Health and fitness

Causes of leg cramps during sleep

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Some suffer from muscle fatigue during sleep. What are the causes of leg muscle fatigue during sleep? What is the best way to protect yourself from it? Let’s find out in this article.
Sleeping leg cramps, also known as nighttime leg cramps, are involuntary painful contractions or spasms of the calf muscles that usually occur during sleep.
It’s very common to have leg cramps at night. According to a report by American Family Physicians, up to 60% of adults and 7% of children experience leg cramps at night.

Below we review the most important causes of leg muscle tension during sleep, its symptoms, and home tips for its treatment and prevention:

Causes of leg cramps during sleep
Here are the main causes of leg cramps during sleep:

  1. Pathological reasons
    The following are the most important diseases that cause muscle tension in the legs during sleep:

Peripheral artery disease.
Spinal stenosis.
Metabolic problems.
Acute renal failure.
adrenal insufficiency
cirrhosis of the liver;
Diabetes of all kinds.
Nerve damage is caused by some cancer treatments.
Parkinson’s disease.

  1. Taking certain types of medication
    The following are the most important medications that cause leg muscle cramps during sleep:

Medicines to treat high blood pressure.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Oral contraceptives.

  1. Other common causes of muscle cramps during sleep
    There are some accidental causes that are among the causes of muscle tension during sleep, and here are the most important ones:

muscle fatigue;
Sitting for long periods.
Overuse of muscles.
Stand or work on concrete floors.
Sitting incorrectly.
The risk of nocturnal leg cramps increases with age, and pregnant women are more likely to experience leg cramps during sleep.

Tips for treating leg cramps while sleeping
After identifying the causes of calf muscle tension during sleep, let us learn about some tips that help relieve calf muscle tension during sleep, as follows:

Foot massage: A foot massage helps relieve muscle pain. Use one or both hands together to massage your leg.
Foot relaxation: Extend your foot forward with the toes and leg pointing forward.
Moving your foot: Moving your foot in the opposite direction of stretching helps you feel relaxed and comfortable.
Applying warm compresses: Placing warm compresses on the painful area helps relieve pain and a warm bath can be taken.
Take pickle juice: One study advised taking pickle juice to relieve muscle tension pain.
Taking painkillers: Taking painkillers helps relieve muscle tension, such as: naproxen, ibuprofen, and paracetamol.
In case the muscle tension persists during sleep despite following all the above advice, it is recommended to consult a doctor to give the appropriate treatment.

Prevent leg cramps while sleeping
Here are some practices that can prevent leg cramps:

Stretch during the day and before bed and focus on the leg and foot muscles.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps muscles function well.
Move around during the day to exercise your feet.
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
Sleep under loose blankets, especially if you sleep on your back.
Do light exercise a little before bed.
Avoid heavy, folded blankets that prevent you from sleeping straight.
Change the nature of your sleep, preferably sleeping on your back with a pillow between your feet.
Cycling for a few minutes can help protect against muscle cramps while you sleep.
Relax your legs as much as possible when sleeping.

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