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16 November 2022

Leg cramps while sleeping? This is how you prevent nighttime calf cramps!

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Leg cramps while sleeping? This is how you prevent nighttime calf cramps!

You probably know it, you are sleeping wonderfully and suddenly you are woken up by a hellish shooting pain. Leg cramps while sleeping are common. This painful, hard swelling is caused by a muscle contracting involuntarily. And it remains extremely tense, cramped for seconds to minutes. And hours after the muscle is relaxed again, it remains sensitive. Because of this, you can also suffer from leg cramps after sleeping, when you make an unexpected movement. Are you one of the people with cramps in your calf while sleeping? You lucky guy! If you have to cramp somewhere, then there. The alternative is a cramp in your hamstring while sleeping, or in your foot or toes. And they are just that little bit more painful. Fortunately, you can make sure that the cramp stops yourself. And, depending on the cause, even with a small adjustment you can prevent your sleep from being disturbed as a result.

What are possible causes of leg cramps?

To play sports

  • Cramps are often caused by overloading your muscles.
  • Sleeping in an uncomfortable position
  • Some sleeping positions require tense leg muscles, which makes it easier for them to cramp.


Your muscles need a lot of fluid to function properly. In a relaxed muscle state, a deficiency can cause all kinds of processes in those cells to stagnate. The solution is either to drink more, or your muscles involuntarily tense themselves.

Nutrient deficiency

A shortage of magnesium in particular makes it difficult for your muscles to relax.

Standing all day

When you stand, you use your leg muscles. Standing all day is comparable to a good workout in terms of impact on your muscles, with possible overload as a result. Especially if you wear bad shoes.


Prevent leg and calf cramps with these tips

Drink enough

Drink at least one and a half liters a day, preferably two. This way your muscles can relax better.

Moderate alcohol consumption

A glass once in a while is fine, but if you suffer from calf cramps a lot, it’s best to have the 0.0%.

Avoid overloading the muscles

Sports are good, sports that are too fanatical are not. Keep moving, but less intensively.

Change sleeping position

Try sleeping on your side with your legs pulled up. Or put your legs up by putting a pillow under them. Do you already notice the difference?

wear good shoes

Good shoes support your feet and legs. And no matter how comfortable they are, even the best shoes wear out. 1500 miles on it? Time for a new pair.

Warm bath

To stimulate your blood flow, you can take a warm bath before going to bed. As part of a good night’s sleep, give your body an hour to cool down sufficiently.

Pressure-relieving mattress

A mattress that is too hard can put too much pressure on the muscles. Therefore, make sure you have a pressure-reducing mattress.https://morningstarsleeps.com/blog/whichmattresssuitsmechoosethebestmattressforyouhere/ .

Immediate relief from nocturnal calf cramps

You want to get rid of your cramp and preferably before it starts. Fortunately, you can stop it just as quickly as it started. If possible, stand up, lean forward and put your hands against the wall. Extend your cramped leg back and let both your toes and your heel touch the floor. Is just as intense, but the cramp will go away faster. If standing is not possible, you can also warmly massage the cramped muscle to make it relax faster.

Veelgestelde vragen

What Causes Leg Cramps While Sleeping?

Cramping while sleeping is caused by too intensive movement or by standing all day. Dehydration and a deficiency of nutrients (magnesium) or, conversely, excessive alcohol consumption can also cause cramps.

How do you get rid of leg cramps while sleeping?

Leg cramps can be prevented by eating right and drinking plenty of fluids. A warm bath can relax the muscles and good exercise in good footwear can also prevent a lot of cramping. If you have a cramp and want to get rid of it immediately, it often helps to stretch or massage the muscle.

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