Leg Cramps and Charley Horses – Why You Get Them While Sleeping

What Causes Leg Cramps or Charley Horse

If you have ever suffered a Charley horse or leg cramps while you were sleeping, you know it can wake you up from a sound sleep instantly.

A Charley horse, supposedly named after a lame horse named Charley associated with the Chicago White Sox baseball team in the 1890s, is simply another name for a leg cramp.

Whatever you call it, when it interrupts your sleep it can mean a painful end to a restful night.

Sometimes this is merely a case of too much sodium in your diet. Eating too much salt can lead to cramps, usually appearing in your legs, during the day or night. Simple dietary changes can instantly reduce and sometimes totally stop the occurrences of leg cramps.

On the dietary side of the Charley horse equation, if your sleeplessness is caused by frequent leg cramps. You need to crank up the amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin D3 in your diet.

You can do this by supplementing, or simply by adding salmon, bananas, sardines, oranges, dark leafy greens, almonds and seeds to your diet.

Leg Cramps Remedies

Staying hydrated is probably the simplest way to positively affect every single one of your physiological functions. It also promotes restful sleep, and helps flesh out excess levels of sodium which may be causing your cramps. Men want to drink between 112 and 144 ounces of water daily, 80 to 96 ounces a day for women.

You can also try the vinegar remedy for leg cramps. You can take apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water before bedtime to provide relief. Adding a little honey will make it easier to drink the remedy.

Stretch your legs, especially your calves before you go to sleep. Since this is where Charley horses usually occur at night, targeting your lower legs and stretching them out previous to your bedtime can help limit leg cramp occurrences.

You may have heard that quinine is a muscle spasm answer. It has been prescribed for leg cramps since the early 1940s.

However, doctors, fitness professionals and even the US Food and Drug Administration advise against using it. This is because of potentially dangerous side effects which have been reported.

Medicines That Cause Leg Cramps

One way to prevent muscle spasms and leg cramps during the night is to investigate any medicine you are currently taking.

Diuretics and statins frequently prescribed to treat hypertension and high cholesterol. These have been known to increase your frequency of sleep-wrecking Charley horses.

The Harvard Medical School reports that if you have flat feet, you might just be more susceptible to nighttime leg cramps. Wear shoes that offer excellent arch support, or order insoles that improve the quality of your current footwear and you just might improve your sleep quality.