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Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) are prevalent disorders in the general population. RLS is a clinical diagnosis and is based on the patient's description. Diagnostic criteria and clinical characteristics of the disorder were outlined by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group in 1995. RLS is often considered to be a disease of middle to older age. However, the onset of RLS symptoms during childhood is commonly reported retrospectively by adult patients. Patients with sporadic or only mild RLS symptoms without significant impairment in daily life do not need pharmacological treatment. RLS symptoms do not lead to life-threatening complications but they usually persist chronically and therefore impair the patient's quality of life to a large extent. Other simple sleep-related movement disorders include hypnagogic foot tremor (HFT) and alternating leg muscle activation (ALMA).
This chapter examines the existing evidence relating reduced sleep duration and quality, as occurs in a majority of older adults, and the epidemic of diabesity. Blood levels of glucose are tightly regulated within a narrow range to avoid hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia as both conditions have serious adverse consequences. The release of growth hormone (GH) during early sleep contributes to prevent the decline of glucose levels. There is increasing evidence that age-related alterations in sleep quality may result in disturbances of endocrine function, raising the hypothesis that some of the hormonal and metabolic hallmarks of aging partly reflect the deterioration of sleep quality. Glucose regulation was assessed by intravenous glucose tolerance test (ivGTT) at the end of each of the two conditions, after two consecutive nights of undisturbed baseline sleep, and after three nights of suppression of slow wave sleep (SWS).