Newbie - is there a connection between RLS and obstructive sleep apnoea?

Hi - I'm new here after just watching the documentary on RLS. It's prompted me to seek more information about the condition. I am on CPAP for severe OSA and wonder if anyone has found a link between RSA and OSA?

I'm compliant with using CPAP but am increasingly suffering from RLS when I sit in the evenings and find the symptoms reduce when I distract myself by getting up and doing something different.

I'm Notts due to go to sleep clinic (Papworth) for over a year and wonder if it's worth contacting them or if I see my GP first?

3 Replies

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  • I can't see why it would effect the RLS. The culprit is more likely to be other medications or food stuffs.

    Are you currently taking any anti-histamines, antidepressants or any other drugs which might be causing things to worsen. Light exercise has been shown to help too so maybe if you are more sedentary it may be having an impact. Are you taking any drugs to treat the RLS?

    Like most of us you've fond distraction helps so I can't help but think if you are lying there with the mask are you starting to turn your mind towards RLS and therefore becoming more aware of the symptoms?

    My father has both but the apnoea appeared AFTER the RLS had been there for years.

    Hope you get answers soon.

    Take care

    Oh and welcome - check out the search function and learn about Augmentation, diet, Gentle Iron, Magnesium and drugs used to treat RLS - there is a great wealth of info here.

  • According to this article I read, there is a link between OSA and PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. I have been diagnosed with OSA and RLS and just found out that I also have PLMD. And are not RLS and PLMD kissing cousins? After watching that RLS Documentary, the PLMD scares the life out me. My movement index is 48 which according to the scale is 2 away from being severe. I do not want to end up like that guy in the documentary, with the broken bones and impairment. My memory already sux, if it gets worse, someone will will put me up for sure.

    Sorry kinda went off on a personal tangent there. What I was saying was, according to the article treating OSA seems to trigger PLMD.

    Have a look and see what you get from it:

    jpgmonline.com/article.asp?...

  • For what it's worth, I had a similar issue, but the other way round. Having not been taken seriously by GPs, I was desperate enough a few years ago to go to a private "sleep specialist" about RLS. He almost immediately "diagnosed" me with OSA and sold me a CPAP machine which I couldn't get used to at all - it stopped me getting off to sleep which then brought on my RLS! So I discontinued the CPAP and went to see somebody else instead. I would hope that you're sufficiently used to the CPAP for that not of itself to be a problem but it does sound like you should talk to somebody about the RLS. Good luck.

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