Jefferson Health

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

Repetitive twitching or jerking of the legs during sleep is known as periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD. A person with PLMD is often unaware of these movements during sleep, yet wakes up feeling tired or experiences repeated awakenings from sleep. For expert diagnosis and treatment of PLMD, seek the sleep medicine specialists of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center.

Our specialists will perform a thorough evaluation to uncover conditions that may be causing PLMD, such as anemia, iron deficiency, certain medications and substances and/or liver or kidney disease. They may also perform a polysomnogram (sleep study) to monitor the changes that occur during your sleep in order to reach a diagnosis.

Treatment of PLMD relies on the management of the disorders that might be causing it. For example, treatment of iron deficiency may alleviate PLMD and restore restful sleep. If no underlying condition is uncovered, our specialists will find the best methods for relieving your symptoms, which may include certain medications and good sleep hygiene practices such as not consuming caffeine or alcohol.

Rated a Top Hospital for Sleep Disorders by Philadelphia magazine, the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center was the first such program in the Philadelphia area and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.