Ailments & ConditionsYour Health

Night Leg Cramps Causes

A leg cramp is an intense and painful sensation in the foot or leg. In most cases, this condition can be related to involuntary and sudden muscle contraction. It usually affects the calf or gastrocnemius muscle. Your hamstrings and quadriceps can also be suffered from pain. You can be asleep or awake when it occurs. The whole episode can last around 10 minutes. Below are some common causes of night leg cramps that you should know.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of leg cramps at night. When the body does not get sufficient fluids, it is unable to cool off the whole system. As a result, muscle cramps might happen due to heat effects on the muscles. Studies have also shown that decreased fluids in the body’s cells can trigger muscle twitches, which eventually causes cramps in different parts. Doing physical activities and staying in hot environments can worsen this condition. Make sure to drink enough fluids on a daily basis, typically around 2 liters. The exact intake can vary, depending on your age, activity level, weight, and health condition. [1]