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Sleep Med Clin. 2015 Sep;10(3):385-92, xvi. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2015.05.002. Epub 2015 Jun 14.

Sleep-Related Leg Cramps: A Review and Suggestions for Future Research.

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Sleep Medicine Associates, LLC, Sleep Disorders Center, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, 2 South Hospital Drive, Murphysboro, IL 62966, USA. Electronic address:


Various medications and behavioral treatments for sleep-related leg cramps have been tried, but the quality of the evidence is low. Quinine seems to be effective, but dangerous. β-Agonists may be one of the more common causes of secondary leg cramps. Statins may not be implicated in leg cramps as much as has been believed. Potassium-sparing diuretics may have a higher incidence of sleep-related leg cramps than potassium-depleting diuretics. Plantar flexion of the feet may elicit most sleep-related leg cramps. More research into behavioral treatments is needed. A standardized sleep-related leg cramp questionnaire would be useful to expand research.


Children; Continuous positive airway pressure; Elderly; Leg cramps; Pregnancy; Quinine; Sleep; Statins

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