Have you ever experienced pain in your legs during your sleep? These pains are called nocturnal leg cramps and they happen due to prolonged hours of inactivity. Nocturnal leg cramps may last for seconds or even minutes, and they are likely to appear in the calf, thighs of the feet. People over 50 are more prone to experiencing this kind of pain, but they can also happen to anyone. You should know the difference between nocturnal leg cramps and restless leg syndrome.
Even though both occur during sleeping hours, they are quite different. Here are some of the many differences between them:
-Restless leg syndrome doesn’t cause pain, but nocturnal leg cramps do.
-RLS doesn’t impede movement as nocturnal leg cramps.
-RLS is more of a discomfort or crawling feeling in your legs.
There are several potential causes of nightly leg cramps, such as:
-Standing on concrete floors
-Overexertion of the muscles in the leg
-Structural disorders like flat feet
-Endocrine disorders like diabetes
-Diuretics, statins, beta agonists
You can undertake various steps to prevent nocturnal night cramps, including:
-Drinking plenty of water
-Use horse chestnut
-Try acupuncture treatment
-Take magnesium supplement
-Avoid high heels
-Take a relaxing, warm bath prior to sleep
-Apply a heating pad to the affected area
What To Do When Cramps Occur
When you get a nocturnal muscle cramp, you may experience a feeling similar to being paralyzed. There are several steps you can undertake to ease and treat nocturnal leg cramps:
-Walk, shake, and stretch the leg.
-Use circular motions to massage the area.
-Consume 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard.
-Place yourself in a sitting position and extend both legs out in front of you. Then, flex your feet at the ankles and point your toes toward your knees – you may want to tug on your feet to offer an even better stretch.