Leg cramps while sleeping
Leg cramps are considered harmless where the muscles in the leg suddenly become tight and painful. These usually occur in the calf muscles but also affect any part of the leg, feet and thighs. After cramping, there is pain and tenderness in the leg for several hours.
Causes of cramps in legs while sleeping
- Dehydration can cause leg cramps
- Deficiencies in essential vitamins
- Painful cramping of the legs can be caused by overexertion during exercise and profuse sweating.
- Low blood sugar level
- Taking water pills that cause the level of potassium in the body to become low.
- Taking medications for blood pressure particularly channel blockers since these can sometimes cause cramping of the legs.
Treatment and home remedies for leg cramps
- Apply a warm compress, hot water bottle or an electric heating pad to the affected area in order to help relax and loosen up the muscles, thus minimizing the discomfort caused by the cramps.
- Massage the affected leg using VapoRub since it helps in minimizing the cramps.
- Eating foods rich in potassium and calcium content such as bananas, fish, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and broccoli.
- Eat fruits that are rich in water content such as watermelons and pineapple
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day
- Minimize the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
- Take vitamin E and Vitamin B-complex supplements and avoid taking medications or change the medication that causes cramps.
- Perform stretching exercises to help with the proper circulation of blood in the affected legs.
- Maintain physical activities such as a morning walk, hot baths, massage, yoga and meditation.
- Stretch the affected area very slowly, but avoid overdoing it.
- Wear shoes during waking hours that provide proper support for the feet and ankles.
- If pregnant, take magnesium supplements since these helps in the normal functioning of the body.
- Avoid using tight bed sheets in order to avoid unconsciously pointing the toes downward while sleeping. Take note that this movement can cause cramps in legs.
- Using Brewer’s yeast helps in improving the blood circulation in the legs by providing additional vitamin B. The individual should take at least one tablespoon of Brewer’s yeast every day.
- Take the prescribed pain medications such as acetaminophen to help in minimizing the pain.
Some tips in preventing leg cramps at night
- Keep the body well hydrated by drinking water and other liquids throughout the day. This will helps the muscles contract and relax easily. Replenish the fluids when engaging in strenuous activities and continue drinking water after being active.
- Perform stretching exercises before going to bed.
- Perform light exercises such as riding a stationary bike for a few minutes before bedtime in order to prevent leg cramps while sleeping.