Nocturnal leg cramps are a common occurrence nowadays which may cause pain in the calves, feet and thighs, as well as discomfort that can leave you sleepless. The main cause for this unusual problem is lack of physical activity, dehydration and poor blood flow. Nocturnal leg cramps may last from a few seconds to a few minutes, but sometimes, they can also last for days.
Luckily, the problem can be resolved with some simple tricks. According to experts, the first thing you should do is increase your magnesium intake, as magnesium deficiency is one of the main culprits for the condition. To boost your magnesium levels, consume more bananas, yogurt, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy vegetables and dates. Tomatoes, quinoa, sardines and salmon, molasses, avocado and mushrooms are also rich in magnesium, so you might want to consume more of them as well.
Besides the magnesium-rich foods, you can increase your magnesium levels with the following homemade oil as well:
- ½ a cup of distilled water
- ½ a cup of magnesium chloride flakes
Pour the water in a pot and bring it to a boil, then add the flakes and stir until they dissolve. Once dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and leave the mixture to cool down. In the end, pour it in a spray bottle. Spray the oil on your feet before going to bed and leave it to work overnight before rinsing with water in the morning.
Here are some other tips that can help you overcome nocturnal leg cramps:
Stretching your legs will boost your circulation and improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Try this – put the ball of your feet on a ledge and the heel on the floor, then shift the weight on the ledge and hold the position for 2 seconds. Rest for 10 next, and repeat the stretch 6-8 times per leg.
Increase your vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption in the body, an electrolyte which balances bodily fluids. The best way to increase your vitamin D intake is through sunlight, but you can also eat vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms and seafood.
Boost your electrolyte levels
Electrolyte imbalance is one of the main causes of nocturnal leg cramps. Proper hydration in the body can prevent the cramps, and you can do it with the following electrolyte drink:
- ½ a teaspoon of unionized salt
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 quart of water
Just mix the ingredients together and drink the beverage every day for best results.
If you are suffering from nocturnal leg cramps, walk slowly to improve the blood flow and massage your calves in circular motion. Flex the ankles of the cramping leg and extend it, or point the toes upward and in the direction of your knees.