6 Home Solutions to Night-Time Leg Cramps

What Causes Leg Cramps? Home Remedies to Night-time Leg Cramps

Night-time leg cramps may be defined as sudden, painful, Involuntary and strong contractions of the muscles of the calf while resting. It may also occur in a foot or thigh. It gives a feeling of a hard lump. It usually comes suddenly, but may remain for a few to several minutes. Mostly it occurs just after you fall asleep or wake up.

6 Home solutions to night-time leg cramps

6 Home solutions to night-time leg cramps

This is more common in middle-aged, pregnant women and elderly. Young people may also suffer from night-time muscle cramps.
Although in most of the cases, these cramps are harmless, but they may be a symptom of some underlying disease.

The exact cause of night-time leg cramps is not known, but the following factors may contribute to it:

  • Injury
  • Decreases amount of magnesium and calcium. This is common during pregnancy.
  • Extremely cold temperature.
  • Overexertion or exercising
  • Diseases that cause a problem with blood flow, for example, kidney diseases, thyroid diseases, uncontrolled diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Dehydration.
  • Diarrhea and arthritis
  • Deficiency of potassium and calcium in the blood.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Certain medication such as steroids, stations and diuretics.
  • Awkward leg position while sleeping.
  • Standing for a long time, especially on a hard surface.
  • The procedure of dialysis.

Night-time leg cramps are like nightmares when they wake you up due to intense pain. Even after the pain is gone muscles may sore for a few minutes to hours. Below are some home remedies to relieve them:
1. Stretches- If you Experience night-time leg cramps before going to bed or just after you are awake stretching may help you.

Stretching legs towards the walls:

  • Lie down to face the wall on the opposite side of the affected leg.
  • Now extend the cramped leg towards the wall.
  • Try to touch the wall with the cramped leg.
  • Remain in this position for about 30 seconds.
  • Revert back to the beginning position.
  • Repeat this until you get relief.

Stretching with the help of a towel:

  • Take a towel
  • Place the affected leg in the towel.
  • Now horizontally pull the towel.
  • Enclose the affected part in the towel by folding it in half.
  • Hug the towel by grabbing its open end.
  • Practice it until it relieves night-time leg cramp.
Stretching with the help of a towel

Stretching with the help of a towel

Stretching the inner calf:

  • Stretch your affected leg forward.
  • Remember that your foot should be placed flat on the floor.
  • Now try to extend the other leg back keeping it straight and place the heel on the ground. Remember the heel should be placed flat.
  • Now stretch the calf by leaning into the wall.
  • Remain in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Revert back to the beginning positions.
  • Repeat this stretch till you get relief.

2. Application of the heat- Heat dilates the blood vessels and enhances the blood flow towards the affected muscles. It also relaxes the muscles and relieves night-time leg cramps.

You may use a hot wash cloth or electric heating pads for this purpose. Apply them on the affected part for not more than 20 minutes. If you don’t get any relief you can repeat the procedure after 20 minutes.

*Remeber the temperature of a heating pad or washcloth should be comfortable.

3. Wintergreen oil- Methyl salicylate present in the wintergreen not only relieves the pain, but also promotes the flow of the blood and relaxes the muscle.

Wintergreen oil-

Wintergreen oil-

How to use:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of wintergreen oil.
  • Mix it with 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil.
  • Apply this preparation the affected part.
  • Massage for 10 to 15minutes.
  • Repeat this 4 to 5 times a day.

4. Epsom salt- Epsom salt relaxes the muscle and relieves night-time leg cramp.
How to use:

  • Take 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt.
  • Add it into a bathtub filled with warm water.
  • Submerge yourself in the bathtub for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Evening primrose oil- Primrose oil is anti-inflammatory and is used to treat acne, eczema, heart diseases and nighttime leg cramp. Take 4 grams of Evening primrose oil daily to relieve your symptoms.

Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil

6. Skullcap and valerian herbs- Both these herbs calms the contracted muscles and thus reduces discomfort. It also treats insomnia and anxiety.

Besides above Home Solutions to Relieve Night-time Leg Cramps Keep in Mind:

  1. Night-time leg cramps may be a result of magnesium deficiency. Consume 300 to 500 grams of magnesium every day. Foods rich in magnesium are fish, green leafy vegetables, yogurt, banana, beans and dry fruits. You may also take magnesium supplements after consulting your doctor.
  2.  Potassium deficiency may also result in night-time muscle cramps. Consume foods rich in potassium such as banana, coconut water, apricots, grapes, oranges and cabbage.
  3. Drink at least 10 glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated.
  4. Avoid wearing tight clothes. Do not use tight bed sheets as they may bend the toes downwards. This constricts the muscle, interfere blood flow and activates night-time leg cramps.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.