Periodic Limb Movements (PLM)
What are Periodic Limb Movements?
Periodic limb movements (PLM) are occurrences of simple, repetitive, and uncontrollable muscle movements. PLM can occur during the day but is more common during the night and can seriously disrupt sleep which causes daytime fatigue. Movements tend to involve muscle tightening or flexing in the lower legs.
EISC sleep medicine specialist Dr. Scott D. Geisler explains:
What are the symptoms of periodic limb movements?
Normally, those affected by PLM are unaware of the movements. Someone who sleeps in the same bed is more likely to notice symptoms which include:
- Unusual, repetitive movements, typically in the lower legs
How are periodic limb movements diagnosed?
In order to diagnose PLM, your doctor may recommend a polysomnogram (sleep study).
What treatment options are available?
While PLM cannot be cured, it can be managed. In some cases, doctors will prescribe medications that help control the movements. Those with mild cases may benefit from sedatives or pain killers.
Learn more about periodic limb movements (PLM)
- National Sleep Foundation: Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep
- American Sleep Association: Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
- National Center on Sleep Disorders Research: Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Questions? Contact the Eastern Iowa Sleep Center today.