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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

The multidisciplinary team of specialists at the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center treat patients for a wide-range of sleep problems, including periodic limb movement disorders.

Periodic limb movement disorder involves a rhythmic jerking of the legs and sometimes arms, which may result in poor quality sleep and daytime fatigue. Unlike restless legs syndrome, these movements are involuntary and usually take place when a person is asleep.

This disorder often involvements movement (upward flexing) of the great toe, foot, or a flexing of the entire leg, usually in 20 to 30 second intervals. Many times, people are unaware of these movements during sleep. Often the occurrences are reported by a significant other.

Individuals may experience excessive daytime drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep or waking up early. Periodic limb movement disorder, though minor in itself in many cases, often accompanies other more serious sleep disorders and should not be ignored.

Anyone who suspects they have periodic limb movement disorder should have a sleep evaluation done in a sleep disorder center, such as the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center.

For a referral to a Washington University neurologist or neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.

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