The Jimmy Leg
As many of you may know, I’ve struggled with insomnia quite a bit for the last two years. A major part of the problem is that I’ve been suffering from restless leg syndrome, which I always thought was a rather ridiculous-sounding medical problem. My only method of coping was to go out in the living room in the middle of the night and run in place to try to tire my legs out so that I could finally go to sleep.
My insomnia (and RLS) was especially bad when I was unemployed. I am not a morning person and haven’t been for well over a decade, so it’s very easy for me to sleep in, especially when I don’t have to be up by a certain time. And then, of course, it’s harder to go to sleep on time the next night—especially when your legs are spazzing out.
I figured that with the new job and all, now would be a good time to try to do something about it. So I looked online to see if there was anything I could do about restless leg syndrome. I wasn’t very hopeful, but I figured that anything would be better than pacing around the living room for half the night.
It turns out that my problem may have just been a magnesium deficiency. Apparently it’s connected to RLS (along with a handful of other disorders that seem to plague my family), and after examining my diet, I realized that it was very likely; I just don’t eat a whole lot in the way of whole grains, nuts and beans, and green leafy vegetables.
So I started taking a magnesium supplement, and my twitchy legs detwitchified in a matter of a day or two. Suddenly I’m sleeping a solid eight hours (except for when Lego wakes me up), and I’m waking up feeling pretty decent, too. Last Friday night I went to bed a little after midnight, woke up on my own a little after eight, and was up for the day. I can’t remember the last time that happened.
All of this has reminded me of a coworker of mine from IS. We ISers would make Creamery runs pretty frequently, and almost without fail I would get a brownie or a doughnut. This coworker would often half-jokingly remark that I must be destroying my insides with my steady diet of fat and sugar, and I always just laughed it off. I mean, I wasn’t packing on the pounds, so it couldn’t have been that bad for me, right?
I guess I should’ve listened to her. After all, she was diabetic, so she probably knew a thing or two about the potentially harmful effects of a poor diet. On the one hand, I’m very excited about the possibility that all my health problems are just a result of my diet—and that they are thus fixable. But on the other hand, I’m really not excited at the thought of giving up all that fat and sugar.
Wish me luck.