If you occasionally get cramps in your legs at night, you know how painful they can be. Cramping usually occurs in the calf muscles. Cramping in the thighs or feet is less common.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say these actions help prevent night leg cramps.
Be sure you are adequately hydrated. Drink water and other liquids throughout the day, especially if you have engaged in physical activity. Continue drinking fluids after being active. It helps muscles contract and relax.
Stretch before bed, especially muscles that have cramped before. For a calf stretch, step forward on the offending leg and slightly bend your knee. Hold for several seconds.
Wear shoes that have proper support to help prevent leg cramps.
Do some light exercise for a few minutes before retiring. Ride a stationary bike, for example.
Loosen the bed covers and bed sheets at the foot of the bed.
Pain from leg cramps can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more.
Stretch the leg out to relieve a sudden spasm. Or hold the top of your foot up toward your head to relieve a calf spasm. Gently massage the area.
Use cold or heat. Apply a cold pack, a warm towel or a heating pad. Taking a hot bath or shower can help.
If frequent cramping interferes with your sleep, see a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying condition that may be causing the leg cramps.