11 Steps to Relieve and Prevent Night Leg Cramps

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Imagine that you are laying down and your legs suddenly start paining. The pain is strong to make you want to scream. It does not let you get up, and your muscle is very hard to the touch. On trying to move your leg, it starts feeling numb and paralyzed. Sounds familiar? Yes, you guessed it right … They are cramps …

Cramps generally start with less pain, but can cause considerable pain to us humans. They usually happen more frequently as we start ageing.

If painful leg cramps are disturbing your sleep in the middle of the night, you are not alone. Globally, around 60% of adults experience leg cramps at night,

Leg cramps mostly affect the calf muscle. You could be awake or asleep, when the leg cramp attacks. Most of the times, the muscle relaxes itself in less than 10 minutes. Your leg might feel swollen for a day or two. Everyday calf cramps at night time, could possibly disrupt your sleep.

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Pregnant women and the elderly in particular, are more likely to get cramps. Also, people who are engaged in particular sports activities or who take certain medications, can be affected by cramping. Fitness can also put a strain on your leg muscles.

Most of the muscle cramps start to develop in the leg muscles, mainly in the calf. Besides the sudden and sharp pain, you might feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue just below your skin.

Here are a few key points, that can help you with some relief from the cramps …

Stretch your body before hitting the bed – If you have leg cramps at night, stretch yourself before you sleep.

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Giving your legs a good stretch will help you to relax the muscles. Muscle easing is important to prevent the cramps. The stretch works by compressing the leg and also massaging it. Taking time to stretch each day, with an after brief warm up, or after a shower will surely help.

Avoid heavy exercises – Work yourself on a steady bike for a few minutes before bedtime. Cycling will help to relax the leg muscles and prevent cramps while you are sleeping. Hard and heavy exercise burden the muscles making them tired. Leg cramps also happen with even highly trained expert athletes.

Select the right shoes – We do not walk without shoes, right? they are very important. And so is, selecting the correct pair for yourself. Wearing the proper shoes with good support will prevent leg cramps. Leg cramps sometimes could be caused by an ill-fitting footwear. This is common amongst people who have a flat feet structure and other problems. More specifically for females and teenagers who wear high heels, cramps are frequent. If you wear high heels for a long time you are bound to have a muscle pull. Keep a check on your footwear!

Massage your leg – If you wake up at night with a leg cramp, massage it gently. Rubbing the affected muscle will help it to relax. You can use one or both hands to gently loosen the muscle. As a preventive measure you can also massage yourself before you sleep. This will help to relax the muscles and give you a good night sleep.

Have a good amount of nutrients – Presence or absence of nutrients play a very important part in cramps. Nutrients will help you to maintain a fluid balance in the blood and muscles. A balance of electrolytes (calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium) is important for contraction and relaxation of a muscle. Eating a variety of foods with plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, will help.

Dehydration- Keeping your body hydrated will also prevent leg cramps. Dehydration causes an electrolyte imbalance in the blood. Fluids help to transport all the nutrients to the muscles. Drinking lots of fluids, specially water, throughout the day can also help to prevent cramps by keeping the muscles functioning well.

Do not sleep in an awkward position – When you sleep on your stomach, the toe points away from you. This causes shortening the calf muscles. When your foot rests in the position for a long time, even small movements of the feet could trigger a cramp. When you sleep facing upside, your feet are off the bed. This keeps your toes neutral and not pointing away from you. This is always a better position for these muscles.

Apply heat or cold – Heat can calm the tight muscles. Taking a warm bath or shower will also help to ease the cramps. Applying cold or heat usually gives some relief. To relax your muscles, apply an ice cube or a cold pack directly to the area of pain. Apply the heat with a warm towel or heating pad. Dry heat in the form of a heating pad will also help to ease the pain.

Inactivity during the day – Sitting idle for a long time without a movement also causes cramps at night. The physical inactivity of not stretching the muscles for a while increases the pain. The muscles in people, who are less active may be short, increasing the risk of cramping.

Untuck the covers – Keep the bedsheets loose. Also, you can untuck the bedsheets and the other covers which are near the foot of your bed. Keep the blankets and sheets loose around your feet and toes, so that the toes are not distorted. Tight bedsheets and covers can also make you point your toes downward while sleeping. This leads to cramps. Stick with the looser bedsheets to lessen the chances for your feet to be stuck in 1 position for too long and causing cramps.

Improper sitting position – We spend most of our time sitting with our legs crossed. Also, if the toes are pointed for a long period of time, the calf muscles would be cramped. Do not keep heavy stuff on your legs for a long time. Heavy objects tend to lower your blood circulation which can then lead to a cramp.

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11 Steps to Relieve and Prevent Night Leg Cramps. (2021, Feb 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/11-steps-to-relieve-and-prevent-night-leg-cramps-essay

11 Steps to Relieve and Prevent Night Leg Cramps

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