a disheveled bedroom with a tornado swirling pillows and blankets around the bed

More Than Just Kicking

From childhood even through adulthood I was never a peaceful sleeper you could say. It did not matter how tightly I tucked my covers in; by morning, it would look as if a storm had blown through.

My pillows, comforter, and sheets would all be in complete disarray - if they were even still on my bed at all. I would always just say I was a “rough sleeper.”

Discovery during my college days

Over the years, this has become normal to me. That is, until college.

Most mornings, I would at least straighten up my bed before running off to class. My roommate would often go home on the weekends. My dorm was in an older building, and it creaked and made odd sounds like most old buildings, so I would usually end up staying with my boyfriend instead of staying there alone.

Wait, this isn't normal?

I remember the morning after the first night we stayed together. When I finally woke up - like 2 hours after he did, he asked me with a concerned look on his face, “Are you okay?” I was caught off guard and didn’t know what he meant. “Yeah, why?” I questioned. As he glanced at the mess of the bed, he began to ask if I always tossed and turned like that.

Apparently, he thought I was having some kind of nightmare. But to me, this was completely normal. It would take a lot of adjusting for me to get comfortable for the night and my moving throughout the night would make a mess of my covers, with them sometimes even ending up on the floor.

Moving constantly during the night

It amazed me that some people really do climb in bed, go to sleep, and don’t create a disaster of their sheets by morning. This blew my mind. I always would toss and turn as I went to sleep.

I just never seemed to be able to get comfortable and would move and squirm around throughout the night. Overtime he too got used to my movement during the night.

Talking to a sleep specialist

It wasn’t until about 8 years later that the cause of this came into question. I had been referred to a sleep specialist due to my constant daytime sleepiness and sleep issues I was struggling with at night. Sitting in my sleep specialist’s office for the first time, she began to ask me a series of questions.

First, asking me if I ever snored, woke up gasping, or anything like that. I don’t remember any of those being an issue. But next, she asked if I ever had an overwhelming urge to move my legs. “Yeah, I always have a time getting comfortable at night or when I wake up throughout the night,” I explained.

After a series of questions she paused. “Well first off you have restless legs syndrome," she stated. “But you also may have narcolepsy,” she added.

Restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy?

It took me a minute to process not just one but both statements. Restless legs syndrome? I knew I moved during the night, but I didn’t know it was an actual sleep disorder. But then, on top of that, I may have another sleep disorder? My head was spinning.

I began treatment for restless legs syndrome including a medication I took at night. It was our hope that we could get this under control prior to my sleep study so we could conclude if restless legs syndrome was my only issue or if I had both restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.

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