Periodic limb movements or nocturnal myoclonus are episodes of repetitive muscle movements such as brief muscle twitches, jerking movements or an upward flexing of the lower extremities, consisting of extension of the big toe and flexion of the ankle that occur in regular intervals of 5 to 90 seconds most frequently in light non-REM sleep. These movements may be associated with night time arousal and cause fragmented sleep.
PLMD as a contributing factor in chronic insomnia and/or daytime fatigue because they may cause awakenings during the night. The prevalence of PLMD is estimated to be 4-11% in adults.
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