Are you experiencing unconscious jerking of arms and legs during sleep? This is the most common condition called periodic limb movement disorder.
More than 80% of people who have restless leg syndrome (RLS) experiences periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).
Persons with periodic limb movement disorder unconsciously flex or jerk their arms and legs during sleep. At times, the movement may sporadically awaken the patient that can lead to insomnia or severe daytime sleepiness.
These jerking movements occur periodically at every 10 to 60 seconds throughout the night. Even, the severity of the movements can fluctuate from one night to the next.
Is restless leg syndrome connected with periodic limb movement disorder?
Periodic limb movement disorder and restless leg syndrome are two distinct disorders. But, more often these two conditions occur simultaneously. These two conditions, PLMD and RLS, are types of parasomnia, which occurs during night and creates disruptive events during sleep.
Even though they are distinct, both periodic limb movement disorder and restless leg syndrome are linked with each other. RLS is a condition that involves strange sensations in legs while you are awake and leads to irresistible urge to move legs to get relief from the strange sensation. As already said, almost 80% of patients who have RLS experiences PLMD, but the reverse is not sure.
Is there any particular reason for periodic limb movement disorder?
The main root cause for PLMD is unclear, but some researchers believe that PLMD is mainly caused by the reactions in brain, while others suggest that it might have originated from spinal cord. It is also suspected that PLMD is also associated with abnormal circulatory conditions in your body.
But, one thing is absolutely true that PLMD is often seen in patients with metabolic disorders, circulatory problems, kidney disease, pregnancy and also rheumatoid arthritis. PLMD becomes quite common for people over 60 years of age.
Is there any prevention?
As the causes are not clear, it is not always possible to prevent periodic limb movement disorder. But, certain behavioral changes can help you to reduce the frequency of PLMD. Certain essential things that you can do to reduce the frequency of PLMD include:
- A healthy diet with well balanced nutrition and healthy eating habits in your daily routine.
- If you have any persistent health problems such as diabetes or blood pressure, take proper precautions to keep them in control and don’t forget to take proper medication.
- Never sit idle. Include necessary physical activity in your daily routine and take necessary steps to maintain healthy body weight. Of course, regular body workouts are crucial. So, practice all those exercises that suits to your age and body conditions.
If you are experiencing frequent jerking movements along with disruptive sleep, immediately consult your regular physician and take proper medicines to alleviate the symptoms of periodic limb movement disorder.