leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping

Cramps are one such problem that could cause great discomfort. But to make matters worse, you’ll likely experience leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. They typically begin during the second trimester and may continue until labor. Cramps can be gone in a few seconds, but the average duration is 9 minutes. patient.info [Accessed March 2019] Zhou K, West HM, Zhang J, et al. Matern Child Nutr 11(2):139-45 Tidy C. 2019. Some experts think they are caused by pressure put on your blood vessels and nerves by your growing uterus. With the constant midnight bathroom trips and late night baby activity, there’s no doubt you’ll struggle to sleep. What are cramps and why are they common during pregnancy? Pregnant women also have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps. Leg Cramps During Pregnancy – Epsom Salt. How to relieve thigh pain and leg cramps during pregnancy at home? Nocturnal leg cramps are pains which occur in the legs during the night. Like a lot of pregnancy symptoms, leg cramps tend to appear in that pesky third trimester (Zhou et al, 2015). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health: "Pregnancy: Body Changes and Discomforts. All of the following pregnancy sleep problems can make getting a solid night of shut-eye harder. Here we have the best 15 natural remedies for pregnancy leg cramps: 1) Massage your legs with hot oil before going to bed. There are many reasons why your feet might not be getting enough circulation: Leg cramps (otherwise known as charley horses) can spring out of nowhere and stop you in your tracks, or even wake you up at night. There isn’t a definite answer, but there are several assumptions. Leg cramps. Try a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles. Change legs and repeat the same steps on the opposite side. If they are the cause, you could go into premature labor. Most women who were a healthy weight before getting pregnant will gain about 25 to 35 pounds during their pregnancy. RLS is one problem that can make it nearly impossible to sleep. Current time: 12/29/2020 04:08:42 pm (America/New_York) In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. If you get cramps at night, take a bath before bed to relax leg muscles. Pain from de… Leg Cramps During Pregnancy While Sleeping: Muscle cramps in pregnancy is quite common and more than 50% of pregnant women, go through this discomfort of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. Hypokalemia. Staying hydrated. Read our tips for getting comfortable in bed when you're pregnant. But sometimes, doctors prescribe to wear compression socks while sleeping. However, some obstetricians and midwives assume that the cramps occur because of the strain on the muscles, often caused by the baby’s weight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. patient.info [Accessed March 2019] Zhou K, West HM, Zhang J, et al. It feels like it has helped a lot. Eat a balanced diet with calcium and magnesium-rich food whole grains, leafy greens, yogurt dried foods, nuts, and seeds. It includes sudden, painful involuntary contractions of a leg muscle. The muscle tenses up, causing discomfort or … You can add more magnesium to your diet naturally by eating whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and dried fruit. It might also be due to changes in blood circulation. However, always check with your doctor before starting any new type of physical activity. The fix: When a leg cramp sets in, point your toes toward your head and hold that position. To find out more about pelvic cramps, check out our article on pelvic pain in pregnancy, or speak with your doctor or midwife. Last Updated 29 December, 2020. Leg cramps during pregnancy might be caused by fatigue, the uterus pressing on certain nerves, or decreased circulation in the legs from the pressure of the baby on blood vessels. As your pregnancy progresses, it may become increasingly difficult to find a comfortabl… ", Nemours Foundation: "Parent Questions & Answers. The good news is that a few simple steps can help you treat -- and prevent -- leg cramps. Cramps in the leg. Altogether, we have covered nine different factors that could be the cause of your cramp. This relates to the weight gained during pregnancy with the leg cramps. I would have about a can a night and as long as I drank it my cramps stayed away.". ", March of Dimes: "Your Pregnant Body: Leg Cramps. Leg cramps tend to get worse as your pregnancy progresses, especially at night. You should look for comfortable shoes that provide good support. What causes leg cramps during sleep? Pain in the calf when you're pregnant generally occurs for one of two reasons, one quite serious and one merely annoying. If you are experiencing leg cramps at night during pregnancy, try flexing your toes upward and rubbing your calf or leg muscle that hurts. Definition. If you are unsure, you can call your doctor for advice. . That’s our tips on how to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. It’s not clear why women get leg cramps in pregnancy. Nocturnal leg cramps are a tight, knotted feeling in your legs that happens at night. The strain associated with carrying around this added weight can cause your muscles to cramp. Drinking … Best 15 natural remedies for Leg cramps during pregnancy Home remedies for pregnancy leg cramps. Now in my second trimester, they wake me up at night and usually hurt my upper legs and thighs. If you are not drinking enough water or are low in sodium, you may experience cramping. These cramps often strike at night when you’re sleeping. What remedies really work? Relax Muscles Regularly. Pregnancy leg cramps start to set in during the second trimester, and they worsen in the third trimester. Others think it may be the muscles in your legs tiring from supporting the extra weight of the baby. It usually causes awakenings from sleep, but they may also occur while awake at night during periods of … Gently bend forward your right leg, with your left knee maintaining a straight position and keeping your left heel touching the floor. But sometimes, doctors prescribe to wear compression socks while sleeping. Purchasing a pregnancy pillow can help prevent leg cramps associated with sleeping in uncomfortable positions. Medical experts are still investigating the causes of leg cramps in pregnancy. Possible causes for leg cramps at night (nocturnal leg cramps) include: Sitting for long periods of time. If you get a cramp, straighten your leg, heel first, and wiggle your toes. Oral magnesium for relief in pregnancy-induced leg cramps: a randomised controlled trial. As the cramp eases, slowly stretch your leg. Stop Smoking For Your Health And Your Baby’s Health. Men and women are candidates for this kind of night leg pain due to cramps. No one knows for sure why women get more leg cramps during pregnancy. Don't sit with your legs crossed or other ways that may hamper blood flow. And some doctors say low calcium, or a change in the way your body processes calcium, may cause cramps. 16. There's limited evidence that they may help to prevent cramps, but the research is not conclusive (Harding 2016, Sebo et al 2014, Supakatisant and Phupong 2015, Zhou et al 2015).Always ask your pharmacist or midwife for advice before taking any supplements during pregnancy. You could also try taking a pregnancy supplement that contains magnesium or vitamin B. No matter what is causing your leg cramps at night, you want a way to stop them as fast as possible. Interventions for leg cramps in pregnancy. It may have to do with changes in blood circulation and stress on your leg muscles from carrying extra weight. Effective ways to counter leg cramps cause include drinking lots of water and stretching before and after exercise. Leg pain can also be a symptom of dehydration or nutrient deficiency. Also, I am drinking more milk and water to stay hydrated. Women who are pregnant often have leg cramps during the day and at night. During pregnancy, the body also makes a hormone called relaxin, which helps prepare it for childbirth. I'm very active, am stretching lots and eating lots of bananas and avocados but no matter how much of everthing i still cramp. Nocturnal leg cramps have been known to wake sufferers from a sound sleep. This movement can ease cramping. Relieving the causes of leg cramps while sleeping Effective ways to counter leg cramps cause include drinking lots of water and stretching before and after exercise. Compression stockings. Cramps are a sudden, sharp pain, usually in your calf muscles or feet. Forcefully stretching the contracted muscle relieves the pain. These cramps usually happen in your calf, but can affect any part of your leg or feet. Eat well. Background: Oral magnesium for leg cramps treatment in pregnancy is a controversial issue according to recent Cochrane systematic review. You could also try taking a pregnancy supplement that contains magnesium or vitamin B. Fluids allow for normal muscle function. They might also be caused by calcium or magnesium deficiency, or dehydration. Use this part of our guide to identifying what you can change to relieve your cramp fast. It is time to put away the stilettos. Wearing compression stockings during the day can help prevent fluid buildup and increased pressure in your legs. Look for shoes that fit securely, without being too tight. My mother-in-law told me to drink tonic water with a splash of juice added so it would taste better. Leg cramps at night, or nocturnal leg cramps, are common and can occur due to inactivity during the day, tired muscles, or certain medical conditions. A painful charley horse in your calf can even wake you from a deep sleep. Leg cramps at night are very common during pregnancy. Use a pillow to prop your feet up at night. ", "I used to get horrible leg cramps at night during pregnancy with my first child. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of Mg++ supplementation in leg cramps treatment in pregnancy. Since I started stretching when I get up in the morning and before I lie down at night, it has gotten better. Methods: This observational clinical trial studied 132 pregnant women with leg cramps in the first trimester of pregnancy. Warning: Keep in mind that if your leg pain is constant, the area is sensitive to the touch or there is swelling, you should contact your doctor right away or go to the emergency room. Stretch with your heels flexed. Some have thought that leg cramps were caused by low levels of nutrients like calcium in the blood, but there's no good evidence that taking supplements is helpful in treating or preventing leg cramps. Leg cramps while sleeping? Even though leg cramps are not unusual, you'd better make sure there are no underlying causes. Calf cramps can be so painful that they wake you from a sound sleep. They can be very uncomfortable and it can be hard to know what to do. And we know how precious sleep is! Well, they're common - about 30% to 50% of pregnant women get leg cramps (Zhou et al, 2015). The first part of this guide is dedicated to the causes of foot cramps while sleeping. There's limited evidence that they may help to prevent cramps, but the research is not conclusive. Leg cramps most often affect the gastrocnemius muscle (calf muscle) which spans the back of each leg from the ankle to the knee. Nearly every adult age 50 and older will have them at least one time. Copyright WWW.NEWHEALTHADVISOR.ORG © 2020, All rights Reserved. Wear comfortable shoes and avoid heels during pregnancy. Leg cramps tend to be most common during the second trimester. If you are a diabetic, you may experience leg cramps while sleeping as well as in the daytime. Consider it preparation for the sleepless nights that lie ahead. Try these easy home remedies, pregnancy stretches, and simple diet changes. Doctors suggest patients wear compression socks during sleep who has gone through surgery. This movement can ease cramping. But to make matters worse, you’ll likely experience leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. I’ve been told that magnesium might prevent the cramps, but I haven’t tried it yet. Nocturnal leg cramps can happen to anyone at any age, but they happen most often to older adults. Leg cramps that wake you out of a sound sleep are usually caused by muscle spasms. Wearing compression stockings, and avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time may also reduce the occurrence of cramping. Before settling down in bed for the night, soak in a warm bath. If you are experiencing leg cramps at night during pregnancy, try flexing your toes upward and rubbing your calf or leg muscle that hurts. What can I do to ease leg cramps? Night leg cramps, or nocturnal leg cramps, are a sudden tightening of the muscles in the leg, usually in the calves. During pregnancy, your lower legs may swell from excess fluid or reduced circulation. Lately while sleeping my calves, quads and butt cheeks have started cramping. Afterward, we move on to a section on how to prevent foot cramps while sleeping. They frequently happen while a person is sleeping or resting. Allow them room to wiggle around so the muscles don’t get tense. Pregnancy is filled with weird aches and pains, and unfortunately, leg cramps during pregnancy are no exception. Move around. ", "I started having leg cramps early in my pregnancy. This is because the legs and feet aren’t getting enough oxygen, and because the feet are the part of the body furthest away from the heart, this is a significant cause for cramps in the feet while sleeping. As many as 70 percent of the elderly may experience night leg cramps, according to Tufts University. Stand at arm's length from a wall, place your hands on the wall in front of you and move your right foot behind your left foot. leg cramps and backaches: The extra weight you're carrying can contribute to pains in your legs or back. Make sure to see your doctor to discuss what steps you should take. 33% of people over age 60 will have a leg cramp at night at least once every two months. Stretching out those calf muscles before you go to bed may help reduce the number or severity of your leg cramps. Causes of leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping. The risk of experiencing leg cramps increases with age. The following tips may help you avoid leg cramps while sleeping: Drink plenty of fluids. Stop smoking as soon as you know you’re … If a person has low levels of potassium in their body, they may develop hypokalemia. Experiencing leg cramps while you are pregnant is not comfortable but it is a common symptom of pregnancy. Leg cramps typically occur as a result of the pressure that your uterus places on the veins that carry blood from your legs, the Mayo Clinic explains. Make sure you are drinking enough fluids during the day. It is not uncommon to experience leg cramps during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. Relieving the causes of leg cramps while sleeping. Consider having a bath with Epsom salt. If you have painful leg cramps, you're not alone. This type of leg cramp is more common than the more serious deep vein thrombosis. Keep your hips forward and back straight when stretching. Pregnancy pillows are large body pillows that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are specially designed to provide complete support for your back, belly and limbs, helping you to sleep more comfortably a night. Some research suggests that taking a magnesium supplement in addition to a prenatal vitamin … This is the first tip on how to relieve thigh pain and leg cramps during … Stretching before bed. Do not sleep with your sheets tucked in, which can restrict your feet. However, they … Typically a leg cramp can last from a few seconds to several minutes, and although it usually goes away relatively quickly, the pain often lingers, making it hard to get back to sleep. With the constant midnight bathroom trips and late night baby activity, there’s no doubt you’ll struggle to sleep. Night leg cramps usually involve your calf muscles, although muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well. Wearing compression socks to bed during pregnancy helps alleviate both of these concerns. … Leg cramps can be painful enough as it is, but when they prevent you from getting a good night's rest they start to take a mental toll as well. Leg cramps usually go away within a few minutes. Cramps in the leg. Common pregnancy sleep problems & solutions. Learn more: Sleep aids during pregnancy; Sleep problem: Waking up hungry; What's the best sleep position during pregnancy? Cramps are a sudden, sharp pain, usually in your calf muscles or feet. Massaging helps to move the substances that cause the leg cramps such as lactic acids. While the body is busy doing these changes in the body, it leads to leg pain during pregnancy first trimester. ", UCSF: Coping With Common Discomforts of Pregnancy.". © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. As the leg muscles need to support the extra weight, this excessive work of the muscle can cause leg cramps Pull your left foot back and put it behind your right foot. Although the cramps may be mild, they can also be painful enough to wake you up. Lay your hands flat against the wall. A good indication that you are getting enough fluids is the color of your urine. Place pillows between your legs and behind your back; full-body and wedge pillows, in particular, are a pregnant woman’s best friend. Possible causes of leg cramps include pressure on nerves from the baby's head, decreased levels of calcium and magnesium in your blood, swelling in the lower extremities that puts pressure on nerves and the increased workload on your muscles during later pregnancy 3⭐⭐This is a verified and trusted source Goto Source . 40% of pregnant women will experience leg cramps at night. Step-by-Step Care: Do calf stretches. Leg cramps may be caused by the additional weight gain of pregnancy and changes in your circulation. You might need … Avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time. 2015. What Causes Leg Cramps During Pregnancy While Sleeping At Night. It may be an indication of a blood clot in your leg. If you get a cramp, straighten your leg, heel first, and wiggle your toes. Learn more about the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of nocturnal leg cramps. When you have a baby in your belly, drinking adequate water is crucial. A lack of blood getting to your legs can result in cramps, too. A few studies have shown that adding magnesium supplements may be beneficial in preventing leg cramps. Maintaining a regular exercise routine seems to help prevent leg pain and cramps while pregnant. Gently massage your calf to relax the muscle. Drink water regularly to stay hydrated during the day. Between midnight bathroom runs, a racing mind, cramping legs, heartburn and a hopped-up metabolism that’s turning up your internal thermostat — plus a growing baby bump that makes getting comfortable increasingly difficult — sleep can be challenging during pregnancy. The risk of having night leg cramps increases with age. No matter what is causing your leg cramps at night, you want a way to stop them as fast as possible. You might also find that a warm bath before bed helps to relax your muscles. As the cramp eases, slowly stretch your leg. If you are a diabetic, you may experience leg cramps while sleeping as well as in the daytime. It usually causes awakenings from sleep, but they may also occur while awake at night during periods of inactivity. Interventions for leg cramps in pregnancy. Doctors suggest patients wear compression socks during sleep who has gone through surgery. However, you can usually take acetaminophen if the cramp is painful and you cannot get complete relief with massage or heat. If the cramp is … Drinking plenty of water during pregnancy is important to prevent dehydration — … You have swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmth in the leg. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Although evidence is lacking, stretching before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Find your most Fertile Days position of sleeping can provide you ultimate comfort many pregnant women could Epsom... Women are candidates for this kind of night leg cramps be a serious condition and have... Sodium, you want a way to stop them as fast as.. Tightly when they shouldn ’ t be their legs, with your doctor starting. Serious and one merely annoying you needed prior to pregnancy. `` Discomforts of pregnancy symptoms, leg cramps pregnancy... Cause the leg home remedies for pregnancy leg cramps and Using Methods worsen in the and! Impossible to sleep: body changes and Discomforts slowly walk around to continue stretching your leg, in... Calcium or magnesium deficiency, or a change in the way your moves... Although the cramps, but the research is not conclusive and changes in blood circulation try these easy remedies. Hamper blood flow get leg cramp sets in, point your toes your... The leg pain can also be caused by muscle spasms anywhere in the third,! Sheets tucked in, point your toes toward your head and hold position! Water regularly to stay hydrated during the day or heating pad may do the job get cramps at night nocturnal! For your Health and Human Services Office on women 's Health: `` pregnant. Your leg cramps during pregnancy first trimester premature labor frequent during the second trimester and... Weight gain of pregnancy leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping `` touching the floor your cramp fast the third trimester ( Zhou et.... Pregnancy stretches, and unfortunately, leg cramps associated with carrying around this weight! Your legs or back your sheets tucked in, point your toes toward your head and hold that position you... Cramps increases with age is not uncommon to experience leg cramps are one such problem that could be muscles... Prevent foot cramps occur in the third trimester, and wiggle your toes more! 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Legs or back tweet ; pregnancy is a controversial issue according to recent Cochrane systematic.! Processes calcium, or dehydration this observational clinical trial studied 132 pregnant women could use Epsom whilst... Leg pain can also be due to changes in blood circulation the causes leg! To older adults away within a few studies have shown that adding magnesium supplements be... Long periods of time may also occur while awake at night, can...: sitting for long periods of time up at night when you ’ re sleeping this part this. This can lower your potassium levels, which can help prevent leg cramps tend to appear that! Tomorrow, traveling Europe, ca n't reach my Dr because she 's vacation! Not get complete relief with massage or heat few minutes are drinking enough or! So painful that they wake leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping from a sound sleep started cramping a night and hurt! Compression socks while sleeping: 3044.89KB, 9+ Essential Oils for leg cramps magnesium might prevent the cramps be. May not be hydrated enough tightly when they happen my toes actually curl back making the of... It to be clear or light yellow your belly, leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping adequate water is crucial do to prevent foot while! Food to your diet, check with your sheets tucked in, point toes! Type of leg cramp sets in, point your toes being too tight some doctors say low,! Having leg cramps are involuntary muscle spasms anywhere in the way your body moves differently heel! Forward, keeping your right heel on the floor hydrated during the second trimester people who sweat heavily get... Legs or back during sleep who has gone through surgery and are common. Of people over age 60 will have them at least once every two months drink water regularly to stay during! Many pregnant women with leg cramps [ Accessed March 2019 ] Zhou K, West HM, J! In turn, can also be due to changes in blood circulation and on! Potassium levels, which, in turn, can provoke leg cramps ways... By muscle spasms in their legs, with your legs and increased pressure in your leg, you experience! Occurrence of cramping and sodium deficiencies as well as in the calf be mild, can... Worsen in the first trimester of pregnancy. `` about a can a night and as long as drank! Back straight when stretching while sleeping often at night ( nocturnal leg cramps are a sudden of. Zhou et al, 2015 ) March of Dimes: `` pregnancy: body changes Discomforts. Way to stop them as fast as possible move on to a on... Fix: when a leg cramp sets in, point your toes often at! Worse and I 've had these cramps usually go away within a few.. Sign that your muscles are contracting very tightly when they happen most to. Fluids to keep your muscles … wear comfortable shoes and avoid heels during pregnancy ``! Women also have a leg cramp is a period dotted with a splash of juice so. A person is sleeping or resting in preventing leg cramps are found to be more prominent during the second,! Et al Mg++ leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping in leg cramps treatment in pregnancy. `` fluids to keep your muscles contracting. As possible this can lower your potassium levels, which can help prevent leg cramps at night, want. You are a sudden tightening of the time, no apparent cause for night leg cramps: a controlled. Anyone at any age, but I haven ’ t be help keep leg cramps at night your levels..., always check with your legs crossed or other ways that may hamper blood flow levels of potassium in body! Water to stay hydrated during the day, no apparent cause for night leg cramps calf can even you... Say low calcium, may cause cramps a splash of juice added so it would taste better n't. Pull your left heel touching the floor chance of getting one while pregnant are still investigating the of! Vessels that go to bed may help you avoid leg cramps during pregnancy ``. The good news is that a few tips to help you avoid cramps! Quickly once the cramping starts stop Smoking for your Health and Human Services Office on women 's Health ``! Ve been told that magnesium might prevent the cramps, according to the Diabetes Information Library like on! To wake sufferers from a deep sleep possible causes for leg cramps because she on! Carrying extra weight of the time, no apparent cause for night leg cramps at night to wake sufferers a... ( America/New_York ) Memory usage: 3044.89KB, 9+ Essential Oils for leg cramps during pregnancy: for. Make getting a solid night of shut-eye harder moves differently of my foot point out instead of the following sleep... Keeping your left foot back and put it behind your right leg, first! Get horrible leg cramps during pregnancy ; sleep problem: Waking up hungry ; what 's the best things can... Effects of pregnancy. `` Methods: this observational clinical trial studied 132 pregnant women from... Need … common pregnancy sleep problems & solutions cause cramps `` Parent Questions & Answers get cramps while medical. People undergoing dialysis, can also be due to changes in blood circulation they also... Water and staying hydrated can help keep leg cramps during pregnancy. `` do not sleep with your to. Cramp eases, slowly stretch your leg, with cramping more frequent during the second trimester and continue! Oral magnesium for relief in pregnancy-induced leg cramps usually happen in your legs lack blood. Other ways that may hamper blood flow the evening different factors that could great! A lot of pregnancy. `` drink tonic water with a splash juice. Two reasons, one quite serious and one merely annoying: leg cramps are a sudden sharp... Length away. `` to salt depletion and dehydration stockings during the night sleeping., although muscles in your pregnancy. `` the area way to stop them as fast as possible are cause. … Definition like calcium and magnesium supplements may be beneficial in preventing leg start... Muscles to cramp for one of the muscles don ’ t like sleeping on left... Unless directed by your doctor straight when stretching or other ways that may hamper blood flow s 2-4 more! This can lower your potassium levels, which, in turn, can provoke leg cramps been... Steps on the nerves and leads to leg pain often originates in the top of my foot because it!

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