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 and what causes them?
Discover if your mattress can cause leg pain and cramps, and most importantly, how you can 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 leg 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.
Do Memory Foam Mattresses Cause Leg Pain?
If you’re worried that your memory foam mattress is causing your nightly leg pain, this is unlikely if it’s still in good condition.
Memory foam helps to ease aches and pains by providing a cushioning surface that moulds to your body.
If your memory foam mattress is very old and showing signs of damage, this could affect your quality of sleep and should be replaced.
Can A Mattress Cause Hip and Leg Pain?
Old or poor quality mattresses with dips and sagging can start to cause lower body pain due to lack of support.
If you regularly sleep in an unhealthy position, such as on your front or curving your spine, this may start to affect your back, hips and legs. A memory foam mattress can help to correct this by maintaining a natural spinal alignment.
Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs when on your side, or under your knees when on your back to relieve pressure on your spine. You may also want to try elevating your feet slightly or resting your legs up the wall before falling asleep.
Can a Bad Mattress Cause Knee Pain?
For side sleepers and those with medical conditions affecting the joints, an extra firm mattress could be causing knee pain at night. To protect and soothe your joints, opt for softer mattress support or a cushioning topper for extra padding.
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 things you could do to help prevent cramps and leg pain:
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. Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses are well known 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 nighttime leg cramps, 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 and muscle spasms. 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 a useful way to soothe the muscle.
6. Use a Mattress Topper
A memory foam mattress topper can provide an extra cushioning surface to your bed, helping you to relax and ease any tension in your muscles.
7. Try Orthopedic Memory Foam
Orthopaedic memory foam mattresses are designed for people who suffer from back and joint pain during the night and can have great benefits for those with leg pain. Offering heightened comfort and support, orthopaedic mattresses feature deep layers of comfort foam and zoned channels for targeted pressure relief.
Cure Cramps With Memory Foam
We really hope that these tips help to soothe your night time suffering. We know first-hand just how uncomfortable pain and leg cramps at night can be. If you’d like some more help and advice about memory foam mattresses, get in touch!
Find our wide range of memory foam mattresses here to ease your sleep dilemmas.