Stop Calf Cramps From Waking You Up at Night

I woke up to excruciating pain in my calf in the early morning. I haven’t had a leg cramp (a.k.a “Charley Horse”) in a long time and the pain in my calf was intolerable. I had to wait it out and tried my best to stretch out my calf but it felt like it only got worse. Thank goodness it didn’t last long but it was definitely long enough. So what causes calf muscle pain during the night?

How to Help Prevent and Relieve Leg Cramps


Two possible reasons for leg cramps include a lack of potassium and dehydration. I try to drink plenty of water throughout the day but there are times when I am so busy I don’t drink enough. Potassium can be found in foods such as bananas, beans, oranges, and tuna. Other reasons include muscle fatigue or after having tried a new activity.

I did some HIIT yesterday using an Insanity workout I had not tried yet. I’m going to guess that was part of the reason for my leg cramp.

Stretching also helps and it is something I don’t spend enough time on. Even stretching your calf muscles before bed may help.

If you start to experience a painful calf cramp like I did this morning, here are ways to relieve the pain:

  • Pull your toes back (don’t point them)
  • Massage the cramp
  • Lift your leg toward the ceiling, point your toes, then flex them back
  • Put your foot on the floor and lean forward
  • Apply a hot compress to the cramped muscle

Sometimes the pain makes you forget what to do which was my situation this morning. Eventually, I remembered to pull my toes back and while it still hurt like a &*!#@, it finally subsided.

Nocturnal Leg Cramps: Night-time Calf Muscle Pain

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Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

5 thoughts on “Stop Calf Cramps From Waking You Up at Night”

  1. I usually do a lot of stretching to avoid muscle pain, a lot of stretching.
    How is the Insanity workout? I’ve been hearing about it forever but I’ve never seen the whole series, just a bit on youtube. Is it as hard as they say it is?
    I’ve tried P90x a few month’s ago and I though it was more for beginners, but everyone kept saying it’s really hard. I am totally curious about Insanity though.

    1. I think Insanity is very challenging. Each time I use it, I make sure I have plenty of ice water and a towel because I’m dying of thirst and dripping in sweat halfway through. I can never keep up but I push myself and it’s a good workout.

  2. I have researched this extensively as I once got a cramp in my calf that lasted for 3 months. It was always there as a definable hard spot in my calf and would go full on at the slightest provocation.
    I tried the whole potassium / water thing but it didn’t make a bit of difference and it appears to be merely folklore as there were a number of studies I found on the net which showed no change in symptoms with or without a potassium rich diet.

  3. How about magnesium? I’ve been doing insanity for 5 1/2 weeks now, and got my first mid-night leg cramps last night. Such excruciating pain, only last as an acute pain for a couple of minutes.

    I had many more when I was doing p90x but managed them with magnesium. I hadn’t yet bothered with insanity, and had suffered no problems. But a couple of light beers last night, probably not enough water, was enough to bring it all back. Oh and plus, I’m just starting that horrible last month of insnaity, so there is that too.

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