Last night I awoke from sleep with a cramp in my right calf. I don't typically suffer such cramps, I can think of only once or twice in my life I've been awoken with such a thing. And man! That hurt. Hurt to the point where I couldn't help crying out (very creatively) "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!!!!" waking up my S.O.
I could feel the muscle all balled up and after a few seconds of massaging it and straightening the leg and flexing the foot it subsided, and i could go back to sleep. It is still a bit sore this morning though. made me want to look it up...on the Internets of course!
The exact cause of night leg cramps isn't known. Some experts believe they may be due to abnormal processing of electrolytes — essential elements and chemical substances your body needs for basic functions — by muscles.
But then, oddly enough, they go on to list "common causes". If they don't know the "exact cause", how can they know the "common" causes? :)
About.com's Orthopedics section has much of the same information. They do point out that: "Leg cramps are more common in young (adolescent age) and older (over 65) patients." So I guess I'm uncommon!
I was probably a little bit dehydrated when I went to bed last night. i usually drink a lot more water all throughout the day than I happened to yesterday. I certainly didn't do anything new and unusual from a physical activity point of view, so dehydration is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
But I'll never make fun of those commercials again with the guy sitting up in bed grabbing his leg with an agonized expression on his face. I'm sure that's exactly what I looked like!