Q When I go to sleep at night, I sometimes find that my legs twitch, especially I am dozing off. Is this normal ?

Malcolm, 46

A These twitches or jerks often do not represent any underlying disease and are common in the state between being awake and fully asleep. They can happen in up to three quarters of individuals, without any recollection the next morning. Sometimes they may be a sign of stress or anxiety. However if the twitches disturb your sleep, you may be diagnosed as having restless legs syndrome, for which there is treatment. Any involuntary jerking or twitching during the day, while you are fully awake, should prompt you to you see your regular doctor.

Q My disabled wife recently went into respite care for a week, but she hated it and I felt awful so I took her out. But I’m exhausted and even with carers four times a day I can’t cope. What can I do?

Neville, 78

A The decision to place a loved one in an alternate setting can be a very emotional subject, sometimes associated with you feeling that you have failed that person in some manner.

This may be particularly so if you have been together a long time.

However, it is a common observation that carers often burn out in their role and even die, and the person they cared for then has no option but to a nursing home.

However, given that you feel you can no longer cope, I would suggest perhaps a longer trial that just a week.

It will certainly take time to readjust, but actually may improve your relationship, and allow you a much needed rest.

If you have a question for Dr Zak, you can email him at askdoctorzak@gmail.com, see his website doctorzak.co.uk or find him on Twitter @AskDoctorZak

Dr Uddin’s advice is provided in good faith and in accordance with currently accepted evidence.

However, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

You should always seek the advice of a GP, or other qualified health provider, regarding a medical condition.