Get rid of night leg cramps by using this simple trick
Muscle cramps are involuntary contraction of muscles, which doesn’t relax by itself. Most of the times the muscles in parts of body like legs and hands contract and relax voluntarily as we move the limbs. But when a muscle forcibly contracts on its own and doesn’t relax, it is called a cramp. Cramps can last from a few seconds to hours. Cramps may also occur repeatedly.
They are extremely common and an estimate of 95% of people, experience a cramp once in their lifetime. The most common body parts to be affected by cramps are hands and legs. Legs can even get cramped while we are sleeping and the condition is called as ‘charley horse’. Here are the most common reasons of leg cramps during night time and how to avoid them.
1 Leg Cramps
You are sleeping peacefully in your comfy bed. You are dreaming about something lovely and then suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your legs and suddenly out of nowhere you experience a cramp in one or both legs. Most of the times, these cramp occurs in the foot or the calf and they can get extremely painful and you end up changing positions so that the cramp goes.
Cramps are mostly caused by muscle spasms and spontaneous contractions of muscles. Apart from the muscles of foot and calf, muscles of other body parts such as thigh, hands, arms and abdomen are prone to spasms.
2 Causes of leg cramps
Here are some common reasons for leg cramps that can happen to anyone. These factors can single handedly affect an individual or it can be a combination of multiple factors that lead to leg cramps.
Dehydration is one of the foremost factors of cramps. It can happen to you when you are not drinking enough water and fluids during the day. It could be anything from walking or running in sun too much, working out too strenuously. Losing water from the body means losing electrolytes from the body which keeps the control of the muscles of the body. When these electrolytes are gone from the body, muscles start aching and cramps occur.
Another reason could be sleeping in a more than average cold room. You should be sleeping in a room which has an optimum temperature for you to feel relaxed; not too cold not too hot. It is not yet found out why cold causes cramps, but if you like to sleep in a cool room with air condition blasting, or fan on, just remember to cover your legs, so that the cold doesn’t affect the muscles and cause them to stiffen.
Too much exercise is also one of the reasons for muscle cramps. Though exercising is a good thing as it keeps muscles working and builds strength in those muscles and it avoids cramps. But when you spend hours in the gym, the same muscles become overworked and not only become susceptible to cramps, but also injuries.
Muscle cramps usually go away by themselves when you drink a little water or anything. But if the following symptoms continue even after the cramps are gone, you need to see a doctor.
Mostly the cramps cause some discomfort and then go away. But if the discomfort continues in any way, then you must visit a doctor.
- If the cramps are associated with swollen legs, redness of skin, splotches or any other kind of skin conditions.
- If the cramps happen along with a feeling of weakness in muscles.
- If the cramps re-occur constantly and do not go away even after you have been trying to do everything to cure the problem.
- You need to take special care if the cramps aren’t related to strenuous exercise.
4 Solutions for leg cramps
Here are some solutions to avoid leg cramps in night and have a peaceful night of sleep.
Just before going to sleep, you should have a warm shower. This will act in the same way; you warm up your muscles before starting your workout. Hot water massages the muscles and relaxes them enough to help them not cramp up.
Try drinking pickle juice. Yes it is a yucky solution, but pickle juice has salts and it is something we lose first when we start to sweat and leads to muscle cramping. Keeping the body full of vinegar, sugar, and salt, helps replenish the nutrients in the body before sleeping.
A way to keep cramps away is to eat a banana. It is full of potassium, which acts as an electrolyte in the body and keeps the muscles from contracting involuntarily.