wellness fitness nutrition - 5 reasons leg cramps are ruining your good night's sleep - Lose Weight

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Friday, July 21, 2017

wellness fitness nutrition - 5 reasons leg cramps are ruining your good night's sleep

It happens unexpectedly; those moments when you’ve just settled down for the night, then — wham! A leg cramp seemingly explodes in your calf, causing loads of pain and ruining any chance of a restful sleep.
wellness fitness nutrition  reasons leg cramps are ruining your good night's sleep

If it feels like leg cramps occur more often — you may be right. Getting kicked by the dreaded charley horse is more common than you may think, and they tend to happen more often as we age.
In a study published by Richard E. Allen, M.D., and Karl A. Kirby, M.D., from St. Mark’s Family Medicine Residency in Salt Lake City, 50 to 60 percent of adults report experiencing leg cramps regularly, and almost 20 percent of patients who experience frequent leg cramps have seen their doctor for treatments.
wellness fitness nutrition

If leg cramps are leaving your nighttime sleep all in a bunch, here are five ways to control the frequency:

1. Drink more fluids.

reasons leg cramps are ruining your good night's sleep

The outdoor fun that these hot, summer months bring to our day means we are outside longer and more often. And that increases the risk of dehydration.
“When it comes to hydration, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution,” explains Steve Hertzler, PhD, RD, chief scientific officer with Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition business. “When deciding how much your need to drink, take into consideration your climate, your level of acclimation to those conditions and overall sweat loss.”
If you are unsure whether or not you are getting enough fluids, John Higgins, M.D., chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, says to pull up on a fold of skin on the back of your hand, then let it go. If it quickly returns to normal, you are in good shape. But if the skin is slow to return to normal position, Higgins says you might be dehydrated.

2. Change your diet.

Studies show that frequent leg cramps often mean you are low in potassium, sodium or calcium, so daily servings of fresh citrus fruits, melon, milk or tomato juice help stave off those uncomfortable moments. And, avoid caffeine.
“Caffeine can contribute to cramps by constricting your blood vessels and decreasing circulation in muscles,” says writer Perri O. Blumberg.
Switch to decaf, herbal tea or water.

3. Include stretching in your exercise routine.

Daily exercise feels good — until it doesn’t. Writer and elite athlete Andy Blow says muscle cramps are common among athletes.
“It often affects between 40 and 95 percent of athletes at some point,” he says.
While studies can’t pinpoint the exact cause for everyone, many believe it’s a combination of all of these factors, in addition to muscle fatigue. To reduce the risk, Blow suggests designing a training routine specific to the event, find a healthy pace, taper into events and make sure you are sufficiently fueled with plenty of carbs and sodium.
“Strength and weight-bearing training is an important part of our rehabilitation,” said Trent Gunnell, director of rehabilitation at Parke View Rehabilitation & Care Center.
Lifting in moderation and not overworking muscles is a key to maintaining a long-lasting and effective fitness routine for all ages.

4. Look at your medications.

reasons leg cramps are ruining your good night's sleep

Many high blood pressure medications act as a diuretic that depletes your body of necessary fluids. Dr. Allen and Dr. Kirby added, “Medications that are strongly associated with leg cramps include intravenous iron sucrose, conjugated estrogens, raloxifene, naproxen and teriparatide.”
If you have made other changes in your lifestyle yet leg cramps persist, then it’s time to talk with your doctor.

5. If frequent, talk with your doctor about underlying causes.

At times, a leg cramp means more than just a lousy night’s sleep.
“Nocturnal leg cramps are associated with vascular disease, lumbar canal stenosis, cirrhosis, hemodialysis, pregnancy and other medical conditions,” says Dr. Allen and Dr. Kirby.
Leg cramps can be an early sign of diabetes, an inadequate blood supply or pulmonary problems, or compressed nerves. While most of these cramps are short-lived and no reason for concern, Dr. Allensays that if leg cramps persist, you should see your doctor to rule out a more serious condition.

Read also : Health & Wellness: Nutrition tips for people who hate vegetables

An active lifestyle is a key to good health, but when your legs aren’t getting the message that it’s time to calm down, simple changes in diet, exercise, and medications can make a big difference in making your nighttime the right time for rest and relaxation.