Why cramping hands at night: causes of seizures

Seizures are not just an unpleasant sensation, but a real problem for many people who experience this symptom on a daily basis. If during the day a spasm only causes discomfort and interferes with work, then at night this worsens sleep and leads to insomnia. Consider why the hands are cramping at night, which is why limb cramps appear.

What is cramp

A cramp or spasm is an involuntary and uncontrolled muscle contraction that is accompanied by aching pain. During a spasm, it is impossible to control the limbs, which is why the only way out is to wait out the attack.

This muscle contraction is the body’s response to a stimulus. These are low temperature (cramp in cold water), illness, stress, and much more. The following are the main prerequisites for the onset of a spasm: 

  • brain diseases;
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • damage to one or more nerves;
  • excessive physical activity;
  • chronic kidney disease;
  • severe dehydration;
  • the last trimester of pregnancy;
  • an excess of phosphates;
  • oxygen poisoning (too fast breathing);
  • lack of vitamins;
  • diseases of the thyroid gland;
  • the action of medications.

Often the cause is an excess of CNS stimulants in the blood (caffeine and nicotine), as well as hypothermia. If you went in for sports before the attack, then most likely, the “culprit” is a pinched nerve that provokes a spasm. Serious health problems are characterized by an abundance of symptoms, and seizures only add to the overall picture.

In some cases, seizures appear due to poisoning of the body. People who regularly use alcohol or drugs experience spontaneous muscle contraction. And also viral diseases provoke similar. In the process of vital activity, microorganisms release a large amount of toxins into the blood, which leads to intoxication.

Rarely enough, limbs are reduced due to a lack or excess of minerals (calcium and magnesium). This is associated with a poor diet, or with dysfunction of the digestive tract.


Spasm is difficult to confuse with the manifestation of another disease. In this case, the convulsive contraction of the muscles differs in certain cases, which helps to make a diagnosis.

The main signs are:

  • strong muscle tension, manifestation of relief;
  • lack of control over the limbs;
  • the hand is compressed into a fist or straightens as much as possible;
  • sharp sharp or pulling pain;
  • the skin changes color (in case of poisoning);
  • spasm gives way to relaxation, twitching occurs (with problems with the central nervous system).

Additional symptoms accompanying seizures are an indicator of a serious illness. If during an attack it darkens in the eyes, increases in pressure, nausea and dizziness appear, then you have problems with the nervous system. With rare exceptions, this is associated with severe stress.

What to do with hand cramps

If the spontaneous muscle contraction does not cause serious discomfort, then it is enough to wait out the attack. Do not panic or call the hospital if you are sure that you do not have serious health problems. In this case, you should assess your condition, and in case of dizziness or nausea, seek help.

If the symptom occurs at night while sleeping

If you woke up at night from a spasm in your hands, then the following tips will help alleviate the condition at the time of the attack:

  • lying in bed, raise your arms tops, bend and straighten your fingers several times;
  • rotate the wrists alternately to the right and left;
  • interlocking fingers “in the lock”, raise and lower your hands. Change the grip of the fingers and do the exercise again;
  • having relaxed your hands, shake your hands several times for maximum relaxation;
  • rub your palms until you feel warm, and massage each finger;
  • perform exercises with a massage ball for hands: squeeze the ball, holding it with one and then the other hand, roll it between your palms. Such manipulations create a point effect on the spasmodic muscles, which leads to their relaxation.

If the symptom occurs during the day while awake

First aid for a spasm will help not to get into a dangerous situation on the road or at work. It is important to remember that this is only a temporary measure, and not a complete elimination of the problem.

  • With monotonous work with the hands or forearm. If you do the same thing over and over again, spasm is a common symptom of limb fatigue. To exclude an attack, it is necessary to do a short-term exercise every half an hour. It is enough to stretch your hands, shoulders and forearm to improve blood circulation.
  • With a static load on the hands. Typical for truckers who have to keep their limbs in one position for hours. At the time of a spasm, so as not to get into an accident, you should quickly prick a part of the hand. You can use a needle, any iron tool or clothespin. The main thing is that you do not break the skin and do not get severe injury. You also need to lower your hands down to normalize blood flow. With hand cramp, rhythmic flexion and extension of the little fingers helps.
  • When hands are raised up for a long time. Construction workers and installers suffer from cramps in the hands, as their limbs are higher than the heart. Muscles are poorly supplied with blood, which makes them lack oxygen. In this case, it is enough to put your hands down and knead rhythmically.

Treatment options

If cramps and twitching of your hands have become a daily problem for you, then you should seek help from specialists. There are several treatment options available to resolve the problem.


Convulsions are a specific symptom. Therefore, various drugs are used that help relieve pain, relax muscles, or eliminate a lack of minerals. 

Name of the medicineAppointment
“Magnefar B6”
“Magne B6”
Eliminate magnesium deficiency
“Calcium D3”
“Beres calcium plus D3”
Eliminate calcium deficiency
Eliminating potassium deficiency after consuming diuretics
Valerian tincture alcohol.
Valerian extract
Normalization of blood circulation
Removal of smooth muscle spasm

The drugs help partially solve the problem with seizures. It should be remembered that using them at high temperatures, viral diseases (intoxication), as well as epilepsy is prohibited.

All targeted drugs must be prescribed by a doctor. Before the examination, you should not purchase medications that reduce / increase blood pressure, act on the heart or central nervous system. Be aware that some pills also cause seizures (side effect). It is dangerous to take medications without an accurate diagnosis.

Folk remedies

If you do not want to purchase expensive medicines or for health reasons you cannot take them, then turn to traditional medicine. 

  • Mustard plasters. A cheap way to warm up and relax your limb muscles. They improve blood flow by providing oxygen to the muscles. The duration of the procedure is 15 minutes.
  • Pepper plaster. It warms up many times better than mustard plasters, therefore it is more effective. However, the chance of skin burns increases.
  • Linden infusion. Fill a half-liter jar with freshly picked flowers, pour boiling water over and close tightly. After 20 days, the infusion can be consumed. Reception scheme – 1 tbsp. l. three times a day before meals.
  • Phytotherapy. Linden or chamomile teas help get rid of cramps. When taken before bed, they quickly calm the central nervous system and improve the quality of sleep.
  • Lemon-based compress. Fresh high-quality fruit is cut into several slices, and the skin of the hands is rubbed with juice. Next, they are wrapped with gauze or other material that allows air to pass through. The procedure is performed before bedtime.


Massage helps to relax smooth muscles, as well as eliminate problems such as a pinched nerve. In this case, the action is directed to the limbs and the shoulder girdle, therefore, the therapeutic effect will manifest itself only if you do not have diseases of the internal organs.

It is better to seek the help of a specialist in order to achieve a quick effect. At the same time, at home, you can also do a massage that relaxes the muscles.


  • Sliding movements, lightly touching the skin, are carried out from the hand to the shoulder.
  • They quickly rub the neck and shoulder girdle, eliminating strong pressure. Then rub in a spiral, touching first with the inner side of the palm, and then with the edge. After active rubbing, proceed to slow stroking.
  • Knead all the muscles from the hand to the shoulder, rhythmically pressing on the skin with the inner side of the palm.
  • Finish with light stroking of the limbs.

For best results, rubbing ointments are used that have a warming effect. Pain relieving ointments should not be used as they do not improve blood flow to the hands.

Thermal treatments

You can combine the useful with the pleasant and take a bath with the addition of salt, essential oils or herbs. This procedure performs several functions at once:

  • calms the nervous system;
  • improves blood flow;
  • has a positive effect on mood;
  • relaxes muscles.

The bath must be taken for a limited amount of time (no more than 20 minutes) to avoid dehydration or a sharp increase in blood pressure. Before using additives (salts, oils, etc.), it is advisable to make sure that you are free of allergies. 

Thermal procedures are prohibited under the following conditions:

  • heat;
  • dehydration;
  • hypertension;
  • immediately after eating.

Unflavored sea salt, lavender, pine needles, Indian onions, tea tree essential oil are used as additives.

Proper nutrition

Tasty and healthy are two different things, so the diet is often saturated with foods that are poor in vitamins and microelements. The problem is especially acute in winter and early spring, which can cause spasms of the hands or other parts of the body.

Since seizures are provoked by a lack of calcium, potassium, magnesium, the following foods are introduced into the diet:

  • milk;
  • natural kefir;
  • carrot;
  • beets;
  • apples;
  • dried apricots;
  • rice bran;
  • nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts).

Foods that contain a record amount of vitamins:

  • A – duck liver;
  • В1 – pistachios;
  • B2 – pine nuts;
  • B3 – beef liver;
  • B4 – chicken eggs;
  • B6 – pine nuts;
  • B8 – sprouted wheat;
  • B9 – peanuts;
  • B12 – fried beef liver;
  • C – rosehip;
  • D – mackerel;
  • E – wheat germ oil;
  • R – lemon zest;
  • PP – peanuts.

Exclude from the diet foods that worsen the condition or wash out vitamins and minerals:

  • alcohol;
  • coffee;
  • strong tea;
  • cocoa;
  • extra dark chocolate.

Nutrition should be complete so that you do not experience a lack of protein or carbohydrates. To do this, regularly eat soups, cereals, as well as fresh vegetables and herbs.

Prevention of seizures

Preventive measures are aimed at eliminating spontaneous muscle contractions due to malfunctions in the body or the influence of external factors.

  1. Do not overexert yourself during training and physical work. Stretch your limbs regularly.
  2. Wear gloves during freezing weather.
  3. If the work is related to fine motor skills, then you should take breaks every 45 minutes. As you rest, squeeze and unclench your fingers rhythmically.
  4. Stop using diuretics and laxatives unless prescribed by your doctor.
  5. Drink at least 1.5-2 liters of clean water during the day. Tea, juice, coffee, as well as other drinks are perceived by the body as food, therefore they cannot quickly replenish the water balance.

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