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Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS) and Restless Leg Syndrome

by Sleep Division

Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS) are a repetitive movement of the legs, and less commonly arms, during sleep. They are diagnosed during a sleep study. PLM’s of Sleep may be related to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). RLS is the urge to move the legs in the evening. It improves with movement and then recurs with sitting or laying still. They both can contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness. RLS and PLM’s share the same pathophysiology and often respond to the same medication. There are some potentially controllable exacerbating factors including sleep deprivation, caffeine, certain anti-depressants, alcohol, nicotine and iron deficiency. They are seen more commonly in patients who are pregnant or have renal failure, myelopathy, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.