Many people have been in this situation: After a long day at work, you get into bed and are happy to fall asleep. But suddenly your leg cramps up and you experience a lot of pain, making it impossible to sleep. But where do the cramps come from? In fact, there are many reasons why the unpleasant pains occur. We’ll tell you where the pains come from and how you can reduce them.
1. You’re cold at night
This is really a double-edged sword because actually it’s better for your sleep cycles if the room isn’t too warm. The best thing to do is to leave a window slightly open (but of course not when it’s freezing cold outside) and make sure that your legs are under the cover. It’s unclear why cold legs cause cramps but some theories suggest that muscles contract and cramps result from bad circulation.
Of course, it is important to exercise on a regular basis and to look after your health. Generally speaking, strong muscles are less susceptible to cramps but shortly after working out you can experience cramps sometimes, if you don’t stretch properly.
3. Lack of water
If your body is dehydrated, it tends to get cramped. And since your legs are one of your largest muscles, they are particularly susceptible. If you sweat from exercise and don’t drink enough water, your muscles will cramp up. If you sweat a lot, you should also make sure to consume electrolytes that you can find in sports drinks.
4. Standing the whole day
People who have to stand all day long due to their jobs are particularly at risk, because their legs are exposed to constant stress. If you have to wear shoes with high heels, you’re definitely going to feel it in your legs at some point. Here it helps to take a break from standing and to avoid wearing very high heels.
5. Eat a banana
Even competitive sportsmen swear by this natural kick. Bananas have a lot of magnesium which supports the development of muscle and contributes to relaxing your body after exercise. And they are delicious too!
6. A bar of soap
This trick might sound a little mysterious at first but it really works. Try to put a bar of soap between your bed sheets and the mattress. It sounds totally unbelievable but thousands swear by it.
7. A warm shower
This goes in the same direction as warming up before exercising. If your muscles are warm, the blood vessels expand and more blood and oxygen can be transported to the muscles. This is why a hot bath or shower can help combat cramps. It’s best to stretch beforehand.
8. Pickle juice
Many people will think it’s disgusting at first but the juice from pickles is really good for you. The reason lies in the electrolytes. The juice from pickles is full of them. The mixture of salt, vinegar and sugar is ideal to whip your electrolytes into shape.
Nightly leg cramps, or charley horses, are also a common problem people have as they are falling asleep. However, unlike restless leg syndrome, moving the leg while it is cramping will not reduce the discomfort. Instead, it will increase the pain significantly. Leg cramps normally occur because of excessive exercise, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, and dehydration.
There are some things you can do to stop both restless leg syndrome and leg cramps from happening at night. Some of these include massages, a warm bath or shower, drinking enough water, and eating right. However, there is one simple thing you can do TONIGHT that will stop restless leg syndrome and leg cramps.
Put a bar of soap under your sheet!
That’s right. About 42% of people who suffer from leg cramps or restless leg syndrome use this weird soap trick to stop the problem. Why does it work? Doctors are not sure, but some believe that the magnesium in the soap stops the problem. That is because magnesium deficiency is a leading cause of both restless leg syndrome and leg cramps.
Dr. Oz suggests lavender soap because it helps to relax the muscles with its natural scent. I agree. If you are going to put soap in your bed, make it natural with an essential oil-based scent.