The exact reason behind getting leg cramps at night is still unknown but there are numerous contributing factors.
The Reasons Behind Your Leg Cramps at Night
#1: Nutritional Deficiency
Sodium has been known as one of the main positively charged mineral ions or electrolytes in body fluid. It has the ability to assist in keeping a normal-fluid balance and it is also vital for nerve impulse generation, as well as the muscle contraction.
Potassium in an essential type of electrolyte that can be seen in all body cells, which includes muscle and nerve cells. It works along with both of sodium and chloride in order to generate electrical impulses in the nerves and muscles.
Calcium has been involved in the muscles contractions, as well as the generation of nerve impulses in the body.
Magnesium helps in steadying adenosine triphosphate or (ATP), which is the energy source for muscle contractions, and it also serves as an electrolyte in some body fluids.
If you lack sodium, potassium, calcium or magnesium in your body, chances are you might be experiencing leg cramps often.
#2: Overexertion or Prolonged Standing
Standing on a hard surface for a long period of time as well as standing while wearing high heels or poorly fitting shoes can actually contribute to the exhaustion of the muscles or even overexertion. As a result, it will eventually lead to leg cramps at night.
In addition, sitting improperly or putting both of your legs in awkward and uncomfortable positions while sleeping can also lead to night time cramps.
Water includes at least 75% of muscle tissue and it can actually aid in their contract, as well as to relax effortlessly. As a result, not maintaining enough water levels of hydration during the day may become the reason behind leg cramps at the evening.
Water is also essential for the proper circulation of the nutrients in the human body. Without water, muscles will eventually dispossess the needed nutrients, which can actually result to imbalances of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and even magnesium.
As a matter of fact, even the small amounts of dehydration may prevent athletic performances and it will also elevate the chance of having cramps at night.
#4: Uncontrolled Diabetes
Diabetes can be the reason behind your leg muscle cramping at night. As a matter of fact, it is part of the symptom of a form or nerve damage that is known as diabetic neuropathy, which is one of the complications of uncontrolled diabetes.
Aside of the severe pain in the leg muscles, diabetes patients may also suffer from tingling and numbness feeling. Increased blood sugar can also lead to too much urination, as well as subsequent dehydration, which adds to night time leg cramps.
#5: Excessive Alcohol
Too much alcohol consumption is not good for your entire health. Peripheral nerves can actually be damaged because of excessive alcohol intake, which will lead to alcoholic neuropathy. Both of leg pain and muscle cramps are frequent symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy.
A low level of thyroid hormones can actually secondarily contribute to the weakness of the muscles, as well as to calf cramps during the night.
The thyroid hormones have the ability to impact the absorption of the calcium, as well as its utilization. Lack of calcium has been connected with the weakness of the muscles, numbness, pain, and even cramps.
#7: Certain Medications
Certain medicines, particularly the cholesterol-lowering agents or statins and diuretic can actually add to the loss of water and electrolytes from the human body. As a result, it will make you more prone to having cramps at night.
Pregnant women usually suffer from leg cramps at night, commonly beginning in the second trimester and lasting through the third trimester. These kinds of cramps may be different in intensity from mild one to extremely painful.
How to Avoid Getting Leg Cramps at Night
1. Consume a huge amount of water and other healthy fluids to avoid dehydration.
2. Prevent alcohol, coffee, as well as soda or other beverages that steals water from the body which elevating the risk of cramping.
3. Stretch your leg muscles before going to bed. Stretching your calves can actually assist in soothing the tension of the muscles, as well as to decrease the chance of cramps at night.
4. Riding a stationary bicycle for at least 10 minutes before you go to sleep is another good idea.
5. Maintain both of blankets and bed sheets loose around your feet so that your toes will not be distorted.
6. If you are suffering from cramp, massage the muscles with your hands for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Walking or jiggling your legs after a cramp will send a signal to your brain that your muscles require to contract and then relax. This can lead to quicker recovery.
8. Applying a hot compress to the cramped muscle can relax and loosen it up, thus soothing the pain.
9. You have to make sure to get enough amount of potassium in your diet. Good sources of potassium are bananas, dates, apricots, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, fish, pork and even lamb.
10. In addition, try adding more magnesium in your diet such as nuts and seeds.
11. Pregnant women should consult their doctor about taking magnesium supplements.
Source: Organic Health Universe
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