How to reduce nocturnal leg cramps
If you’ve suffered leg cramps, you’ll know how painful these episodes can be. Spasms like this are a common condition and they occur when the muscles in your leg suddenly become tight and painful. It most commonly affects the calf muscles, but it can occur in any leg muscle, including those in the feet and thighs.
Three out of four cases of leg cramp occur at night while people are sleeping. These cramps can be especially unpleasant. After all, as well as causing shock and pain, they can prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep, leaving them tired the following day.
Get to the cause
Leg cramps can be caused by a range of different things, including pregnancy, exercise, liver disease and certain types of medication. If you’re keen to reduce your nocturnal leg cramps, it’s helpful to identify to find the trigger first. However, bear in mind that some spasms occur for no apparent reason. These are called idiopathic cramps.
If your night time cramps are affecting your quality of life, it’s important to speak to a doctor. Your GP will ask about your symptoms and may suggest that you have blood and urine tests to help establish the cause.
Try some stretches
Depending on the reason for your cramps, there may be a number of preventative measures you can take to help reduce the frequency of the spasms. For example, you might benefit from regularly stretching the muscles in your lower legs and from stretching your calves before you go to bed.
Think about how you sleep
In addition, if you lie on your back when you’re going to sleep, make sure your toes are pointing upwards. To help ensure you stay in the right position, place a pillow on its side at the end of your bed and prop the soles of your feet up against it.
If you prefer to lie on your front, hang your feet over the end of your bed. This will help to keep your feet and lower legs relaxed and reduce the risk that the muscles in your calves will become tense.
As a general rule, always make sure your sheets and blankets are loose.
Choose the right bed
It also helps if you have the right bed. One option is to invest in an adjustable bed from Adjustamatic. These products can help you to achieve the best sleeping position and they feature special Cyclo-Therapy technology. This massage system can reduce the risk of cramps by gently relaxing your muscles while you sleep. The vibration therapy can also relieve any pain you suffer as a result of cramps.
Pay attention to food and drink
Making changes to your diet may reduce your night cramps too. For example, bear in mind that dehydration can raise the risk of muscle spasms, so it’s important to make sure you drink enough water. Also, avoid consuming too much alcohol.
In addition, it’s advisable to ensure you get enough calcium and magnesium. If you struggle to do this through your diet, you can take supplements.