Nighttime leg cramps

Growing up, my mother often complained about cramps in her legs at night. I remember hearing her saying, "Ow, ow, ow, ow!" in her bedroom. These charley horses were quite common in my mother's life and I never understood why. Until this morning…

About ten minutes before my alarm was to go off, I had the worst cramp in my right calf ever. I have never experienced such a cramp before. Technology is amazing because as soon as the pain subsides, I came straight to the internet to find out what causes leg cramps at night.

Did you know nighttime leg cramps are a pretty common thing? Many of us suffer from it, but we don't have to!! According to my brief research, nighttime leg cramps, or charley horses, are often caused by several reasons:

  • Dehydration
  • Over exercising or not stretching enough before and after as well as before bed
  • Lack of calcium, magnesium, and potassium

Now, drinking water has always been hard for me. I'm lucky if I drink two cups a day regularly. As I grow older I am working towards getting more water in my body before I shrivel up like a raisin! New goal: Drink 8 cups of water a day.

Exercising is something I try to do, but not strenuous. I ride a stationary bike at home so I am still present with my family, or at least close enough to know my son is not burning down the house. But the stretching is something I haven't been doing and this could be adding to my cramps. New goal: stretch before and after exercise as well as before and right after sleep.

Getting enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium may also be a concern for me. I have no idea which foods contain these nutrients! I Googled it! I found a great article on livestrong.com: http://www.livestrong.com/article/70088-list-foods-rich-magnesium-potassium/

New goal: Eat snacks throughout each day that contain nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

The ultimate result that I am looking for in all this is: No more nighttime leg cramps!! Today is a new day and I will stick to these goals for 7-days and evaluate my progress.