Leg Cramps At Night: 8 Simple But Effective Tips That Can Help Relieve And Prevent Them

November 5, 2019 14:46

Most of us know all too well what nocturnal leg cramps are. You've probably experienced that terrible pain and had a leg cramp that woke you up in the middle of the night, right? Or maybe you experience leg cramps at night regularly and you want to know how to treat them? Actually, your legs may cramp while you sleep for many different reasons, but there are effective ways to relieve them. Moreover, you can prevent nocturnal leg cramps from happening in the future.

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How to relieve and prevent nighttime leg cramps

Here's what you can do to get rid of these annoying leg cramps at hight.

1. Massage your legs.

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Massaging the muscles can help bring back a normal sensation to your leg. Massage is a great way to stimulate circulation. You can also add a warming ointment for the best effect.

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2. Stretch regularly.

Stretching can relieve cramps and prevent them from happening. Stretch your muscles regularly and you will see the changes. Here's one of the stretches recommended by Cleveland Clinic:

  • put your palms on the wall while standing straight with your arms stretched out;
  • step back with the affected leg;
  • lean forward on the other leg with your palms pressed against the wall.
  • repeat the stretch a few times.

3. Nocturnal cramps can be caused by dehydration, so drink enough water.

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Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps. Optimal fluid intake is different for every individual, but you should drink enough plain water throughout the day, not just tea, coffee, juice, and other drinks.

4. Use a heating pad.

You can use a heating pad or simply a bottle of hot water wrapped in a towel to smooth muscle cramps. It works like magic as heat stimulates circulation in your legs and improve cramping.

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5. Cold compresses can also help.

Put an ice pack on the affected area to relieve pain. Use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, if you don't have an ice pack. This method will help to ease pain but remember don't hold the compress for longer than 10 minutes.

6. Add exercises into your daily routine.

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Don't try too hard, add exercises gradually. If you have started exercising recently, don't overdo it, as straining your muscles can lead to cramps. Do some stretching before the main exercise routine.

7. Change your diet.

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Muscle cramps can be caused by a lack of certain nutrients in your diet. If there's an imbalance of electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium) in your body, you're likely to have leg cramps. Eat a diverse diet that includes various fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products.

8. Change your shoes.

Your shoes may be one of the reasons behind the painful nocturnal leg cramps. Wear comfortable shoes with proper arch support.

These self-care tips and tricks work well in most cases, but they may not be enough if your leg cramps are severe or they are caused by serious health conditions. If these recommendations don't help, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

READ ALSO: Leg Cramps: 6 Tips That May Help Avoid Them

This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.