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Do Calf Cramps Wake You Up At Night?

Do Calf Cramps Wake You Up At Night?
       The worst thing to wake up from next to having somebody break into your house is nighttime calf cramps!  You know that brutal sharp pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night when you least expect it.  Although there are numerous causes for these nighttime calf cramps, we will give you a few solutions to fix the problem.

1. Sleeping in a chilled environment tends to cause calf cramps.  A good solution would be to sleep in the warmth, or wrap your legs in a wool blanket to keep the area warm.  Doing so has shown to reduce nighttime calf cramps significantly in a focus group. 

2. Stretching the muscle will aid tremendously in reducing the calf cramps.  Another reason why you get them especially at night is that most people sleep with their feet in a plantar flexed position.  This means you sleep with your toes pointed downward, which also mean that your calves are in a constant flexed position.  Imagine sleeping for 8 hours with your calves flexed? That is a recipe for being woken up to excruciating pain!  Stretch your calves before you go to sleep, and try to keep your feet from pointing downward by placing a pillow or blanket folded up in front to help keep them in a neutral position.

Another great way to keep your feet from being flexed, and to allow more blood circulation is to elevate them by about 12” simply by placing something underneath your heels.   This stops pooling of blood, increases circulation, and reduces plantar flexion in the ankle.

3. Lastly, make sure that you are consuming enough electrolytes, water and Vitamin E.  Consuming Vitamin E daily for two weeks has also shown to get rid of those painful nighttime cramps.

If you are woken up by those cramps, the best thing to do is dorsiflex your ankle (point your toes towards your face), which stretches the calf, muscle and relieves the involuntary contraction.
Amer Kamra
Performance Enhancing Coach
BSc Human Science

Lifestyle | November 23, 2013

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