Nighttime leg cramps are very common in many people. The truth is that they are quite annoying, especially when they are more intense or sharp. The causes that produce them are diverse and range from an excess of physical exercise to not stretching the muscles after sports practice, neurological problems or the side effects of some clinical treatments such as hemodialysis, among others. Whatever the cause, a series of tips can be put into practice both to alleviate the symptoms when they occur and to avoid them.
From, we explain how to avoid nocturnal leg cramps so you know what you can do and say goodbye to these discomforts that can even make it difficult for you to sleep and rest properly at night.
Vitamins and minerals to prevent nighttime leg cramps
Sometimes, night cramps are related to a lack of vitamins or some minerals. This can occur even if a balanced diet is followed because they are eliminated by urine and also by sweat.
Sometimes, the deficit is not very significant, and you just have to reinforce the intake of vitamins and minerals, noticing important improvements and, even, you can stop having cramps. But what vitamins and minerals to take to avoid night cramps?
- Vitamin B12: this vitamin is related to the prevention of anemia, which is associated with the deficit of nutrients in the body that favor the appearance of night cramps. In addition, it is also linked to energy production.
- Magnesium: magnesium is also essential to avoid night cramps and generalized discomfort in the legs, since its deficit is directly associated with this type of disorder, since it lack favors muscle contractions.
- Potassium: its role is also decisive because its lack in the body promotes muscle weakness, apart from favoring muscle contraction.
- Sodium: Sodium is also involved in muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
- Calcium: Although it tends to be thought that it is only important for the formation of bones, it is not true. Calcium is also key in the musculature and in the transmission of nerve impulses that can be produced by muscle contraction.
Stretching your legs to avoid night cramps: exercises
Muscle stretches are essential to avoid nocturnal leg cramps regardless of whether or not you exercise. And, they should always be done after a physical activity, but also if a sedentary life is followed because the muscles tend to stiffen due to being, for example, many hours sitting and lack of movement.
In this way, it is essential to stretch the legs, especially the area of the twins in which it is more common for cramps to occur. To do this, you have some very easy leg stretching exercises:
- Face a wall by keeping a distance similar to the length of your arms and resting your hands well on it. In that posture, bring one leg back, but leaving your foot well on the ground, while keeping the other leg in the same position with the knee slightly bent. You will notice that it stretches the entire back of the leg that you have displaced, especially the part of the twin.
- Stand with your feet together and well supported on the ground. From that position, you have to tiptoe and hold a few seconds in that posture and then return to support both feet well. By repeating this movement several times, you will also stretch the twins.
Other tips to avoid nighttime leg cramps
In addition to the two guidelines that we have discussed above and that it is essential that you put them into practice, we can also give you other tips to avoid nocturnal leg cramps:
- Drink water: having the body well hydrated is vital to avoid night cramps. Poor hydration causes electrolyte imbalances to occur in the blood, which favors the appearance of cramps.
- Sleep well: the position you have in bed to sleep is very important. For example, sleeping on your stomach in bed is proven to promote muscle cramps in the legs and toes. It is better to rest on your side and in a position where no pressure is put on the legs or where their mobility is hindered.
- Massages: if you have problems with night cramps, another good option is to massage the muscle and the affected area to stretch the muscles.
- Heat: Applying electric heating pads can also help prevent cramps because they relax muscle contractions.
- Shoes: in cases where you practice a sport, it is vital that you wear the appropriate and specific shoes or footwear for that sport. Otherwise, you will notice discomfort in your feet and legs, which may include cramps.
With these tips on how to avoid nighttime leg cramps, we hope at we have helped you know what you can do. Anyway, if they occur frequently, it is important that you go to the doctor to rule out a possible disease.