My fiance and I sleep very well together most nights. some nights i can't help but to wonder why she is jerking so much in her sleep though. these slight jeks occur throughout the night. I know because i'm awake.
the range (light to hard jerks) on a scale from 1-10, foot jerks-5, head jerks-6, hand jerks-3, full body jerks-2. when she wakes up I ask her if she had any bad dreams and she would say no. She works (8-10hrs a day, or 37hrs on call) very hard at her job and I need, everyone will need and want her to have the best nights sleep so that she will be in top shape when she returns to work the next day. What is going on?
Some people keep all their muscles very tense when they work and come night time when they are totally relaxed as in sleep the muscles jerk back to their normal state. We all have the jerks every now and then and if someone were to stay awake all night watching you, you too would jerk now and then ...some do it more than others. I jerk myself awake a lot if I am napping in the afternoon for some odd reason but not so much at night.
There is a disorder known as periodic limb movement disorder. It is one of many sleep disorders and can be cured with meds. You should suggest a sleep study by a sleep specialist to ensure that she is getting optimal sleep and doesn't have a serious sleep disorder.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Yes, it does sound like peridic limb movement disorder...there are several things your fiance could do first to see if the movements decrease or go away.
1. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet as potassium (or the lack of potassium) impacts body movement. Potassium is not stored in the body and therefore must be replaced regularly (daily??).
2. Take an over the counter iron supplement. Small studies suggest that some people with this condition have an iron deficiency in a certain area of their brain, and this deficiency would not show up in a typical lab test. My sleep specialist had me do this for 6 months (??) to see if this would work before he would prescribe any medication.
3. Neither the diet, the iron supplement, nor the prescription medication (mirapex) worked for me, and my sleep specialist was honest enough to say that's about all they could do, but I did discover that discontinuing my bp medication (a diuretic) reduced or eliminated my symptoms---my sleep study, done while I was taking the diurectic, showed almost 500 movements over the course of the night.
There is no "cure" for this condition as the doctors really don't know what causes it yet...some people suffer horribly...and some like me, accidentally find a fix. I hope you and your fiance will find something that works...but I would recommend drug free treatments for starters. If that doesn't work, do try and see a sleep specialist.
Both my primary and my sleep specialist denied that my water pill would cause these side effects but they were wrong. Don't believe everything someone tells you---check it out for yourself first.
Last edited by bethsheba; 01-08-2008 at 03:55 PM.