Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes sensations that make you move your legs, while periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) makes your legs twitch without other symptoms. Both conditions can disrupt your sleep. Pramil Vaghasia, MD, and Ruchi Bansal, MD, at Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center provide treatments that control the movements so you can get a good night’s rest. You know when you have RLS, but feeling tired during the day may be the only sign of PLMD. To get help, call the office in Bakersfield or Delano, California, or book an appointment online today.
RLS causes a strong, irresistible urge to move your legs. Along with the need to move, you also experience uncomfortable sensations in your legs, such as crawling, itching, and pulling. These feelings improve when you move your legs, whether you walk around, shake your legs, or stretch.
RLS appears when you lay down in bed or sit for a long time. The problem typically gets worse at night. As a result, it interferes with your sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
RLS runs in families, so it has a strong genetic component. The condition is also associated with medical problems such as:
Other sleep conditions like sleep apnea may trigger RLS symptoms.
PLMD makes your legs, and sometimes your arms, move while you sleep. These twitching and jerking movements are repetitive, uncontrollable, and occur about every 20-40 seconds.
Though the leg movements disrupt your sleep, they don’t usually wake you up. That means you’re not aware of the leg twitching. The top symptoms of PLMD are having a hard time falling or staying asleep (insomnia) and daytime sleepiness.
The exact cause of PLMD isn’t clear. However, the condition is associated with iron deficiency and genetics. PLMD often occurs in people who have narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.
In most cases, your Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center provider can diagnose RLS based on your symptoms. They may also run lab tests to rule out problems like an iron deficiency and kidney disease.
Your provider asks you to participate in an overnight sleep study to diagnose PLMD. That is the only way to detect the movements and identify any other sleep disorders or breathing problems.
If you have an underlying condition that contributes to RLS or PLMD, treating that problem often improves your leg symptoms.
RLS may improve with moderate exercise or massage. Some people get relief with a wrap that puts pressure on their foot or a pad that sends vibrations into their legs. Your provider also prescribes medications that diminish the sensations and alleviate your symptoms.
You may need to avoid or limit caffeine because it often makes PLMD symptoms worse. Otherwise, your treatment primarily includes medications that reduce or eliminate limb movements.
If you need help with leg symptoms or daytime sleepiness and suspect RLS or PLMD, call Prime Pulmonary & Sleep Center, or book an appointment online today.
8305 Brimhall Rd.,
Bakersfield, CA 93312
1205 Garces Highway,
Delano, CA 93215
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