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Healthy Body Healthy Life

You can choose not to be a statistic with ourhelpful tips and recipes!

Image by Ryan Snaadt

Leg Cramps at Night:
Causes and Prevention

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.


Also called charley horses, leg cramps are uncontrolled spasms in the muscles of the leg that may be painful. They typically occur in the calf muscles, though they may also appear in the thighs or feet.

Possible Causes

  • Tired muscles

  • Inactivity during the day

  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time

  • Pregnancy

  • A side effect of medication

  • Medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, flat feet)

  • Dehydration


Some possible home remedies to find relief include:

  • Gently stretching out the muscle

  • If the cramp is in your arch or calf muscles, forcefully extend your toes toward your head and hold the stretch until the cramp subsides

  • If the cramp is in the back of your thigh, stand or sit on the side of the bed, bend at the waist, supporting yourself on your forearms and keep bending forward until you feel the cramp muscle stretching out.

  • Massaging the area by hand

  • Using a foam roller to massage the leg

  • Flexing and unflexing the foot to help extend the leg muscles

  • Applying heat to the area  


  • Mild exercise and regular stretching

  • Drinking plenty of water

  • Wear more supportive shoes

  • Loosen the bedcovers so that they don't press your feet down and shorten the muscles of your arches, causing muscles to cramp.

  • Eat a variety of potassium and magnesium rich foods such as black beans, kidney beans, nuts, seeds, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens (especially beet greens), bananas, kiwi, cantaloupe and other foods.

Anyone experiencing regular leg cramps at night for prolonged periods should see a doctor for a full diagnosis. They may prescribe medication or other treatments to manage nocturnal leg cramps and help a person sleep better.

Fresh Eats


Brown Butter Snap Peas

and New Potatoes









Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 25 mins

Total: 35 mins

Servings: 12


  • 1lb small new potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 1/2cups frozen sugar snap peas

  • 3 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine or low-fat spread)

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or freeze-dried chives


Step 1

  • In 4-quart saucepan, heat 1 cup water to boiling. Add potatoes. Cover; cook over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost tender.

Step 2

  • Add sugar snap peas to potatoes. Cover; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until peas are hot and potatoes are tender. Drain; return to saucepan.

  • Step 3

  • Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, cook butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Stir in 3 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and bouillon; cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot. Stir in chives.


Step 4

  • Pour browned butter mixture over cooked vegetables; stir gently to coat. If desired, season to taste with salt.


Serving Size: 1 Serving (1/2 Cup)

Calories                     70

Calories from Fat        25

Total Fat                    3g

Saturated Fat             2g

Trans Fat                   0g

Cholesterol               10mg

Sodium                    40mg

Potassium              250mg

Total Carbohydrate     8g

Dietary Fiber             1g

Sugars                      0g

Protein                      1g

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