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Kicking and Snoring - PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Updated on February 20, 2018

I Just Want To Sleep!


My Experiences with PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

As a child, I often shared a bed with one or both of my sisters. My parents could often only afford a one or two bedroom home, and to save room we shared a bed. This caused me lots of pain and anguish. I would be awakened several times during the night because my sister would punch me in the arm. She did this in an attempt to stop me from snoring or from kicking her in my sleep. It was just a part of my life then and I just accepted. I really didn’t blame my sister for hitting me, I probably would have done the same thing to her if I was the victim!

At that time I didn’t know that my snoring and kicking were a part of a larger issue. It continued to adulthood, and I still snore and kick in my sleep. Just recently, I have discovered that the snoring could be caused by sleep apnea and the kicking was called periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD. For me, these two ailments work together to give me trouble sleeping.

I have trouble sleeping and always have. I had been taking medication to help me sleep, but it lead to problems the next morning as I was driving to work. It was bad enough that I was almost in an accident, waking up right before I hit the car in front of me. That night I quit taking the medication and have never taken it again. It scared me that much.

When I told my doctor about this, she suggested I do a sleep study. Unfortunately, due to insurance concerns and other issues, I have not been able to do the sleep study yet. I am hoping that soon I will be able to do this and get everything all figured.

In the meantime, I have done some research into sleeping disorders, especially sleep apnea and periodic limb movement disorder. And this is what I have discovered:

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles in the throat and tongue relax so much that the tongue touches the uvula (the thing that hangs down in the back of your throat) causing your airway to shrink. Since the air is travelling faster through the narrow opening, it makes the vibrating noise that we call snoring. Sometimes this opening actually closes for a small period of time and the person stops breathing. This causes the person to go from a deep, relaxing sleep to a light, fitful sleep.

Periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD, is an issue that has been around since the beginning of time. The only way people know if they have this is that the person sleep partner tells them about it. People with this disorder have difficulty staying awake during the day, or feel like they haven’t slept much the night before.

For me, my husband tells me that I kick very hard and have kicked our poor dog off the bed on many occasions. I once left a bruise on my husband’s leg after kicking him. When I wake up in the morning, I feel that I haven’t slept at all and the calf of my legs feel as if I had run all night long.

When I first heard of restless leg syndrome I thought that was what I had. As I researched, I found that restless leg syndrome happens when you are awake and your legs have an unnatural feeling – sometimes tingling and sometimes people say it feels as if their blood is boiling in their legs. This is different than PLMD in that it happens when the person is awake and PLMD happens while asleep.

Since I now have a different insurance, I am trying again to have the sleep study done. Maybe then I can get an official diagnosis and get some treatment for these disorders.


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