What causes leg cramps during sleep?

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Also known as Rest Cramps. Especially in older adults, cramps at rest (often during the night) are very common. Rest cramps may be experienced at any age, however, including during childhood. While not life-threatening, night cramps can be very disruptive of sleep and otherwise quite disturbing. They sometimes recur frequently (that is, many times a night, and/or many nights each week) and are very painful. The actual cause of night cramps is unknown. Sometimes, such cramps seem to be initiated by making a movement that shortens the muscle, which then cramps. An example is pointing the toe down while lying in bed, which shortens the calf muscle, a common site of cramps.

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  • Soulhunter answered 8 years ago
    Probably not enough water.
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  • Nurse Annie answered 8 years ago
    In most cases they are caused by simple muscle fatigue or an imbalance of chemicals such as sodium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium in the bloodNight-time cramps usually subside by themselves, but sometimes applying heat, massaging the leg or stretching the muscle by pulling your toes up toward you will help.

    Source(s):

    I am a nurse for over 20 yrs
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  • luv_nun_awuther answered 8 years ago
    Depends.........If you're a child, it's probably growing pains...... Could be muscle cramps, a blood clot, etc. See your physician.
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  • wellrounded0808 answered 8 years ago
    maybe it is the way you move your leg during your sleep.Im mean no one could really tell wat they do during their sleep.
    And thank you for answering my question so what do you do since you have majored in your communications major?
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  • Chadders answered 8 years ago
    Its because you are such an @ss kicker in your dreams that it gives you leg cramps when you wake up from kickin so much butt. you rule!!!
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  • Lauradi answered 8 years ago
    I ran track in high school, and my physiotherapist told me that you get a leg cramp when you keep your foot in a "point" position as you sleep. If you sleep on your stomach/side, your feet are soles up, meaning that they are pointed, like a ballerina. This causes a cramp because the muscles become strained. If its the same kind of cramp that you get from swimming sometimes, this is what its caused by.

    Source(s):

    My physiotherapist
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  • Na Na from Chico,Ca. answered 8 years ago
    I have been a chronic sufferer since I was 2 years old. Some people say low in potassium, some say low in other things, but when I eat right, and take a multiple vitamin I still get them. Try stretching them out, and take some tylenol or take a hot bath like my mom used to do for me as a toddler.

    Source(s):

    Just personal experience
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  • devastated detergent answered 8 years ago
    You may be referring to charleyhorse, which is a cramping in the lower quadriceps(?). Charleyhorse happens if you've put excess strain on that area of the legs during the day, usually without properly stretching the legs before.

    Source(s):

    First year of high school marching band gives me plenty of personal experience. But I still love it. :)
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  • rikusgrl answered 8 years ago
    Lack of blood circulation. Potassium levels too.
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  • kita_banana answered 8 years ago
    EVERYONE IS SAYING WATER OR DEHIDRATION BUT I DRINK LIKE 4 BOTTLES OF WATER A DAY AND STILL GET CRAMPS IN MY LEGS... WHY?
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  • naterocks54 answered 8 years ago
    when u sleep u probly have most of ur weight on the leg cuseing it to cramp
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  • Anne answered 8 years ago
    Sometimes wearing high-heeled shoes during the day can cause leg cramps at night. Try wearing a shorter high-heel or no high-heel at all and see if it gets better.
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  • rgiraldy answered 8 years ago
    being dehydrated and also lack of calcium, very common when pregnant
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  • tinagurskey@verizon.net answered 8 years ago
    you could have a condition known as restless leg syndrome. It can cause cramps in your legs at night and can also cause a tingling sinsation that can only be stopped by getting up out of bed and walking. This is a recognized condition.

    Source(s):

    I have the same probelem
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  • Nik answered 8 years ago
    usually a lack of potassium. Try eating a few more bananas and drink plenty of water. this should help.

    Source(s):

    swimming for years with leg cramps.
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  • water_draco_luvr answered 8 years ago
    restless leg syndrome or the fact that you used them alot the day before
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  • rhapsodizingmoments answered 8 years ago
    you are lacking in potassium...eat a banana...but you are probably straining your muscles, because what happens is your muscles lock together after being in a certain pressured position for too long. So eat a banana and drink some water.

    Source(s):

    Mr. Charles, my biotechnology teacher.
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  • msniyalicious answered 8 years ago
    preganancy
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  • math&gymnastics answered 8 years ago
    are you sleeping in a wierd position?
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  • etowns answered 8 years ago
    another thing to try, Vit E but not the dl-Alpha
    be sure it is the Natural D-Alpha about 1000 mg daily

    Source(s):

    this helped me!
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  • marianne answered 8 years ago
    one time this happened to me ...if you eat right before you go to bed...(most of) the blood rushes from the extremities (legs) to the stomach to digest the food....this can cause leg cramps..the sudden lack of blood flow in the legs causes a lack of oxygen to the tissues, and you get pain and cramps..
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  • life_roc answered 8 years ago
    they are all right answers to your question. Also it can be the way you turn and twist at night that could make a muscle in your leg stretch and twist at the same time.

    Source(s):

    I get them 5 times a week even when I dont try
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  • redhead answered 8 years ago
    Take potassium pills

    Source(s):

    After being IcyHots #1 customer,tried pot. and it worked.
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  • Bizzy answered 8 years ago
    maybe its poor blood circulation
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  • summerflower_inshortskirt answered 8 years ago
    I get those at night, try to drink alot of water, and if the cramp is bad enough not to sleep, try some muscle relaxer, the types you'd use after a long day of exercising, it kinda works for me.
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  • Andy LDS answered 8 years ago
    Plenty of good advice above. As a practical suggestion, eat a banana about an hour before you go to bed. (Bananas have potassium.)
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  • ~Mandy~ answered 8 years ago
    Lack of water! You need to make sure that u are getting enough water in your body. So many people go threw the day on Soda, or some other kinds of drink. If drinking water is not tempting to u then u can always drink teas just try not to use so much sugar, u need to clean out your body of all the toxins. Good Luck and drink more Water;)
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  • royrox edited 8 years ago
    What the nurse said is very true, but you may also want to look into sleep disorders called Restless Leg Syndrome, or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. Basically, if your legs kick a lot at night, you may not know it, but your body sure does. Both of these sleep disorders are fairly common, and can be treated with medication before bedtime. ;) I'm a sleep tech, does it show? lol

    Source(s):

    Also.. pregnancy will bring on hellasious leg cramps, sometimes!
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  • missarielk answered 8 years ago
    usually it's dehydration but it can be a lack in potassium or even sodium. Try drinking more water during the day, the average adult nee 2-3 liters a day, and if that doesn't work increase your potassium

    Source(s):

    I am a nurse
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