Periodic limb movements are a special type of movement where muscles move in an involuntary, repetitive, twitch-like pattern. Periodic limb movements can occur while awake or asleep, with periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) being by far the most common form.
Some people hardly move in their sleep, while others move more than 100 times per hour. Frequent sleep movements can disrupt both your own sleep and the sleep of your partner. On average, PLMS happen about 13 times per hour. However, in some cases this frequency can be much higher, causing severe sleep disruption.
Take this test to find out whether you are more likely to experience higher than average PLMS.
Several factors can influence your susceptibility to increased PLMS. Age is one such factor, where those over 60 are much more likely to experience more movement during sleep. Studies show that alcohol (>2 drinks) is associated with increased sleep movement, as well as medications, such as antidepressants, and a diet low in iron. Genetic variants in several genes, including BTBD9, TOX3, MEIS1, MAP2K5 and PTPRD, are also linked to sleep movement.
This test looks at one variant in the BTBD9 gene, which gives instructions to make the BTB domain containing 9 protein. People who inherit two copies of the BTBD9 variant are much more likely to experience more frequent limb movements (13-18 per hour) during their sleep.
Ways to Improve Your Sleep
Good sleep is essential for the body. You can try the following methods to increase your sleep quality and to reduce sleep movements:
- Avoid screens later in the day
- Reduce caffeine intake after lunch
- Exercise regularly
- Increase bright light exposure during the day to set your sleep-awake cycles
- Follow a good sleep schedule
- Set up optimal sleeping conditions with black out curtains, comfortable bed etc.
- Consider melatonin supplements to set your circadian rhythms
How It Works
Step 1: Sign up for a free DNA Access account.
Step 2: Upload your DNA markers to DNA Access.
Step 3: Log in to your account to access your results when they are ready.