Nighttime leg cramps are very common in many people. The truth is that they are quite annoying, especially when they are more intense or acute. The causes that produce them are diverse and range from excessive physical exercise to not stretching the muscles after sports, 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 in place both to alleviate the symptoms when they occur and to avoid them. We explain how to avoid nighttime 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
On some occasions, night cramps are related to the lack of vitamins or some minerals. This can occur even if a balanced diet is followed because they are eliminated in the 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 significant 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 widespread leg discomfort, since its deficit is directly associated with this type of disorders, since its 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 one tends to think that it is only important for bone formation, it is not true. Calcium is also key in the muscles and in the transmission of nerve impulses that can be produced by muscle contraction.
All these vitamins and minerals can be taken through nutritional supplements or following a diet rich in foods that naturally contain them in high amounts.
Stretch your legs to avoid night cramps: exercises
Muscle stretching is essential to avoid nighttime 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 seize for being, for example, many hours sitting and for the 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 while maintaining a distance similar to the length of your arms and resting your hands well on it. In that posture, take one leg back, but leaving the foot well on the floor, 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 floor. From that position, you have to stand on tiptoe and hold a few seconds in that posture and then back to support both feet well. Repeating this movement several times, you will also stretch the twins.
Other tips for not having nighttime leg cramps
In addition to the two guidelines that we have mentioned above and that it is essential that you put them into practice, we can also give you other tips to avoid nighttime leg cramps:
- Drink water:having a well hydrated body is vital to avoid night cramps. And is that poor hydration causes electrolyte imbalances 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 favor muscle cramps in the legs and toes. It is better to rest on your side and in a position where there is no pressure on your legs or where your mobility is difficult.
- 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 heat 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 or specific shoes or shoes for that sport. Otherwise, you will notice discomfort in the feet and legs, which may include cramps.
With these tips on how to avoid nighttime leg cramps, we hope in a HOW to 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.