Excruciating night cramps

Excruciating night cramps


I wonder if anyone else has had the same as me with this happening to them.

Well, I have to take two paracetamol before going to bed, and have found it seems to be working so far .

When it does happen, one or both legs seem to lock up and to try and walk is excruciatingly painful, to reach the bathroom is a mammoth task.

I'm 72 by the way, but active and have arthritis in the knees which slows me down and have to use a stick to aid walking and to cover any distances need to use two .

But got to keep smiling 😀

That's me about 20 years back, maybe more ,

Happy days 😂

19 Replies

  • I used to have really horrible night cramps but it was suggested Magnesium might help. I use Better You Magnesium Oil Spray, the Goodnight version, with calming herbs in it.. I spray and massage into my legs at bedtime. It worked really well for me. I can't remember the last time I had cramp now. The dose I started on was four sprays per leg and now do six per leg. Initially there was a slight stinging sensation but I've got used to it now. The beauty of using spray magnesium is you don't get the possibility of the runs as you do with oral powders. The magnesium also helps with my Atrial Fibrillation, there are You Tube videos by Dr Sanjay Gupta of York Cardiology about the wonders of Magnesium and why we all might be deficient.

  • Hi there. I used to have those excruciating night cramps but my gp gave me Quinine sulphate tablets. Wonderful. Just one tablet at bedtime is a cure. I should definitely ask your gp.

    Liz. H

  • Hi polymy,

    Quinine works wonders for cramps.The only drawback is that you should not take them if you are on bloodthinners.

    B.t.w. Nobody knows why quinine works for cramps.

  • Quinine sulphate is miraculous for cramps.

  • Hello,

    A few more ideas for the melting pot- If this is new, severe or has never been checked it might worth a couple of simple blood tests to check your blood chemistry (eg sodium, potassium, calcium) as well. If it is pain that is helped by hanging your legs over the edge of the bed rather than just stretching it out forcefully, that needs checking. Make sure you're not dehydrated before bed, though that can come with knock on inconvenience! Is it both legs at the same time in the same areas? Is it definitely the muscle rather than the joints?

    Good pic. Still got the beard? It's the height of fashion (again) in the U.K. with the 'youngsters' so it looks well up to date 😉

  • Hi , yes, still got the beard but it's a lot greyer these days .

    Thank you for the info 😄

  • Edwin, you've already had some great advice. I have suffered with night time leg cramps on and off in recent years. I did ask for a magnesium blood test, knowing that a deficiency can lead to such cramps, but the result was normal.

    Strangely, I also discovered that when I first started taking Vit D pills for a few months each winter, the leg cramps would return with a vengeance. Upon researching, I discovered that taking Vit D can actually show up any magnesium deficiency.

    A lack of salt can also lead to night cramps but, of course, we are all advised to lower our salt intake these days and, due to a couple of other health conditions, I am advised to seriously restrict it.

    When I spoke to the lead GP at my practice about this, he mentioned that his wife was also a sufferer and advised me to do some press-ups before bedtime and he demonstrated by standing and facing the wall (a short distance away from it) and doing the press-ups. They definitely work for me so worth a try for you perhaps?

    I also try and include lots of foods known to be high in magnesium such as dried apricots and bananas just in case there is some slight deficiency lurking somewhere amongst the tissues which is not apparent in the blood tests.

    Good luck and please do come back and let us know if any of the advice we have given helps you.

  • These press-ups as you describe were suggested to me many years ago when I was pregnant and having leg cramps. Worked wonders then too.

  • Hi Edwintweet - plenty of great responses hear to help you & I fully comprehend the meaning of excruciating night cramps.

    I do as Dovelady does, & that is to spray a magnesium/lavender oil on my legs & arms night & morning. I also take a bottle of Indian Tonic water (contains quinine) to bed in the event of these nasty cramps.

    I also have a wheat bag handy & once I have managed to unlock the cramp (usually by massaging the affected area with MSM cream) I heat wheat bag in the microwave & apply to area which usually helps ease me comfortably back to sleep.

    I take oral magnesium x 3 daily plus swig on a mouthful of cocoanut water prior to bed which contains high level of potassium. I also take half a banana to bed as well.

    Stretching as mentioned by Celtic (I do lunges) is also designed to help.

    I've usually woken around 3 or 4am with the intensity of these cramps, feel instantly nauseous & could easily faint - fortunately I haven't but do all I can to avoid this from happening by not getting too dehydrated before bed plus implementing all of the above.

    Good luck.

  • This might sound totally stupid, I did, but as the saying goes, don't knock it until you've tried it. Anyway, I too suffer with cramps in legs and arms and excruciating painful cramps in my toes and top of foot. I bought and tried loads of different lotions and potions, drink tonic water and I even bought a hand held infrared massage machine, nothing helped.

    The other night my toes and upper feet started cramping again and the pain almost brought me to tears. In desperation I picked up my phone and looked on internet for any info as to stop this. What I found was someone said if you place your finger just under your nose and apply pressure for one minute the cramp should go, yeah right, but I tried it anyway and guess what? The cramps subsided then stopped.

    I'm waiting for cramps to come back now to try it again. 😂😂

    Apparently there are three pressure points that help. There's the below nose, top of calf muscle and in between big toe and the next toe.

    So, it worked for me, so try it friends and I hope it helps you.


  • Great tip, it's the middle of the night and my left foot cramp has me close to exhaustion... One minute and now my foot has straightened out. Thank you x

  • I too would have calf and toe cramps at night that would wake me out of a sound sleep. There are 3 things that seemed to have worked. Religiously taking Calcium and magnesium combo, doing foot and calf stretching and strengthening exercises and "reasonable" walking everyday.

    Hope you get relief soon!

  • Here in mainland Germanic Europe the first thing the doctor would ask is "Have you tried magnesium?" Checking the blood level is meaningless - the muscles can be short of it because it has been given up to keep the blood level correct. It's pretty much impossible to overdose - take too much and you get what can only be described as a "moving" effect! If you do take supplements - 2 small doses is better than 1 larger one.

  • I have been taking a combo of calcium and magnesium for a few months because I am on a prednisone protocol for PMR. So I have to watch my calcium levels. I WAS having the most horrific leg and foot cramps before this and was at my wits end. Well, low and behold, I ran out of the supplement for a few days and the leg cramps returned with a vengeance! So - back on the calcium and magnesium again faithfully and viola! Cramps are gone!! So for me - it is the magnesium supplement more than anything! The equivelant of 400 mgs a day. (In the form of mag oxide and mag gluconate). I won't run out again!

  • I found that a tablespoon of mustard...the original yellow kind did the trick. I traveled with it 😉

  • Years ago, I had leg cramps, and had to get my feet on the floor, before I could get any relief. Somebody suggested putting a POTATO in my bed, and it worked!

    Recently, on the forum, somebody suggested a bar of soap between the mattress cover and bottom sheet on a bed, for Restless Legs. Laugh away. It has worked, and I thank the person who wrote about it.

  • I tried the supplements but it did not go well. I find a yogurt for lunch with a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, a few almonds, maybe some dried cranberries mixed in. Dark leafy greens are also a good source of magnesium. Just google and you'll get a list of magnesium rich foods. They should help. Good luck

  • Thanks, anything is worth a try 😃

  • My Father In Law swore by

    Bovril or oxo cubes,mabey worth a try.

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