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Restless Legs: What Is It & Should I Take Magensium To Improve It?

Get rid of your crampy legs now!

June 7, 2022 0 comments
magnesium for restless legs featured image

Magnesium for restless legs to get rid of all the twitching and crampings!

Restless leg syndrome has been a matter of concern for a long time.

Various researches are made to find out the right solution.

But the main focus here is if Magnesium is one of them?

People suffering from RLS (Restless legs syndrome) are constantly seeking solutions to eliminate all those cramps and pain that keep them up the whole night.

So, if you’re one of them, you would’ve already come across many solutions and therapy options- One of which is Magnesium.

Magnesium, as we know, is a natural mineral found in a lot of common foods like:

  • Whole grains.
  • Leafy green vegetables.
  • Nuts.
  • Dark chocolates.
  • Baked potatoes.

Magnesium is super essential for various bodily functions ranging from energy production to heart health and sleep cycle.

It is also related to your sleep cycle because it balances the calcium levels in our cells.

If there is an overdose of calcium in your body, it can cause cramps and spasms. These are a symptom of restless leg.

It acts as a shield against excessive calcium in the body, thereby helping you relax and sleep. Therefore, one of the main defining features of magnesium deficiency is sleep disorders.

But the point here is- Is Magnesium helpful with RLS?

Well, let’s find out!


What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder in the nervous system that brings about a constant urge to move your legs.

Mostly, the patients also feel throbbing, pain, and other irritating sensations in their legs.

The symptoms tend to penetrate or amplify when you are inactive, like lying down or sleeping. That’s the reason why RLS causes sleep problems.

Moving your legs, however, eases the unpleasant feeling temporarily.

Restless leg syndrome is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease and can begin at any age.

But the worst part is that it heightens with time. It not only disturbs your sleep but also intervenes with your everyday activities.

Some lifestyle changes and self-care steps can help relieve the symptoms of RLS. You can also resort to medications if the symptoms aren’t bearable.

What is causing you restless legs?

There are no known causes behind your restless legs, but researchers suspect that the condition may be because of reasons like:


Restless legs syndrome can be a heredity-related problem, meaning if your parents have it, there are high chances that you might have it as well.

If you experience RLS symptoms before the age of 40, there is a high chance of your genes playing their part. Researchers have found sites on the chromosomes where genes for RLS can be present.


Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes, temporarily aggravating RLS signs and symptoms.

Some women experience RLS symptoms for the first time during pregnancy, especially during their last trimester.

However, the symptoms usually disappear a few weeks after delivery in most cases.


Medications can also be a significant factor contributing to the development of RLS.

Some known medications include

  • Antidepressants.
  • Anti-nausea medications.
  • Allergy drugs.

Other than that, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can also worsen symptoms.

Imbalanced dopamine levels

RLS can also be the by-product of an imbalance in the dopamine levels in your brain.

Dopamine is a brain chemical than manages and controls brain activity.

If the chemical production is too little, it can lead to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease, marked by shaky limb movement, stiffness, and balance difficulty.

Treating the condition can bring some relief from the RLS symptoms. In some instances, RLS does not link to any underlying medical issue and is known as primary RLS.

Venous insufficiency

Another condition that can cause involuntary nighttime leg movements is Venous insufficiency.

You can characterize Venous insufficiency by your malfunctioning vein valves that allow blood collection inside the vein walls, causing distended veins.

Some characteristics of varicose veins include swelling, cramping and pain, which are similar to RLS symptoms.

Also, the varicose veins tend to become more problematic when you’re trying to sleep.

Various studies have found connections between RLS and varicose veins. The best part is while treating people for varicose veins, their RLS symptoms also diminished.

Other sources

Apart from the sources mentioned above, various medical problems are closely linked to RLS development. Here they are:

  • Low levels of iron 
  • Uremia 
  • Depression.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Diabetes.
  • Kidney diseases.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Peripheral neuropathy.

RLS symptoms 

a biohacker holds his restless legSymptoms of the restless leg include:

  • Leg or arm discomfort: Many people experience a variety of uncomfortable sensations that they often describe as itching, pulling, creeping, tingling, crawling, tugging, burning, gnawing, throwing, etc. These sensations usually occur during bedtime but can also heighten if there is limb activity for an extended period.
  • Constant urge to move your leg: If you are suffering from RLS, you must have come across a situation where your limbs are uncomfortable, and you constantly feel like moving your legs or arms, especially when you’re trying to rest.
  • Sleep disturbance: Restless legs won’t let you have a good sleep because you will have to move your legs now and then, making it difficult for you to stay asleep.
  • Feeling sleepy during the daytime: If you don’t sleep well in the nighttime, you are bound to feel sleepy during the day, which might keep you tired and exhausted.
  • Bedtime behavior and work performance issues: Because of the constant sleep disruption, your rest time is cut down, and you feel exhausted the whole day. Exhaustion can cause problems in your daytime behavior like irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, etc. Your work performance suffers.

Natural treatment for RLS

a biohacker stretches her restless legsRLS cases with mild or moderate symptoms can opt for natural treatments like home remedies or neuropathic options.

However, these remedies can’t eliminate the symptoms but can help reduce them significantly.

One more plus point about opting for natural treatments is safer and sometimes highly effective. However, you might have to go for some trial and error to dig out the remedy that helps you the most.

But! Wait, what are these remedies? Ah! Worry not; here are some tips you can follow:

  • Go for regular yoga, exercise, stretching, walking, swimming, and leg massages.
  • Cut down the intake of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, etc.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule with the same bedtime and wake-up time every day.
  • Get a hot bath before bed.
  • Take the help of warm pads or ice packs when you start to feel the symptoms.

When you have to schedule things that include sitting for a long time, like a car or a plane trip, try arranging it for earlier in the day rather than midday.

If you have iron or any other nutritional deficiency, consult your doctor or nutritionist on how to improve your diet so that you have sufficient nutrition in your body.

Before adding any dietary supplements, talk to your doctor.

Because if your body already has a sufficient amount of nutrients, those supplements can have a negative effect.

The options mentioned above are helpful even if you have ongoing RLS medications.

Can Magnesium treat your restless legs?

Research says that magnesium deficiency is the root cause of restless legs syndrome in some instances. (1)

Another research carried out in 1998 reported that ten people suffering from moderate RLS and periodic limb movement during sleep (PLMS) slept better after using magnesium supplements. (2)

Therefore intake of magnesium supplements can help a lot.

But the main question that sticks into our minds is, how is Magnesium helpful?

There’s a bit of science behind this, so let’s try understanding that.

You can use magnesium as a natural or alternative remedy for RLS because researchers think it makes muscle relaxation easy.

The reason behind this is that magnesium possesses calcium blocking abilities, which help balance the nerves and muscles. Calcium can activate your nerves, thereby deepening the RLS symptoms.

If the magnesium quantity in your body is low or decreasing, it cannot block calcium, so the nerves become hyperactive, and muscle contractions are triggered.

One research found that Magnesium also helps improve insomnia caused by RLS. (3)

Another study claims that taking magnesium treatments as an alternative therapy provided relief for mild or moderate RLS patients. (4) Magnesium is also considered the best supplement for insulin resistance.

So, if Magnesium is a contributing factor in your RLS condition, getting more of it is a highly effective treatment.

How much Magnesium do you need?

Magnesium is available in various doses and forms. Magnesium oxide is widely available and is the most common oral supplement form.

The daily dose of Magnesium for adolescents and adult males and females is 270-350 gm.

However, you must consult a medical professional to ensure your proper dosage.

Magnesium sulfate can be administered via IV, though oral supplements are better for treating RLS.

3 Magnesium sources for RLS

There hasn’t been much research on the efficiency of Magnesium in reducing RLS symptoms, but doctors recommend or prescribe using it for treating RLS or PLMD nonetheless.

Foods rich in Magnesium

magnesium-based foods for restless legsConsuming magnesium-rich foods is the simplest and easiest way to metabolize this mineral.

As Magnesium is found in reasonable quantities in a wide variety of foods, you start consuming these foods right away to maintain reasonable and balanced levels in your body.

Some of the best food sources rich in Magnesium are:

  • Drak greeny leafy vegetables.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Soybeans.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Quinoa.
  • Lentils and beans.
  • whole wheat bread,
  • Avocado.
  • Brown rice.
  • Banana.
  • Fish.
  • Beets.

Oral supplements

Magnesium supplements for restless legsEven though foods are a great source of Magnesium, sometimes, they are not enough.

Simply relying on magnesium-rich foods won’t bring your deficiency levels to the required extent, and for that, you need the help of oral supplements.

Recommended forms of magnesium supplements include:

  • magnesium citrate.
  • orotate.
  • ascorbate.
  • glycinate or a combination of these.

However, you must be cautious because the citrate form can be allergenic, so it is best to start with the glycinate form because it has terrible side effects.

But what’s the suggested dose for the supplements?

The recommended daily dose for intaking elemental Magnesium in the supplement form is 200-400 gms.

Make sure to consume it during bedtime as magnesium tablets also enhance sleep.

Some medical professionals recommend taking a separate supplement for Magnesium rather than relying on multivitamin supplements.

Topical Magnesium

Taking excess Magnesium can hurt your body, the side effects of which include:

  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal cramping.

If you are also stuck in such a case, it is better to switch to topical Magnesium like a spray or gel form to the affected area like the arches or calves.

Topical Magnesium is a safer and more comfortable way to fulfill your body’s needs. Magnesium creams can be helpful for leg cramps.

Another easy way to enjoy the magnesium supplements is by using Epson salts for bath and foot soaks. 

Should you go for supplements for restless leg syndrome?

The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation recommends that people with RLS must go for magnesium treatments under a doctor’s consultation.

While over-the-counter magnesium is usually recognized as safe (GRAS), you must take it in specified proportions. High doses of Magnesium (more than 5000 mg daily) can cause magnesium toxicity, threatening your kidney health.

For those suffering from Restless legs syndrome or PLMD, better take a simple lab test to find out if you’re deficient in Magnesium. It will help you carry out your treatment plan accordingly.

Bioptimizer magnesium for restless legs

Magnesium breakthrough by Bioptimizer is a one-stop solution to all your Magnesium related needs. It is an anti-stress supplement made up of seven-rich forms of Magnesium.

Because of its fantastic composition, it is considered the best magnesium supplement for sleep. It improves your sleep cycle as well as heals stress.

Want to know more about it?

Read the Bioptimiser magnesium review to find out!


A biohacker holding his restless legHere are some of the questions people usually ask:

Does Magnesium help restless legs?

Magnesium supplementations are often suggested for people with restless leg syndrome (RLS) or periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) based on anecdotal evidence that helps relieve symptoms. Magnesium is generally recommended for leg cramps. Restless can be relieved a bit with Magnesium.

What is the best supplement for restless legs?

A study conducted in 2014 found that vitamin D supplements help relieve RLS-related symptoms in people with both RLS and vitamin D deficiency.

People who are on hemodialysis can take the help of vitamin C and E supplements to relieve RLS symptoms.

Not just vitamin D supplements, Vitamin C, E, and Iron supplements are also helpful in moderating the effects of RLS in some people.

What deficiencies cause restless legs?

If you are someone having vitamin D deficiency, it may be a significant cause behind your lingering RLS symptoms and especially idiopathic RLS. However, this relationship must be supported by some evidence-based vitamin D treatment studies which evaluate the efficiency of vitamin D in treating RLS in patients.

What helps restless leg syndrome fast?

A biohacker getting warm bath for restless legsYou know making simple changes in your lifestyle can have a massive impact on relieving your restless legs syndrome:

  • Try warm or cool packs: Using hot or cold or both in the alternative cycle can help relax and relieve the limb sensations.
  • Go for baths and massages: Taking warm baths, soaking your legs, and massaging the legs can relax the muscles.
  • Build good sleep hygiene: Exhaustion can deepen RLS symptoms, so it is crucial to maintain good sleep hygiene. Have a relaxed, comfortable and quiet sleeping environment. Hit the bed and wake at the same time daily to improve your sleep cycle. Most importantly, get at least seven hours of sleep daily.
  • Workout: Moderate exercising daily can relieve RLS symptoms, but make sure you don’t overdo it or work out too late in the day. It might penetrate the pain and sensations.
  • Stay away from caffeine: If you are habituated to consuming caffeine every day, we have slightly annoying news for you. Caffeine can worsen the symptoms of restless legs. So cutting back on caffeine can help relieve the leg pain. Avoid every caffeine product like chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, tea, etc., for a few weeks, you’ll feel the difference.
  • Try using a vibrating pad or a foot wrap: There are foot wraps available specially designed for helping with RLS, which puts pressure under your foot and relives your symptoms. You can also use vibrating pads. All you got to do is put the pad on the back of your legs, and the vibration will calm the nerves of your legs.

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