Night-time Muscle Cramps

Night-time muscle cramps are involuntary contractions of the muscle due to localised accumulation of lactic acid.

Rob's guide can be downloaded here.


  • Unknown cause (idiopathic)
  • Diabetes
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Arthritis
  • Common in pregnancy
  • Electrolyte disturbances particularly low sodium or calcium, dehydration
  • Thyroid disease
  • Neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy and motor neurone disease

How to prevent and reduce symptoms:

  • Reduce or stop completely caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine consumption
  • Passive stretching and massage of the affected muscle

  • Stretch before going to bed
    • Night-time muscle cramps in the calf may be prevented with daily stretching

  • Again, stretch before going to bed
  • B vitamin complex has some evidence
  • Magnesium and calcium supplementation have minimal evidence other than pregnancy-related leg cramps, although it is reported some patients may get relief

    • We have a large selection of magnesium and calcium supplements at Barcaldine Pharmacy, get in touch and we can further discuss your needs
  • Maintain adequate hydration

  • Have a water bottle or glass of water by the bedside

We'd prefer you to try the free and low risk alternatives to medication such as maintaining adequate hydration and to stretch before you decide to commence any new medications. 

Talk to your local pharmacist at #BarcyPharm for further information to discuss your health needs!


Rob – Barcaldine Pharmacy

Further Reading:

I would recommend you to read information from the "Better Health Channel" about "muscle cramps" and "restless legs syndrome"

Remember to talk to your dentist, doctor or pharmacist before using this advice. I have placed this here as a reference for my patients, only under recommendation of their clinician.

Our pharmacist at #BarcyPharm will love to hear from you!

Please get in touch via phone: 07 4651 1121,


or SMS: 0474337679


eTG complete [digital]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2019 Jun.