Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


Periodic Limb Movements

Periodic limb movements (PLM’s) are a rhythmic twitching or jerking of the legs (usually about every 20-40 seconds). These usually occur during sleep, but can also occur during wake. PLM’s are usually diagnosed as part of a sleep study. Many people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) also have PLM’s. PLM’s can disrupt or fragment sleep, and as such they may contribute to daytime fatigue or sleepiness. PLM’s occur more frequently in women than men, and often worsen with age. PLM’s can also occur as part of another sleep disorder or medical disorder (e.g, REM behavior disorder, pain issues). Many cases of PLM’s are linked with mishandling of iron by the brain, and this can be revealed through bloodwork and relieved with iron replacement therapy. Other cases of PLM’s may be the result of certain medications. In some instances, medications can be helpful in reducing PLM’s.
Click here to make an appointment to discuss PLM’s with a sleep doctor.