I'm to blame?

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I'm to blame?

Post by Sunfish »


I am new here and very depressed over being blamed for being a light sleeper. My husband has RLS. His violent movement during the night have driven me out of the bed and he is very upset with me. We have gone through three mattress changes, including buying a split California King frame. The split king frame helped. I use completely separate twin sheet sets but have a king size blanket. Even with these changes the violence and the sound of his thrashing has driven me (again) out of our bed. One night it sounded like a car door slamming (4 times in succession) that woke me up. I am now am sleeping in the guest bedroom. He is upset with me that I have left our bed, but I need to get a good night sleep. Since leaving our bed I have been sleeping like a rock. Also, I was the one taking sleep aids, and we have seen a counselor about his. Still, my husband refuses to take anything or believe he is the one causing the problems. He blames me for being a light sleeper. Now I am the one going in for sleep studies. I am really down.

I am very sad.

Anyone else having issues like this?

Thank you,

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Re: I'm to blame?

Post by stjohnh »

Hi Sunfish,
Welcome to the RLS forum community, you will find lots of people here who understand and have similar problems. I'm sorry your husband's leg problems are causing so much difficulty.

There are two separate but related leg jumping problems: RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) and PLMS (Periodic Leg Movements of Sleep). RLS is a strong desire to move the legs WHILE AWAKE, usually in the evening, occurring at rest, and made better by getting up and walking around. PLMS is a jerky kicking motion of the legs that occurs ONLY WHILE ASLEEP. RLS causes lots of problems for the person who has the disease. PLMS causes lots of problems for the bed partner (you). Most people with PLMS are not aware they have this problem, and I suspect that is the case with your husband.

There are medicines that help PLMS, but it must be first diagnosed. A doctor can suspect it based on the description of the bed partner, but definite diagnosis requires a sleep study. If your husband doesn't think he has a problem, it would be best if you can go with him to his doctor and you three discuss it together.

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Re: I'm to blame?

Post by Rustsmith »

Sunfish, welcome to the group.

Most of us are in the position of your husband, but unlike him we not only accept responsibility for being the "active" one at night but we also worry about bothering our spouse. Many have taken the step of moving to another room, but in our case it is to be able to get up at all hours or so that we don't need to worry about waking our loved ones.

For me and my wife, we took the step that you are using with the California King. She says that this has resolved the problem most of the time. But she is a sound sleeper. As a result, my primary concern now is when my movements become so violent that I actually strike her. This doesn't happen very often, but it really bothers me when it does. Fortunately, I haven't done anything that did more than simply wake her up.

So for you, has your husband had a sleep study performed? One of the measures in a study is the frequency of movements. There is also a condition called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder that might be diagnosed. With REM SBD, the person tends to act out some of the things that they are dreaming about. Obviously this can be dangerous to others in the room as well as the sleeper when it involves vivid or violent dreams. As far as I know, the only treatment for REM SBD involves things such as removing things from the room that could cause injury to the sleeper. There are also a couple of medications that can be taken to help, but there can be issues with compatibility with some RLS meds.

So, the next step should be for him to visit with his doctor to discuss how to address the issue, but it testing or additional medication.

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

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Re: I'm to blame?

Post by debbluebird »

If he won't have a sleep study. Get a camera, filming him at night. My husband requested separate beds for us. Plus his sleep isn't great either. We are much happier in separate beds and rooms, besides it's only for sleep.
I get leg jerks, and I can get them while awake or while sleeping. Mine come from pinched nerves in my back. I recently had surgery and they are getting better.
Good luck.

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Re: I'm to blame?

Post by badnights »

Just in case it's not clear from everyone else's replies, you're not to blame :)

Your husband probably has no idea that he is at all disruptive, let alone as bad as you describe; deb's suggestion to film him at night might be the only way to convince him. But also, if he would agree to allow you to a doctor's appointment with him, that's also a good idea. He might be open to listening to a figure of authority.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

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