Unusual Leg Movements
Unusual leg movements during sleep are one of the most common movement problems during sleep. They maybe described by the bed partner as kicking or jerking movements. While the person maybe unaware of the movements (since they occur during sleep), the movements may disrupt the bed partners’ sleep, leading to complaints!
If the movements are frequent enough, they can disrupt the person’s sleep pattern, leading to daytime sleepiness. These movements may be due toperiodic limb movementdisorder (where movements occur only during sleep) or may be due torestless leg syndrome, where indescribable discomfort in the legs causes movement, awake or asleep. More complex movements of arms and legs can also be due to sleepwalking or even seizures.
Unusual behaviors during sleep can be things as simple and common as sleep talking or sleepwalking, or they can be much more complex and worrisome, such asseizuresoccurring during sleep orREM behavior disorder, where the person physically acts out the contents of a dream while still asleep. Problems that are more complex than simple sleepwalking or sleep talking should be evaluated by a sleep specialist.
Unusual sensations during sleep or when falling asleep or awakening from sleep can sometimes be very frightening. They may include feelings of paralysis such as inability to speak or turn the head, unusual sounds or voices, or even the false impression that shadowy people are in the room. When these are recurring sensations, rather than once- or twice-in-a-lifetime symptoms, they can be symptoms ofnarcolepsyor other rare sleep or medical disorders and should be evaluated by a sleep specialist.