I have trouble sleeping, mostly related to muscular issues.
Background: I'm 55. I've had restless legs on & off since I was a kid. It never used to bother me at night, except when lying in bed on my back reading.
About 20 years ago I started having sleep trouble. If I remember right, it started with muscular tics in my chest/arms, associated with some agitation that made it really hard to sleep. This wasn't like restless legs; with RLS it's "omigod I have to move or I'll go INSANE," whereas this was more of a tic or jerky muscle movement that I had no control over.
I discovered that taking about 500-1000mg of calcium before bed prevented the problem. For a while. It's gotten progressively worse over the years, though not steadily worse. For a while calcium before bed took care of it. Then I'd wake up in the night and have to take another calcium. (I could feel myself relaxing and my muscles relaxing literally within a few minutes of taking the calcium -- which seems too fast for it to get into my system, but that's what I experienced.) Sometimes the calcium wouldn't help. etc.
I tried combining calcium and magnesium, even massaging "magnesium oil" into my skin before bed. Seemed to help, for a while.
About 3 years ago my MD did a blood test and found the only thing out of line was my L-Glutamine levels, which she said were clinically low. I started taking 1-2 g of L-Glutamine at bedtime, and shazam! Slept like a baby.
For a while. After a few weeks the problem started coming back. For the last year or two it comes and goes. Sometimes I'll sleep just fine. Sometimes I'll wake at 1:30 and lay there for 3-5 hours. I feel agitated and jittery, like I drank too much coffee. (I don't drink coffee and caffeine has almost no effect on me.) My arms and chest muscles twitch and clench. Sometimes my RLS kicks up. Calcium and L-Glutamine (when I wake up) seem to have less and less effect.
I started taking 50mg of 5HTP about 6 months ago, and that helped me sleep through the night. For a while. (sigh) Now I'm on 100mg and still not sleeping.
I often have the "muscle agitation" feeling during the day, like borderline RLS. The way my muscles feel right now (5pm), I'd probably have trouble sleeping.
I don't do coffee or other caffeine, I avoid artificial sweeteners &etc, don't drink sodas, eat relatively healthy. I do have occasional sweets and alcohol.
I have no idea how much this has disturbed my sleep over the years. I've always been low-energy and often tired. My wife complained for years that I jerked and twitched in my sleep. She said I'd jerk regularly, maybe every 10-15 seconds.
As I said, I've talked to my MD about this several times. She's very nutritionally oriented but hasn't found any real answers. I've tried every nutritional option I can think of.
Glad that worked for you, but my ferritin actually runs a bit high.
I had been having a lot of trouble recently, but I realized I had lowered the dose of 5HTP I take before bed. The 5HTP helps me sleep by making it easier to fall back to sleep when I wake up, but apparently it also helps the midnight twitches, too. I boosted my 5HTP from 50 to 100mg, and for the last two nights I've been sleeping like a baby. Worth a try...View Thread