Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

At least 10% of the US population may have Restless Leg Syndrome according to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation. Of the people who have RLS, about 50% inherit it in an autosomal dominant pattern. 

We all know people who have restless leg syndrome. We see them kick their legs all the time or get up and more frequently. There is an interesting sleep problem that is associated with this. It is called periodic limb movement disorder.  The legs will have brief (1 - 2 second) jerks once or twice a minute during the first third of sleep. For some this is uncomfortable and can make it hard to go to sleep.

People with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder or Restless Legs Syndrome often have a feeling of crawling sensations on their legs or sometimes a painful sensation. It is often relieved by stretching or walking. Some find it difficult to have sheets over their legs.

Both of these disorders have been found to worsen with iron deficiency and with some medications like common antidepressants.


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