1. Drink water or Gatorade before bed
Heavy exercise and low fluid intake can cause dehydration. Doctors recommend drinking water or electrolyte filled drinks like Gatorade before retiring to sleep. Water naturally relieves cramps and hydrates the muscles, while the mineral filled drinks ensure your electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium are not depleted.
2. Place a bar of soap in bed
This strange old wives’ tale is surprisingly effective and medical authorities even endorse it. Place a bar of soap between the mattress and bottom sheet. Experts speculate that it might be effective due to the emissions from the soap, or the gentle pressure that it puts on the muscle when you randomly toss and turn during the night.
3. Stretching exercises
You don’t need to do a whole workout before bed, but three minutes of stretching can prevent mid-sleep leg cramp disturbances. You can try a standing calf stretch. Place one leg in front of the other and bend the knee while extending the back leg. You should feel a relieving pull in the muscle. If you are prone to cramping in the upper leg, try a hamstring stretch. Put your feet together and do a standing forward bend at the hips. Hold this pose for 20 seconds.
4. Potassium and magnesium
When your body has a mineral deficiency, it makes it difficult for the heart to push enough blood down to your legs. Magnesium regulates the muscle and nerve functions, blood pressure and blood sugar levels; while potassium has a similar function but also plays a part in water regulation. Combined together, these two minerals can encourage effective prevention against cramping and certain foods are rich in one or the other.
Bananas are an easy and healthy source of potassium while magnesium can be found in nuts, lentils, and quinoa. It should be noted that if you have kidney problems, extra magnesium can exacerbate the condition.
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