Painful leg cramps can strike at any time, but they seem to happen most frequently when you’re lying down at night. Whether the cramp stops you from drifting off to sleep or wakes you up from a deep slumber, one thing is consistent – it hurts like heck! Leg cramps can last anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes, and while it’s happening, all you can do is try and rub it loose while gritting your teeth through the pain.
There are several potential causes
Magnesium can really help to alleviate leg cramps. You may not even score low on your doctor’s test before a magnesium deficiency starts to bother your legs and interrupt your sleep. Researchers think that magnesium can help soothe leg cramps because it is involved in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction within the body.
Magnesium can be added to the diet with foods like dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, yogurt, bananas, pumpkin seeds, and dates. It may also be taken in a supplement or in the form of oil that you rub on your legs before bed. To make your own magnesium oil, you’ll need about ½ cup of magnesium chloride flakes. These can be found online, in health food stores, or in stores that have a pharmacy.
To make the oil, boil ½ cup distilled water and add flakes. (Distilled water will extend the shelf life of your oil to about 6 months.) Stir constantly until the flakes dissolve, let the mix cool, and pour it into a spray bottle. It will have a slippery texture. Anywhere from 5-10 squirts rubbed into each leg about an hour before bedtime should do the trick.
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