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Why does my body move uncontrollably during sleep?

Q: I am a 43 years old male and experience uncontrollable body movementswhile sleeping. Do I get seizures during sleep? This is causing a lot of emotional problems. How should I stop it?

A:Body movements are known to occur during sleep. These occur primarily when the person is falling asleep or when he is about to wake up. During sleep, there are two stages called rapid eye movement stage (REM) and non rapid eye movement (NREM) stage. In the former, rapid eye movements occur although the body becomes very loose (due to decrease in muscle tone). In the second type, there is no eye movement. These stages alternate with each other. Many movements can occur during these stages. Some of these are physiological but some may be pathological. Exclusive nocturnal seizures (fits) are relatively uncommon. Another common problem is called restless leg syndrome in which the patient tosses and turns in the bed (especially shakes his lower limbs) and is unable to get good sleep. These conditions can be diagnosed by detailed clinical history, examination and a test called sleep EEG. Therefore, please get yourself checked by a good neurologist.


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