Nocturnal leg cramps are something that many people experience. They are involuntary contractions of the calf, thigh, and feet muscles. They can be very painful and differ from restless leg syndrome. RLS isn’t as painful and it allows you to move your legs while nocturnal leg cramps last from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes and you aren’t able to move your leg.
There are many kinds of research about nocturnal leg cramps and there are more problems that cause them such as potassium, calcium, iodine, magnesium deficiency, dehydration, pregnancy, etc.
Here are a few tips that can help you to reduce these cramps:
Tips to fix and prevent leg cramping at night:
- Drink a lot of water and other healthy fluids in order to prevent dehydration.
- The consumption of sports drinks with electrolytes can also prevent the problem
- Avoid alcohol, coffee and soda beverages that can only increase the risk of cramping
- If you experience a cramp, massage the muscle with your hands for 10-15 minutes
- Always stretch your leg muscles before going to sleep. This will ease muscle tension and reduce the risk of having a cramp while sleeping. According to a 2012 study, stretching before going to bed can reduce the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in adults
- You can also ride your stationary bicycle for 10 minutes before going to bed
- Make sure to keep bed sheets and blankets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted
- Adding more magnesium to your diet can be beneficial as well. Nuts and seeds have a rich content of magnesium. However, pregnant women are not recommended to take magnesium supplements and should consult a doctor
- Walking or jiggling the leg after a cramp sends a signal to the brain that our muscle needs to contract and relax. This can speed up the recovery
- Try to include enough potassium in your diet. Dates, bananas, grapes, broccoli, fish, pork, lamb, oranges, grapefruit, cabbage, and apricots are excellent sources of potassium
- Applying a hot compress to the cramped muscle can relax and loosen it up, which in turn will relieve the cramp.