Periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS), such as bending at the hips or knees or kicking, can sometimes suddenly awaken people with MS. Other times, the symptoms of PLMS are not so obvious. They can occur as a tiny bending or flexing of a toe, and the person might not notice the sleep disruption. Sometimes muscle spasms or the need to urinate frequently at night can also interrupt sleep.
If you have a spouse or partner, and suspect that PLMS or muscle spasms are disrupting your sleep, try asking the person who shares your bedroom if any movements were noticed. Bed-mates are often aware of nighttime disturbances, which can affect both people during the night.
If you are concerned about PLMS, talk to your doctor or specialist – there are effective treatments available.
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Sleep specialists – psychiatrists, psychologists, and neurologists who specialize in sleep disorders – can offer you further resources and support. If your MS symptoms are fairly under control, and self-help hasn't worked, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist.
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