Nocturnal Myoclonus or Sleep Movement
Nocturnal myoclonus is a disorder that unleashes the tendency of moving the legs, or sometimes arms. It appears whenever the person in cause is resting or sleeping. This type of sleep movement also unleashes involuntary movement of the legs when the patient is not sleeping. Sleep movement can also be associated to other medical diseases, such as anemia, renal dysfunctions, disorders of the thyroid gland, the Parkinson’s disease or even alcoholism.
Symptoms of Nocturnal myoclonus
- Intense desire of leg movement;
- Uncomfortable sensation at the legs level;
- Sleeping disorders and problems falling asleep;
- Spasmodic, involuntary moves of the legs which appear during the night;
Causes of Nocturnal myoclonus
It is believed that a possible cause of nocturnal myoclonus would be the perturbation of a chemical substance released in the cerebral level, called dopamine. It has the role of movement coordination. The level of dopamine decreases at night, thus the explanation of the sleep movement.
Another cause of nocturnal myoclonus can be the iron deficiency, which also contributes to the release of dopamine. Sleep movement syndrome has been divided in two types:
- The first type of nocturnal myoclonus is considered to appear at any certain age. It frequently appears when the patient is still young, but it can also appear after approaching the age of 50.
- The second type of nocturnal myoclonus appears as a complication of several diseases:
- Chronic renal insufficiency;
- Chronic alcoholism.
There are also some pills which can contribute to complicate the symptoms such as: antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-hypertension or those prescribed for heart conditions, allergy treatment and tranquilizers.
Treatment of nocturnal myoclonus – there is a series of measures which can be taken in order to overcome sleep movement disorder (nocturnal myoclonus):
Changing the lifestyle :
- Avoiding substances like alcohol, nicotine, coffee;
- No smoking;
- Following a regular exercising program during the day, not before you go to bed;
- Following a sleeping pattern, respecting the sleeping hours daily, no naps during the day, avoiding stimulating substances such as caffeine;
- Avoiding drugs which can trigger sleep movement symptoms or even worsen them.
- Massaging the legs;
- Taking a hot bath in the evening;
- Reading or watching TV in order to distract one’s attention
- Assuring a quiet and calm place to sleep;
- Avoiding big meals before going to bed.