To prevent nighttime calf cramps, stretch every day before bedtime, drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, recommends WebMD. If these methods do not work, over-the-counter pain medication may be needed instead, states Everyday Health.
Increasing magnesium and potassium intake can be potentially helpful for preventing nighttime leg cramps, reports Everyday Health. Three-hundred milligrams of magnesium is recommended, ideally reached through eating nuts, lentils, quinoa and other foods high in the element. However, if this is not possible, supplements can be used.
If leg cramps seem to be caused by excessive exercise, be sure to stretch after exercise and before sleeping, states WebMD. Always increase the intensity or duration of exercise in small increments. Eating a banana, which is high in potassium, as a post-workout snack can also decrease the likelihood of cramping later, according to Everyday Health.
If leg cramps reoccur frequently and are severe, a more serious underlying issue may be causing them, warns WebMD. Nighttime leg cramps are a symptom of restless legs syndrome. If the cramps are not frequent, a doctor can prescribe a muscle relaxant to treat them at night. Everyday Health also suggests taking a painkiller formulated for menstrual cramps to treat the cramping.