leg cramps in my sleep.. help!

  1. Hoping I can get some advice here... Every once in a while after I've been working, I go to sleep, and wake up middle of the night with a severe cramp in my calf, it takes about a minute of me laying there yelling, and trying not to move before it resolves. Has happened maybe 5 times in the last year? Happened last night, and as I'm getting ready to go to sleep now, I can just feel it coming on, I'm sure it will happen again today.

    At work, I wear the cheap ted's (they're thin like panty hose). Do the expensive ones make a huge difference? Any brands you recommend? Any other ideas?
  2. Visit Bluestem profile page

    About Bluestem

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 5; Likes: 8
    from US


  3. by   Lacie
    I used to suffer terribly from them! Like yours they would be intermittent in time but when they happened it would disturb my sleep then I would be sore for days after. I finally started drinking quinine water or the soda water with quinine in it. I try to drink at least one a day and it's pretty much under control now. The only other time I have had problems since is when my electolytes were out of wack.
  4. by   TazziRN
    I know this hurts, I suffer them too, but you can get rid of it in progress.

    As soon as you feel a cramp, straighten out your leg and hyperflex your toes toward your head. It will stretch the cramp out hopefully before it really gets going. Even if you don't catch it until it's in full bloom, grit your teeth and do this and the cramp will release.

    Have you had your lytes checked recently? Are you taking calcium?
  5. by   Soup Turtle
    I get horrible leg cramps at night when I don't take my calcium. I take two citracal D every day.
  6. by   Mimi2RN
    For something totally silly, try putting an unwrapped bar of soap under the bottom sheet by your legs. We read about this in Dr. Gott's column, and told my elderly MIL who had taken quinine for years. Now she swears the soap works. I think she uses Dial, and replaces the bar every few months when it quits working.

    Logically, there is no reason that this would work, but it's always worth trying!
  7. by   crissrn27
    Hey, I've heard the soap thing works too. Never tried it so can't say. My sodium and potassium were low, when I added bananas and table salt they stopped........you probably need to talk with your doc.......r/o restless leg syndrome, etc.
  8. by   Gennaver
    Quote from Bluestem
    Hoping I can get some advice here... Every once in a while after I've been working, I go to sleep, and wake up middle of the night with a severe cramp in my calf, ?...
    The only time I've had these is from an electrolyte imabalance, (usually when the season changes and I sweat more than normal while on my training runs). The activity seems to be a secondary factor because it is the activity that made me sweat more.

    Do you take any vitamin supplements or make sure to eat regularly?

    I'd also REALLY crave the salt then and would have it.

    Works for me, (am a little hypovolemic anyhow, with a long distance runners vascularity and b/p).

    Hope the resolve for you, the stockings have nothing to do with it, imhexperience.
  9. by   sanctuary
    In the short term, stand up and walk. Use the weight of your body to force the muscle to relsx. Put weight on it (hurts like heck, but it is over in a flash). Diet and moderate excercise help in the long run. I had them when I worked 12 and 16 hour shifts.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    I get them but for me the only thing that resolves them is to get up and walk on it. That stretches the muscle out. It typically resolves in a matter of seconds.

    Caffeine exacerbates my leg cramps, and plenty of hydration and potassium in the form of bananas mitigates them.
  11. by   nj1grlcrus
    I get them once in awhile, I even wake up right before it happens, but can't stop it. It happened much more frequently when I was pregnant, so I always think calcium is to blame, I am going to try the quinine water this summer. My mom also had the cramps when she was pregnant, and now I take calcium everyday, mostly because I am so scared of osteoporosis, I see pts shatter like turkish taffy, if you get that reference you are as old as dirt!
  12. by   loriangel14
    ok I know this sounds funny but a friend of mine passed along this method of getting rid of leg cramps. As soon as it starts, press the flume(the indentation under your nose) with your finger as hard as you can. It is some kind of pressure point and it works almost every time for me.
  13. by   Bluestem
    Lots of great ideas, thanks! I took some aspirin & ibuprofren, soaked in a hot bath, and still am sore... I've been drinking lots of soy milk, oj today & I take flinstone vitamins everyday

    I work 12 hr shifts (at least) and don't really eat or drink nearly enough.. I'm trying to work on that, I'm still in my first year and working on becoming more efficient.

    Think I'll schedule my next physical the day after i've been working.. I'm curious to see my 'lyte levels.

    One night off this week Back tomorrow night, wish me luck!
    Thanks everyone!!!!
  14. by   Hoozdo
    Maybe you should get your electrolytes checked as some others have suggested. Hypomagnesia is the culprit with my leg cramps, confirmed by labs. Fixed simply with OTC mag supplementation. :spin: