Medical Specialty >> Rheumatology

Doctors Lounge - Rheumatology Answers

Back to Rheumatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Severe leg cramps while sleeping?

 passaro - Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:20 am

I live with my brother and for the past month he has been having severe leg cramps while sleeping. Every night for the past month, he wakes up every hour or so in severe pain that he has described as a full body charlie horse. After about 30 seconds of him thriving in pain, it stops and he goes back to sleep. This causes him to loose much sleep. This really scares me being in the room with him as he starts breathing extremely heavily because of the pain. Over the past 2 weeks it seems to have gotten worse. He wakes up more frequently and there seems to be more severe pain. He recently started going back to the gym to work out. He is an avid athlete as is and goes to the gym to train for cycling. He is 24 years old. He also had been taking pain medications to help him sleep a little better in the past, but stopped recently.
Thank you
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:35 pm

User avatar It is important that he check his hydration status. Many athletes cramp up due to inadequate hydration.

Stretching the calf muscles before bed should help.

Beyond these measures, he should see a physician to evaluate the vascular status of the limbs and perhaps check electrolyte levels.

Keep us posted.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us