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ASK THE EXPERT || Restless Legs Syndrome

Today SHC hosts a reader’s question about Restless Legs Syndrome and offers this response from sleep health naturopath, Catherine Darley, ND. 

Catherine Darley, ND; 
Follow Dr. Darley at the
Naturopathic Sleep Medicine Blog

BB in Oregon writes:

“I’ve been recently struggling with my sleep. I’ve changed my diet  to cellular healing; it may have something to do with it, and my Restless Legs Syndrome has gotten really bad. Someone told me to use Ancient-Minerals Magnesium Spray oil to help me sleep, but I need to use it over time to experience the advantages, which is to fall asleep easier and get a more restful night of sleep. Thoughts?”

Dr. Darley responds:

“In some people, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is associated with low iron levels. A great place to start is to get your ferritin levels checked by your primary care physician. This is done with a simple blood test. Ferritin levels in people with RLS should be optimal (not only within normal limits), so you may need to take an iron supplement for three months before having your ferritin rechecked. Iron uptake is improved when it is taken along with vitamin C.There are some people who should not take iron supplements, so please consult with your primary care physician to make sure this is the right approach for you. Behaviorally, many people get some relief from Restless Legs Syndrome by going for a brisk walk before bed, climbing stairs or even simple stretches or calisthenics. You can give this a try now, while starting to look into your iron status.”

Have a question about sleep health? Send it to SHC and we’ll locate an expert to reply.

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About Catherine Darley, ND: In 2003, Dr. Darley originated the new field of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine by opening The Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine in Seattle, WA. Dr. Darley has worked previously in both sleep technology and clinical research with leading sleep doctor Dr. Mary Carskadon. She currently focuses her efforts on providing excellent naturopathic care for patients with sleep disorders at the Institute. She also presents on sleep health topics before many public and professional audiences and plans to continue her work developing the field of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine by conducting original research on naturopathic treatments for sleep and providing specialist training for other doctors. Dr. Darley writes reviews of sleep health topics regularly for professional naturopathic journals and is an active member of both the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Sleep Research Society. 

NOTE: The SleepyHeadCENTRAL website and related newsletter and all other publications are not intended to substitute for medical advice; if you or a loved one has problems with sleeping (or not sleeping), please consult your doctor immediately.

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