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Reasons Why Your Legs Cramp Up at Night and How to Fix It

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6. Uncontrolled Diabetes

diabetes

Diabetes can also contribute to leg muscle cramping. In fact, it is a symptom of a form of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy, one of the complications of uncontrolled diabetes.

Besides the sharp pain in the leg muscle, diabetes patients may also experience tingling and numbness.

Elevated blood sugar also causes excessive urination and subsequent dehydration, which contributes to night leg cramps.

If you’re experiencing muscle cramps related to diabetes, consult your doctor immediately. Catching nerve damage early is important in preventing further complications.

Blood flow problems such as peripheral arterial disease may also contribute to nocturnal leg cramps.

7. Alcohol Abuse

watch alcohol intake

Excess alcohol intake is not good your health. Peripheral nerves can become damaged due to too much alcohol use, causing alcoholic neuropathy. Leg pain and muscle cramps are common symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy.

Excessive drinking causes dehydration due to the diuretic effect of alcohol. Plus, it can cause a magnesium deficiency.

Another important point to note is that excess alcohol intake increases the content of lactic acid in your body. Excessive lactic acid can lead to cramps or pain in your muscles.

8. Certain Medications

pills

Another cause of nocturnal cramps is a side effect of medications.

Certain medicines, especially cholesterol-lowering agents (statins) and diuretics, contribute to the loss of water and electrolytes from the body. This in turn makes you more prone to having cramps.

Other medicines, such as antipsychotics, birth control pills and steroids, can also cause cramps.

If cramps start suddenly after you begin taking a new medication, consult your doctor.

Tips to fix and prevent leg cramping at night:

  • Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Drinking sports drinks with electrolytes can be useful in preventing the problem.
  • Steer clear of alcohol, coffee and soda beverages that rob the body of water, increasing the risk for cramping.
  • Stretch your leg muscles before going to bed. Stretching your calves can help ease muscle tension and reduce the chance of having a cramp at night. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiotherapy reports that stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.
  • Riding a stationary bicycle for 10 minutes before you go to bed is another good option.
  • Keep blankets and bed sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
  • If you have a cramp, massage the cramped muscle with your hands for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Walking or jiggling the leg after a cramp will send a signal to your brain that your muscle needs to contract and then relax. This can promote faster recovery.
  • Applying a hot compress to the cramped muscle can relax and loosen it up, thus easing the cramp.
  • Make sure to get enough potassium in your diet. Good sources of potassium include bananas, dates, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, fish, pork and lamb.
  • Also, try adding more magnesium to your diet. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of magnesium.
  • Pregnant women should consult a doctor about taking magnesium supplements.

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34 thoughts on “Reasons Why Your Legs Cramp Up at Night and How to Fix It”

  1. I have personally overcome the excruciating pain and given out this information to my
    friends. As soon as you feel the first signs of the cramp setting in, press your thumb of
    the foot/leg involved on a hard surface (floor or bed post) for a few seconds and you will be surprised of the relief in a jiffy! Try it and share it.

  2. I would just like to thank you for the piece on leg cramps it was very helpful to me as I suffer with it all the time.

    I enjoy reading the different remedies you write about.

    Thank you,

    Sincerely

    Patricia Martin

    1. Dear Patricia

      I suggest a homoeopathic medicine Ferrom Phos 200 liquid 5 drops in two tablespoon water 3 times for one week. I am sure this problem will not repeat again.

      regards

      SS DE

  3. The moment you feel like getting leg cramps, you should pull your feet towards yourself. You will get immediate relief. I have been practising this for the last 10 yrs successfully.

  4. My elderly aunt suffered quite a lot with cramps until someone told her to place a little salt under her tongue. She said it works.

  5. Put a bar of soap at the foot of the bed, or slip a small bar in your socks at night. You will NOT have anymore cramps. Old firefighters tip. •_•

  6. The soap really does work ..Don’t know why… My husband had cramps in legs for years and very often. Someone told me to try that… We use Irish Spring ..I don’t know if it makes a difference in the brand or not. He rarely ever gets a cramp now.

  7. The soap really does work . I put a bar near bottom of bed between fitted sheet and mattress cover. We use Irish spring . I don’t know if it makes a difference in the brand. My husband had cramps in legs at night for years (very often) Rarely gets any now.

  8. I want to thank you for helping all of us use only natural home remedies I well try some of them , and I hope they work for me. I hate taking drugs all they do is make the matter worst I well continue to read your home page it is a good home page.
    Thank you again.

  9. Believe it or not , I used the salt remedy and that works pretty quick , then a friend came over when I was beginning to have a cramp and told me to put mustard in my moouth…. I just squirted some mustard from a bottle , just plain old yellow mustard , kindof gross but the pain is awful and so almost immediately it was gone!!

  10. This is a painful feeling in the Night
    I eat one banana everyday for the remedy ,it is working well for me.

  11. I get spasms so bad I have to be given morphine. I will try any or all of the above. I have uncontrolled diabetes which may account for it.

  12. When you feel that your leg will get cramped, immediately stand up on the bed or get down the bed and stand straight. It is a proven idea & I apply this whenever I feel that my leg is being cramped.

  13. Pickle juice works for me but sometimes not as fast as I would like. . . . .will try the soap to prevent it BEFORE IT HAPPENS!

  14. Hello to all that get a cramp u can get instant relief by being barefoot and putting the effected leg ,foot on a cold floor. A tile floor is the best and it will be gone in seconds.

  15. Salt under the tounge , been suffering for over 20 years. Recently bought Himalayian sea salt, brilliant. But try just table salt at first.

  16. Hello
    I have suffered from cramp for over a year now and an orthopedic surgeon suggest this after which I have never had cramps now over 3 months.

    1 drink a lot of water in sips slowly
    2 drink at least 2 glasses of Tonic water Schweppes Indian tonic remmeber it should be the Indian tonic water now i have just one glass a week and no cramps

  17. Good morning I am suffering from leg cramp so sever I afraid to go an sleep it do painful right now I will try any go stop it so thank for ripe I will try it right now

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