Nocturnal leg cramps can be relieved by stretching and massaging the muscle, or by taking a warm shower, explains WebMD. Future leg cramps can be prevented by limiting alcohol intake, drinking plenty of water, increasing exercise slowly and stretching the legs before bedtime.
Deficiencies of calcium, magnesium or potassium may contribute to leg cramps, according to WebMD. Patients who experience cramps should increase their intake of healthy foods to ensure they are getting enough of these nutrients. Taking a daily multivitamin supplement may also help. Daily exercise, such as riding a stationary bike, is good for preventing leg cramps. However, patients are advised to slowly increase the amount of exercise they do each day, as sudden, intense exercise can make cramps worse.
Nocturnal leg cramps are sometimes caused by medications such as antipsychotics, birth control pills, steroids and statins, according to WebMD. Patients taking these medications should check with their doctors if they experience leg cramps, since changing the dose or switching to another medication often helps alleviate the cramps. Sometimes leg cramps are a sign of an underlying medical condition such as peripheral artery disease or kidney disease. For this reason, it's critical that people with severe or recurrent leg cramps seek professional medical assistance.