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lorri214
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Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby lorri214 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:17 pm

Does anyone out there have restless legs and sleep apnea? I have both. I just found out I had sleep apnea. My dr. kept telling me to go for a sleep study, but I refused thinking I only have restless legs. Well, finally I got desperate and went for the sleep study. Well, lo and behold, I had sleep apnea. I stopped breathing 50 times in an hour. I couldn't believe it. I was wondering if anyone with both conditions have also found relief for their restless legs. My dr. seems to think the CPAP will help. I just got the CPAP yesterday, and I know I have to give it some time before it works. But I am determined that the CPAP will work. I want to be alert during the day instead of exhausted. I am new to this site, but it seems like there are a lot of success stories out there. I hope one day to be one of them!!!

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby Lila919 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:24 pm

I had PLM (periodic limb movement) which is related or a variant of restless leg syndrome. Totally gone (as far as I know) with CPAP usage.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby dave21 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:42 pm

Hi Lorri214,

As luck would have it (or not in my case) I do suffer from Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea as well as Restless Legs Syndrome.

Unfortunately RLS is another beast and won't be treated by CPAP. There have been some suggestions that RLS is linked to Sleep Apnea or caused by Sleep Apnea but for the most part they think it's linked due to sugar inbalance and obesity.

My RLS gets worse in summer months when my brain/body chemistry changes when it's more warmer but I can also have really bad Restless Legs symptoms if I drink alcohol, too much caffeine, eat too much salt and worst of all if I drink diet drinks, e.g. diet coke. Only 1x diet coke or diet soda will set my legs going. Sometimes I get it in my arms too. No fun eh? If I stay off any products that have alcohol, caffeine, or any products that have artificial sugars like NutraSweet (Aspartame) and Sucralose (Splenda), Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure and Canderel then I get very mild if not any suffering.

Thanks
Dave

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby fiberfan on Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:18 pm

I don't have sleep apnea - I started cpap last week to treat RERAs (respiratory effort related arousals) and have RLS. I respond badly to the parkinsons meds often used for RLS, even at the low RLS doses. 4 sleep studies in 7 years all showed PLMD which I likely had since childhood. Until 15 years ago I slept soundly and rested well even with the PLMD. RLS is much newer, diagnosed ~7 years ago after other sleep problems had already messed up sleep quality. There are a couple of things I have found that help, sufficient iron and magnesium. A hematocric test isn't enough when you have RLS, the test needs to be for ferritin levels. There are cases of people with RLS that is caused by low iron and cured by the addition of iron. I don't tolerate iron supplements so I get weekly iron shots. A 'normal' dose of magnesium is often helpful, my body requires a higher dose that I take under the supervision of a naturopath.

I have moved some daily meds from evening to morning after finding they make my RLS worse. I have twice changed antihistamines because taking it anytime made RLS worse. Caffeine really makes my RLS worse, after noticing that the days I drank a diet cola my RLS was much worse I stopped drinking diet cola (I already didn't drink coffee or tea). I haven't noticed other foods that make my RLS worse.

I have found that some shoes will make my RLS worse and gentle movement of the calves will often make it better. On nights my RLS prevents even sitting still, the gentle treadle action of my spinning wheel is very helpful to calm the legs down. Spinning yarn is usually very relaxing so it calms the legs and relaxes me - a perfect combination when RLS is keeping me awake.

2 interesting temp things about my RLS. Cold feet and heat on the calves makes my RLS worse. I gave up sleeping with an electric blanket after I figured out the warmth on calves connection. To keep my feet warm I sleep with socks year round, they are just as important in the summer since air-conditioning can create colder floors.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby kteague on Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:57 pm

I have OSA and RLS, as well as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), also called Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS). Having periodic limb movements noted on a sleep study may not mean one has PLMD. If limb movements are related to the struggle to breath, they may resolve with cpap use. If they are from PLMD, they may even worsen with cpap use and the resultant sleepiness can mislead one to think their cpap is not helping them. There's so much individuality in these things it is not a predictable science. It's more of a wait and see. Hopefully there is someone who can observe you sleeping and give you an idea how restlessly you sleep once you get used to cpap. Or maybe you'll know. I'm not a good person to say if RLS can be helped by cpap because mine is still bad, even with meds. Others may have had better results.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby Patrick A on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:09 am

My wife said that before I started on C-PAP therapy I used to move and kick all night. Since I have been on C-PAP a little less than 5 years now I sleep flat on my back 98% of the time once in awhile I will sleep on my side. I have read both of my sleep study reports and have not seen any mention of RLS, but my wife says I used to kick like a mule at night. So go figure.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby dave21 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:28 am

fiberfan wrote:I respond badly to the parkinsons meds often used for RLS, even at the low RLS doses. 4 sleep studies in 7 years all showed PLMD which I likely had since childhood. Until 15 years ago I slept soundly and rested well even with the PLMD.

Same here, I just can't hack the meds. I've gone through about 5x different Parkinson meds, each one has either left me feeling stoned and so dazed that I couldn't even think about driving my car and even walking or speaking and keeping awake is hard enough, or they've helped for a small period of time <1 month to reduce the RLS feelings and then I've become immune to the drug so it then starts to either not help or even worse I find that my RLS symptoms shift more from the night to the day which makes it even worse especially when I'm at work.

fiberfan wrote:I have moved some daily meds from evening to morning after finding they make my RLS worse. I have twice changed antihistamines because taking it anytime made RLS worse. Caffeine really makes my RLS worse, after noticing that the days I drank a diet cola my RLS was much worse I stopped drinking diet cola (I already didn't drink coffee or tea). I haven't noticed other foods that make my RLS worse.

The first thing I did was stop drinking anything diet, that really helped. The problem was I was going through a massive diet stage and shed 42 pounds and fizzy drinks were helping to fill me up to the point it stopped me eating. I started getting really bad RLS back around Christmas time last year and I started looking at the ingredients lists and I was shocked to find one day whilst in the supermarket looking at every single can of drink in on the shelves that was not a diet one it had some kind of nutrasweet in it now (aspertame). The only one that didn't was 7 Up. I'm partial to a soda now and again so I'm now restricted to regular 7 Up.

fiberfan wrote:I have found that some shoes will make my RLS worse and gentle movement of the calves will often make it better.

I find any kind of footwear doesn't help so when I'm at home, shoes or any footwear comes off. Kind of "my place" so I'll relax how I want.

If I am suffering badly from RLS any night I try not to go to bed straight away as I know I'll be kicking the duvet cover and twisting and turning and it'll keep me up until it stops.

I find getting up and stretching, or if you're in a recliner chair, stretching your whole calves help but stretch to heel and not to toe otherwise you can easily create cramps in your calves.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby rheumrn on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:30 pm

I have severe sleep apnea and RLS. I didn't want to try any of the RLS drugs so I tried Calcium plus Vitamin D at bedtime as well as 2 capsules of Doctor's Best Enhanced L-tryptophan 1 hour before bedtime. You cannot eat any protein foods for one hour before taking the DB L-tryptophan because the protein interferes with the supplement's effects. I have less RLS symptoms and better sleep since taking these supplements for the past two months.

Here is some info about the DB L-tryptophan:
"Best L-Tryptophan products contain Ajinomoto TryptoPure™. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid readily converted by the body to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Able to cross the blood-brain barrier, L-tryptophan is altered by enzymes to first form the intermediate amino acid 5-HTP and then serotonin. It is also the metabolic precursor to melatonin and to the B vitamin niacin. Supplementing the diet with pure L-tryptophan like TryptoPure™, found in Doctor’s Best L-Tryptophan products, can improve sleep and enhance mood, and may also be beneficial in reducing carbohydrate cravings. *

Suggested Use: Take 1 or 2 capsules daily. For optimum absorption, take separately from protein-containing foods and dietary supplements containing protein or amino acids.

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Servings per container: 90 servings
Amount per serving % DV

Niacin (as Niacinamide) 20 mg 100%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vitamin B6 10mg 500%
(from 17.6 mg pyridoxal 5-phosphate)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ajinomoto L-Tryptophan (TryptoPure™) 500 mg †
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


† Daily Value not established.

Other ingredients: Vegetable capsule, cellulose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), silicon dioxide."

Hope this helps!

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby dave21 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:01 pm

I'll give it a try, thanks.

For me it doesn't disturb my sleep, it just disturbs me getting off to sleep, but for the most part it comes on strong around 8pm at night. In the warmer hotter months I find it comes on strong around 5:30/6pm and that's much worse as you suffer for longer. Some nights I'm RLS free or free enough for it to not bother me that much.

Tonight it's raging again, stress levels are much higher today, also had double the salt intake that I should have had and a 7up that they swear blind doesn't contain Aspertame on the ingredients but I always find it still aggrevates my RLS - although some days I can tolerate it fine, usually I stick to 1x 7UP a day or a fruit juice, but today I think it's all combined and it's got a head of me again :(

I think it'll be a rocky night to get to sleep tonight tossing and turning, kicking the duvet off :(

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby ecocyber on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:25 pm

I have both RLS and Complex Sleep Apnea. I am still working with my sleep doc to dial in the SV device (still experiencing AHI's above 25, but down from 70+). For the RLS, I have found that a drug called Lyrica works best for me. In addition to the RLS, I also get burning pain sensations in my legs and the Lyrica works best on both things. Only downside to Lyrica is it makes you sleepy during the day, and it increases your appetite at first! Watch what you eat and how often.....it is the Lyrica wanting you to eat more than you need.

Best wishes to everyone with RLS.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby fiberfan on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:29 pm

dave21 wrote:I'll give it a try, thanks.
a 7up that they swear blind doesn't contain Aspertame on the ingredients but I always find it still aggrevates my RLS

I suggest you look at other ingredients for something that may be aggravating your RLS. The last 2 meds I moved to morning I only discovered they were triggering RLS when I took them separately from other night time meds.

Hope your legs aren't too crazy tonight.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby dave21 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:39 pm

I've tried 4x different Med's, and I found the first 3x made me very tired wanting to go to sleep early evening and very spaced out to the point I couldn't drive but after several weeks my body / brain seemed to become accustomed to them and with that the effects of the drug wore off but stopped giving me relief from RLS. The 4th one I tried actually worked for about 6 months which was really good but then I started to get really bad augmentation and it was getting worse in the day plus I was getting it in my left arm. It got so bad to the point that I was dropping glasses of water on desks in the office.

At that point I realised that because I was on a heavy diet I was drinkign more fizzy soft drinks to fill me up and also having more salads (and with that more salt intake). These were the two main causes I found to cause problems with my RLS.

After charting this I also noticed (like most doctors and websites suggest) that alcohol will also increase it as well as stress. I was suffering from all of these and it was making my RLS worse, so I cut back on the salt intake, switched to drinking carbinated water or regular water (and lots of it), kept off the alcohol and realised that I could control my RLS much better than with any of the prescribed drugs I was taking.

Since then I've gone 2 years with being able to cope more with the RLS than I had been vs when I was taking the drugs. When taking the drugs I felt like such a zombie.

fiberfan wrote:Hope your legs aren't too crazy tonight.

Thanks, they're still going crazy unfortunately but settled down a bit since I've been doing some leg stretching. Hopefully they'll be reduced soon before bed :)

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby meusion on Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:04 pm

I have both Has the doctor checked your ferritin (sp?) levels. I am currently taking an iron supplement for Periodic limb movements because my ferriten levels were so low.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby dave21 on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:15 am

Before going on the first medication they did do several complete blood workouts and everything came back fine.

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Re: Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Postby lorri214 on Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:01 am

Thank you all for your replies. I have tried it all over the years. I have had RLS over 30 years. I am currently taking requip and oxycodene. The oxycodene works better than the requip I think. My dr. is trying to get the RLS under control. Last night was my 4th night on the CPAP, and it is not so great yet. I sleep worse with the CPAP than before I had it. I can't even leave it on all night. I was expecting more and I know sometimes you have to wait a while for better results. I need sleep!!!

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