Night cramps, also known as nocturnal cramps, are involuntary contractions or spasms that commonly occur in your leg, foot, or hand at night time when you are resting. These muscle cramps can last anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. Although muscle cramps are considered harmless, they can be extremely painful and can leave muscles sore for up to 24 hours. They can also disrupt your sleeping patterns if they are a common occurrence.
Although experts don’t know what exactly causes muscle cramps, there are certain factors that are believed to increase your risk of getting nocturnal/resting cramps. It is believed that the position of your foot whilst sleeping can be a trigger for leg and foot cramps. When your foot is pointed in a downwards position, it shortens the calf muscle making it vulnerable to cramping. Shortening the muscle can also be caused by sitting improperly with your legs crossed.
Other causes of nocturnal/resting cramps include:
Try these simple tips to help prevent muscle cramps:
To treat muscle cramps: