CPAP For RLS Yet No Apnea

Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for RLS/WED (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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CPAP For RLS Yet No Apnea

Post by Precise »

You may have seen my oxygen hypothesis here:


In addition, I've experienced some relief from deep breathing. Then recently I observed that if I drowse in my recliner (which I also spend the night in) my limb pain is low. But if I fall asleep I have severe limb pain in 10 to 20 minutes. My wife has observed me sleeping and says I don't have apnea, but perhaps some obstruction is worse when I'm asleep.

With that in mind, I bought a CPAP machine. But I couldn't get accustomed to it because exhaling was difficult even at maximum exhale help. I'm scheduled to soon test bi-level BIPAP machines, which helps even more with exhale.

Perhaps I should wait a few months until I have more to report. But I'd like to know if anyone else (who doesn't have apnea) has tried CPAP or BIPAP for RLS.

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Re: CPAP For RLS Yet No Apnea

Post by Rustsmith »

I have a mild form of sleep apena called UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome). I do not have the oxygen desaturation associated with sleep apnea but my small jaw allows for occasional blockage that causes arousals. Most sleep doctors (and the insurance companies) do not recommend CPAP for UARS but I have been using one for about 3 yrs now. About the only effect of using the CPAP that I can see is that my wife reports that it has stopped my mild snoring. It has been of no benefit to my RLS.

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Re: CPAP For RLS Yet No Apnea

Post by ViewsAskew »

Interestingly, doctors do say that there are movements in sleep - they say these are PLMS - that do go away for many who then use some type of PAP machine. My husband has very mild RLS - in that is happens infrequently and is usually gone in 10-20 minutes with some type of exercise - and had mild PLMS. I notice that his PLMS does decrease when using his PAP (currently BIPAP).

Most people use their PAP machine after the RLS is under control, though, because you don't usually try to sleep until the movements are calmed.
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Re: CPAP For RLS Yet No Apnea

Post by sleepdancer2 »

I use a bi-level cpap machine, but I do have sleep apnea. I have heard of people using cpap just because they prefer breathing filtered air at night as it helps their allergies. As far as for getting more oxygen, have you tested your oxygen levels overnight, either through a lab supplied monitor or a self purchased oximeter that records overnight and found your oxygen levels to be low during sleep? Since it's only room air, I can't imagine how it would be a benefit to someone whose breathing is not compromised. Have you had an overnight sleep study in a lab to determine how much of a role limb movements pay in your sleep issues?

I frequent a sleep apnea forum, and it seems the effect of cpap on limb movements is diverse in reported benefits. Some limb movements are improved. I don't know if it can be definitively determined if that's due to improved oxygen levels or simply because the body didn't need to move struggling to breathe. Usually a sleep study can identify which movements are related to respiratory effort. My periodic limb movements worsened with cpap treatment. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say resolving my breathing irregularities allowed me more sleep which provided more opportunity for PLMD movements to manifest. The hard thing about all this RLS and PLMD stuff is that sometimes it's like trying to shoot a moving target blindfolded. If you have had a sleep study, I'd be interested in hearing what the report says. Best wishes with your efforts to find answers.
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