Symptoms of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Medically Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on October 24, 2019

The most common symptoms noted by people with periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD, are not leg movements but poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Many people with PLMD are unaware of their leg movements unless their bed partner tells them. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Leg movements that involve one or both limbs.
  • Typically the knee, ankle, and big toe joints all bend as part of the movements.
  • The movements vary from slight to strenuous and wild kicking and thrashing.
  • The movements last about two seconds (and thus are much slower than the leg jerks of myoclonus).
  • The movements are rhythmic and repetitive and occur every 20-40 seconds.