Leg Cramps At Night: Causes, Management and Treatment of Nocturnal Leg Cramps
If you suffer from leg cramps at night, you’ll know just how uncomfortable they can be. According to the NHS, 3 in 4 cases of cramp occur during sleep and they usually strike in our calf muscles. But what are they, what causes them, and most importantly how can you prevent them?
What Causes Leg Cramps at Night?
Leg cramps are relatively common and will likely affect each and every one of us at some point in our lives. Lasting anywhere between a few minutes and 24 hours, the sharp pain associated with cramps is caused by the involuntary tightening of the muscles when they contract.
Although it is not yet understood why leg cramps occur, experts have offered numerous possibilities. These range from simple explanations such as dehydration and over-exertion to more complex ones such as a kidney or thyroid disease.
How Can I Cure Leg Cramps at Night?
Unfortunately for us leg cramp sufferers, there isn’t a cure. We have, however, compiled a list of 5 things you could do to help prevent leg cramps:
1. Modify Your Diet
Leg cramps are linked to low levels of potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium in the body. So, to boost your body’s vitamin and nutrient content, try introducing some foods for leg cramps such as dark leafy greens, nuts, bananas, quinoa and lentils into your regular diet.
2. Massage and Stretch
Massaging and stretching the affected muscle during a cramping episode can help to alleviate some of the pain.
3. Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses are well know for their pressure-relieving properties, spreading your weight evenly and reducing excess weight on heavier parts of the body such as your hips, shoulders and legs. These properties make it perfect for sufferers of leg cramps at night, with the optimal support and comfort helping your muscles to fully rest and relax.
Drinking water and other liquids (even pickle juice!) throughout the day helps to keep our muscles contracting and relaxing correctly, thus reducing the risk of cramping. Staying hydrated is particularly important when engaging in physical activity as the fluids lost while exercising will need to be replenished.
5. Apply Heat
Whether it’s your calf, thigh or foot, applying a hot water bottle to the affected area or immersing yourself in a warm bath can be useful way to soothe the muscle.
We really hope that these tips help to soothe your night time suffering. We know first-hand just how uncomfortable leg cramps at night can be. If you’d like some more help and advice about memory foam mattresses, get in touch! Click here to see our contact details. We’d love to hear from you.