It’s no fun at all to have your sleep disturbed by painful leg cramps at night. It can take a great toll on your health when you miss out on healthy sleep due to frequent leg cramps. This type of affliction seems to become more common as you age.
Leg cramps can hit for just a few seconds, or last for minutes, leaving soreness and discomfort behind. If you’re troubled with nighttime leg cramps, here are a few things you can try to reduce their frequency and severity. If these techniques aren’t enough to give you relief, book an appointment at our Integrative Medical Clinic in Hong Kong… your doctor can help.
Hydration Is Important
Many people experience leg cramps because of dehydration. If you aren’t drinking enough water, it’s hard on your muscles and tissues. Make sure you get at least eight glasses of pure water daily. For many people, that’s all that’s necessary to reduce or eliminate leg cramps at night.
Rearrange Your Bedding
Be sure that your covers are not tight around your feet. Try sleeping with a small pillow, or even a rolled-up towel under your knees, so that your knees aren’t locked as you lie on your back.
Stretching Is Helpful
Daytime stretching can be helpful for leg cramps. To stretch your calves, face a wall about an arm’s length away. Place your hands on the wall by reaching out straight in front of you. Lean forward slowly, moving your upper body closer to the wall, while keeping your heels flat on the ground. It’s a bit like a push-up while standing. If you keep your heels flat, you’ll feel a bit of a stretch in your hamstrings. After thirty seconds, lift up on to your toes and hold for thirty more seconds. Then push away from the wall and settle back into a standing position. Repeat a few times to stretch your legs and reduce later cramping. A stationary bicycle, stair-stepper or rowing machine can also be helpful. Don’t overdo leg exercises, but do make a point of doing a few that move and stretch your legs each day.
When you get into bed at night, lie on your back and bring your toes towards your head. Hold for a few seconds, and then relax. Repeat a few times.
Taking a magnesium supplement in the evening can not only help you sleep, it can overcome a common deficiency and help your body get dietary calcium to where it belongs in your bones. Vitamin K2 is also excellent for this purpose. Many people take calcium to try to help with leg cramps, but often we’re getting enough, especially if you consume dairy products like milk. A glass of milk before bed might be helpful.
Since magnesium and calcium work together, it’s more likely you’ll need to supplement magnesium. Avoid choosing magnesium oxide, as most people don’t absorb it well. Magnesium citrate is commonly available and a better choice. If you have any medical condition or are taking prescription medications, you should always speak to your doctor before adding supplements. We can also test to see whether you’re magnesium deficient here in our clinic.
Check On Prescription Side Effects
Speaking of prescription medications, they can be the cause of leg cramps. If you’re taking prescriptions, ask your doctor if your leg cramps could be related.
We Can Help With Nighttime Leg Cramps
If the steps above don’t resolve your nighttime leg cramps issue, it’s possible an undiagnosed medical issue could be involved. Our integrative clinic can help.