ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What are Night Leg Cramps and How to deal with it?

Updated on May 9, 2013

I've been getting night cramps almost on a regular basis for the past few months. And believe me it really hurts. I’m in tears and can't move for at least 2 or 3 minutes. It feels as if my muscles are tearing , ripping and then after few minutes you feel that it was just like a Heart Attack (jokingly “Leg Attack”). It’s gone, but the left over feel is not so pleasant. At last I could find out it’s another Night Leg Cramps. Anyone who has experienced leg cramps knows how uncomfortable they can be, especially if you get them at night.

So what is Night Leg Cramp?

Night leg cramps are pains that occur in the legs during the night. They usually cause awakenings from sleep, but they may also occur while you are late awake at night without much activity. In most cases, night leg cramps involve your calf muscles, but muscles in your feet or thighs may cramp as well.

It lasts from several seconds to few minutes. And it may cause muscle soreness after it’s over. It happens most commonly in elderly people, pregnant women, but it can equally cause trouble to teenagers and sometimes children.


What causes Night Leg Cramps?

The exact causes for these cramps are still not known to medical field. But there are lots of proof which links it to general muscle fatigue. It can be also due to sitting/standing in a same position for a longer duration and also doing heavy exercise at night. It can also be due to certain conditions like pregnancy, high blood pressure etc and also if you are on certain medications.

But the real fact is that anyone can get them. And it hurts very badly.

Now, how to prevent them?

Well, I won’t be suggesting what medication to be done when you get night leg cramp, because prevention is known to be the best possible way. In fact there is almost no medication to this situation.

If you are hit with Night Cramp in the middle of night, scream, cry and do whatever you like, but importantly do not move your legs for at least 10-15 minutes even after it is gone. Otherwise, another round of cramp may start off or it can spread to other parts of your leg. I know it pains very badly, but I think you have no choice, but to lie down without moving your legs.

Now talking about the preventive steps, make sure that you drink a lot of water during night. Dehydration is supposed to cause this. A little stretching exercise before you go to bed is a good idea. But in case you have done a lot of exercise late night, make sure you get a relaxing session at the end of it. I mean a complete relaxing session.

Though lots of people suggest wearing socks, I couldn’t find any link. In fact I would suggest to even keep your blanket loosely towards your feet.

Other suggestion is drinking milk. These cramps are said to be due to lack in vitamins and minerals in our body and milk surely is the best answer.

The same theory goes, when people suggest eating banana after your meal to avoid night cramps. Bananas are very rich in potassium and the effect will be immediate.

The combination of calcium and magnesium together is a wonderful solution for sports injuries and cramping. You can also have great results with magnesium alone, since our diets tend to be high in calcium.

Non-Scientific Methods for Leg Cramps

These are non-scientific and please note that I am just writing down a collection of ideas from my friend’s circle. As obvious, you should only be responsible for trying this: -

  1. As old wives tale goes, keeping a bar of hand soap at the bottom of your bed, under the sheet, will help to stop the leg cramps.
  2. Sleeping with a few wine corks is another idea suggested to me. I have never tried it, but I see no harm in it.
  3. One spoonful of dark chocolate was suggested to me for Night leg Spasms. But do you really need to suffer from such a bad pain to try it?
  4. Another friend suggested a spoon of baking soda mixed with water to ease leg cramps. I never tried it, but little curious to find out the result.

At the End….

The best thing you can do next day morning is to take a hot shower and especially running hot water at the affected areas. Usually I felt perfectly ok towards the next day afternoon / evening. But I am sure that if that lasts longer, then medical help is required. But do simple activities for a day and avoid long exertions and complex postures to get a quick relieve.

Out of the Non-Scientific Menthods mentioned, which one would you like to try?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      all you can do..which i do to strain the muscle in the direction of knee with ur hand..very quickly and in strong way...

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I just had one, at 2:30 AM. They suck, and sometimes you gotta walk them out and rub out the knot. As you walk, go in the full heel-toe motion. Yes it hurts like someone punching you in the calf, but trust me, it feels a lot better.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)