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睡眠中足がつる!こむらがえり対処法

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誰でも何度かは足がつった経験はあるでしょう。いわゆるこむらがえりです。ただしつるのはこむら、つまりふくらはぎに限ったことではなく、足の側面や前面、指や腱の付近でも起こります。

足がつる原因はいろいろありますが多くは日中の筋肉疲労です。激しい運動をした夜に足がつることが多いのはそのためです。けれど加齢とともに特に激しい運動をしていないのに足がつることがあります。はじめは一過性のものでごくたまに起きるだけだったものが、だんだんと回数が増え痛みで目を覚ますことが頻繁になってきます。この記事では睡眠中に足がつる症状について、その原因と対策をご紹介します。

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何故足がつるのか

考える

実はいまだに足がつるメカニズムは明確にわかっていません。けれど有力な要因の1つに電解質異常があります。電解質とは血液中にあるミネラルイオンのことです。主なものにカルシウム、マグネシウム、ナトリウム、カリウムなどがあります。こういったミネラルは筋肉や神経の動きを調整しています。そのためこれらの電解質のバランスが乱れると筋肉が異常な痙攣を起こすのではないかと推測されているのです。こういったミネラルはバランスを乱しやすく、運動だけではなく日常の生活でも普通に起きます。

最初に調べること

もしも睡眠中頻繁に足がつるのであればまずは病院にいきましょう。こむらがえりぐらいで…と思われるかもしれませんが、いろいろな病気が隠れているケースがあるのです。たとえば糖尿病、腎疾患、閉塞性動脈硬化症、脳梗塞、脊柱管狭窄症、椎間板ヘルニアなどです。特に糖尿病では足がつる症状がままあります。どの病気も足がつる他にも特徴的な症状がありますから、まずは病院で検査を受けましょう。

自分でできること

他に気になる症状はないけれど足がつる、検査して異常無しだったけれど足がつる、そんな場合にできることを考えてみましょう。

ミネラル補給

激しい運動をしていなくても人は汗をかきます。暖房が整った現代では冬でも汗をかきますし、睡眠中も汗をかいています。年齢とともに汗や尿でミネラルが排出されやすくなり、その結果特に何をしていなくてもミネラルバランスが乱れることがあります。お風呂上がりにスポーツドリンクをコップ1杯飲んでみましょう。ただし糖分が含まれているものですから糖尿病などの持病がある人は必ず医師に相談してください。

ストレッチとマッサージ

寝る前に簡単なストレッチとマッサージをしてみましょう。アキレス腱を痛くない程度に伸ばします。方法はなんでもいいのですが反動をつけたりせず、ゆっくりじっくり伸ばしてください。マッサージもアキレス腱から膝の裏あたりまでを柔らかくもみほぐせばOKです。静かにさするだけでも血行が良くなりますよ。

足に筋肉をつける

人間の筋肉はポンプのように血液を循環させる働きもしています。筋肉が落ちればそれだけ血行が悪くなるのです。毎日階段昇降を1分間やってみましょう。階段の1段目で昇り降りを繰り返すだけです。まずゆっくりでいいので1分間、慣れれば回数が増えてきますし時間も2分3分と伸ばせるようになります。必ず何回と決めて無理をするより自分のペースを伸ばしていきましょう。

足元を温める

冬場はもちろんですが夏も冷房で足が冷えていることはよくあります。冷えから足がつることも多いのです。ぬるめのお風呂にゆっくりつかって体を温めましょう。湯たんぽなどで足元を温めると予防になります。日中は足の裏用のカイロを使うのも良いでしょう。夏場は冷風が直接足にあたらないよう気をつけてください。

バランスよく食べる

ミネラルは食事からも補給できます。あれかこれかの食事ではなく、あれもこれもをバランスよく食べましょう。肉、魚、野菜、果物、海藻、どれにも足がつるのを予防するミネラルやビタミンが含まれています。食事から取るのが難しい場合はサプリメントを利用しましょう。これも持病があるなら必ず医師に相談してから使ってください。

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まとめ: 睡眠障害になる前に予防しよう

この記事では睡眠中に足がつるのを予防するための方法を提案してみました。ストレッチやマッサージはやったその日から足が楽になることも多いです。できることはやってみて、それでも駄目ならば必ず病院か薬局で相談してみましょう。お薬で楽になることもあります。毎晩足がつる不安を感じながら寝なくてもよくなればそれが一番です。

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