Muscle twitching – what to do?

Muscle twitching - what to do ?

You are just about to slide gently into the realm of dreams when your whole body suddenly twitches. Muscle twitching when falling asleep is not uncommon, but arm, leg or eye cramps can also occur during the day. Too much stress or a magnesium deficiency is often behind the symptoms, but other causes are also possible. We will inform you in detail and tell you what you can do against the annoying muscle twitching. 

Causes of muscle twitching

Benign muscle cramps that do not result in any significant movement effect are also referred to as fasciculations. The involuntary movement of small muscle groups creates a pulsating feeling, primarily in the upper arm, thigh and eye. However, muscle twitching can also affect other parts of the body. However, we do not perceive their movement if the muscles are not directly under the skin. 

Although muscle twitching is annoying, it usually has a relatively harmless cause. For example, the cramps can be caused by the following conditions or substances:

  • magnesium deficiency
  • Stress
  • mental imbalance
  • Alcohol
  • stimulating substances such as caffeine

Muscle twitching is usually not painful and often goes away over time. 


Stress or psychological problems as a cause

If stress or psychological problems are the cause, conscious relaxation can help combat the twitching. For example, try with:

But soothing music can also help to calm nerves and muscles. 

Magnesium deficiency as a cause

If there is twitching in the arm or leg, a magnesium deficiency is often the cause. If the body does not have enough magnesium available, this can hurt the communication between nerves and muscles. 

On the one hand, a magnesium deficiency can be triggered by insufficient magnesium intake. This is the case, for example, with a one-sided or unhealthy diet. On the other hand, a deficiency can also arise if there is an increased need for magnesium. This applies, for example, to pregnant women, athletes and stressed people. 

If a magnesium deficiency is the cause, you should increase your magnesium intake. Include more magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, spinach or beans in your daily diet. You can also use magnesium tablets. 


diseases as a cause

Muscle twitching is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate a severe condition. If the twitching lasts longer or keeps coming back, you should consult a doctor – it is best to contact your family doctor or a neurologist. 

A doctor can check for nerve damage. Possible causes of such damage include polio, myopathies (muscle diseases), polyneuropathy or degeneration of the cervical spine. Muscle twitching can also be caused by the nerve disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). 

Muscle twitching when falling asleep

All of us have experienced twitching when falling asleep. This type of muscle cramp is generally not dangerous. The twitching is caused by the various bodily functions being shut down at different speeds when falling asleep. While many areas of the brain are already “sleeping”, the area responsible for controlling movement is still partially active. Muscle twitching occurs if it erroneously sends signals to the already relaxed muscles. 

If there are sensory disturbances or pain simultaneously, such as twitching when falling asleep, restless legs syndrome can also be behind the symptoms. This neurological disease causes sensory disturbances and involuntary movements of the legs and, more rarely, the arms, especially in resting situations. If you experience such symptoms, you should consult a doctor. 

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