Night muscle cramps, predominantly in the feet, ankles and calves, have been discussed elsewhere primarily in terms of electrolyte balance. Search the forum for ‘night cramps’.
I have suffered these cramps for years (I am currently 74 years old), predating my adoption of keto many years. This is not a specifically keto problem, as some seem to think. In the last year or so, I have been experimenting with an electrolyte mixture of sodium, potassium and magnesium in the attempt to get an electrolyte mix that might help. My current mix consists of 50 grams of Real Salt (sodium), 40 grams of No Salt (potassium) and 10 grams of Epsom Salt (magnesium). This makes a 10-day supply at 10 grams per day. On work days (4-5 days per week) I also consume 7-8 grams of sodium chloride table salt dissolved in a liter of water during my shift.
All this has improved my condition immensely. I no longer get cramps every day and the severity has lessened markedly. When I feel a cramp starting I can stop it almost immediately by stretching the affected leg or foot. In the past I could not do this. Once it started I had to endure the pain however long it took to run its course, which could be 5, 10 or even 15 minutes.
A week or so ago I decided to try to augment the electrolytes by wearing compression socks while sleeping. My rationale was that maybe part of the problem is circulation and maybe compression socks would help. After a bit of online research I discovered that compression socks rated at 15-20 mmHg and higher are designed for walking and standing, where the effects of gravity are a concern. In the horizontal where gravity is not involved, sub-15 mmHg are sufficient. There is also some concern that the higher compression socks might restrict blood flow too much when used in the horizontal.
Since I’m on my feet most of my work shifts, the arches in my feet get very tired and sometimes even painful. I’ve added arch support insoles to my shoes which has helped greatly. In addition, I’ve started soaking my feet in epsom salts dissolved in warm water for half an hour most nights. I thought it might help even more to wear arch support while sleeping as well. So I started wearing these.
Since I started using my 25mmHg compression socks and Tensor arch supports I have not had a night cramp, except this morning in the top of my left foot. I suspect this cramp was caused by adjusting the arch support too tight. I will report on my results with this experiment periodically until either I am convinced of its efficacy or not. Stay tuned.