Leg cramps can be quite troublesome during the night. Night cramps would force you to wake up in the middle of the night. Any involuntary muscle of the leg could be affected by night cramp. You can develop cramps in the calf muscle, behind or beneath the knees or in the feet.
The cramp might remain for a few minutes up to an entire day. Although night cramps can affect any person irrespective of age, some people are found to be more susceptible to this condition. Luckily, there are several ways of preventing leg cramps in the night.
Stretching exercises could help to prevent nocturnal leg cramps. Exercises that help to stretch the calf muscles could prevent sudden contraction of the calf muscles in the middle of your sleep. Here is a simple stretching exercise that could effectively reduce the frequency of leg cramps in the night. Stand 2 to 3 feet away from a wall. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and lean forward to touch the wall. This will help to stretch the calf muscles. Practice this stretching exercise two times a day, and once before going to bed. The duration of each stretching exercise session should be about five minutes.
Improve sleeping posture
Wrong sleeping posture can cause leg cramps in the night. When you are lying on your back, rest your feet on a pillow. This could prevent shortening of the leg muscles while sleeping. You can even keep light blankets at the foot of the bed.
Tonic water can help to prevent night cramps. Small amount of quinine present in tonic water is effective in treating this condition. However, given the side effects of quinine intake such as blurred vision, hearing problem, nausea, vomiting and dizziness, you should consult your physician before taking tonic water.
Massage with vitamin E
A good leg massage with vitamin E cream could help to reduce leg cramps in the night.
Dehydration is frequently associated with muscle cramps. Although there might not be any direct association between cramps in the night and water intake, you should drink enough water to remain hydrated. Dehydration could cause electrolyte imbalance in the body, lowering the levels of sodium, calcium and phosphorous. Deficiency of these minerals could cause cramps.