves during sleep, often also have low levels of magnesium. Magnesium decreased the time needed to fall asleep and increased deep sleep in a clinical trial.
Magnesium’s role in treating insomnia in Restless Legs (RLS) patients supports its critical role in the unique Calm Legs™ formulation.
“Just as I’m on the verge of getting to sleep, that uncontrollable sensation to move my leg overcomes me and the only relief I have is to get up and move to the couch so that my husband can get a good night sleep. After a couple of weeks of taking your product, I am sleeping at night for the first time in years!”