Leg cramps, also referred to as charley horse, can hit us unexpectedly. This muscle spasm happens when one or more of your leg muscles suddenly seize up. The calf muscles are often affected by this, but it doesn’t mean that other parts of your legs won’t experience spasms too. Even your quads and hamstrings can be affected too.
Like it was mentioned before, leg cramps can happen regardless of whether you are awake or are already sleeping. The problem with leg cramps at night is that they may disrupt your sleep because of the excruciating pain that they come with. What can you do when you suffer from leg cramps at night?
Adjust your sleeping position
Who would have thought that your sleeping position may contribute to the frequency of your muscle cramps at night? If you tend to sleep on your side, your legs may be pointing in a downward manner which can trigger muscle spasms. A better option would be to sleep on your back and putting a pillow under your knees. Not only will this be good for your back, but it can also prevent leg cramps.
If you wake up with your leg muscles cramped up, placing a hot towel or heating pad on the affected muscle may help tame the spasms. Even a warm bottle can also work when it comes to alleviating the tightness in your calves. If you are prone to muscles spasms in your legs, you should take a warm shower or bath even to help relax your muscles.
Up your intake of potassium and magnesium
Our muscles can lose important minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which can cause our muscles to spasm at night. This is troublesome to say the least, since the pain will wake you up. If this is the case, you will need to make it a point to increase your intake of foods that contain these vital minerals to prevent cramps at night. Supplements can be useful too to ensure that you are getting the right dosage per day.
It is also a good idea to stretch your legs when a cramp hits you, to help loosen the tightness to it. You can either flex your foot, so that your toes are pointing toward you, or you can walk around your bedroom until the tightness disappears.