Between warm weather and busy days, up to 60 percent of us report being startled awake nightly by leg and foot cramps. Luckily, trying any of these savvy tricks blocks nighttime leg cramps so you can snooze soundly!
Open the pickle jar.
Then measure out two “shots” (about 3 to 4 ounce) of pickle juice and sip it before bed. North Dakota University findings suggest that drinking the tart blend prevents nighttime cramping by calming overactive neurons in the brain that trigger muscle contractions.
Fresh out of pickles? Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and a pinch of sea salt to half a cup of water and sip. The electrolyte blend is packed with minerals, such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium, that research suggests helps regulate fluid balance in muscle cells to block spasms.
Do a step stretch.
Next time you’re heading up to bed, try this: Pause on the bottom stair, hang your heels over the edge for 30 seconds, then lift onto your toes for two seconds. Repeat these moves four times, and you’ll reduce overnight leg cramping by as much as 59 percent, suggest researchers reporting in the Journal of Physiotherapy.
This simple “heel hang” trick fully extends muscles without overstretching them (which can actually increase your chances of leg cramping). The payoff: Muscles will be perfectly prepped for a deep, restful sleep.
Take this ‘sleeping pill’.
One of the best ways to sleep soundly is to take a B-complex vitamin before bed, suggests research in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Why? It’s harder for your body to absorb cramp-blocking B vitamins from food after age 50. A supplement makes up for a shortfall of the nutrient, which ferries muscle-calming oxygen and nutrients to tissues, blocking sleep-sapping leg cramps for up to 86 percent of folks.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.