By: Matt Weik
While you may no longer be a spring chicken, you’re by no means old. Yet, when you wake up each morning, you feel like you’re 96, and just about every part of your body hurts. Why? There are actually some valid reasons why you’re stiff and sore when you wake up, and many of them you can prevent by simply taking corrective action.
Some of the reasons we are going to get into may cost you nothing, while some of them may cost you a few hundred dollars. In the end, what you decide to implement below will completely be up to you. Maybe you start with one and see how you feel? But that being said, the five things mentioned below, when focused on entirely, can provide you with the best results, so you aren’t waking up stiff and sore.
Tilt your head down so that your chin is nearly resting on your chest. Or bend your head to the side so that your ear is almost touching your shoulder. Now, stay like that for at least seven hours. You probably think I’m crazy, right? Well, that’s essentially what you’re doing when you go to sleep with the wrong pillow. Your head position can determine if you wake up pain-free or with a stiff neck.
The answer to your pain in the neck (stop looking at your spouse) could very well be your pillow. If your pillow is too firm or too soft, it can place your head in an awkward position and somewhat kink your neck – causing you to wake up stiff and sore the next morning. Depending on the type of pillow you have now, try the complete opposite and see how that works for you.
Better yet, go to a mattress store and explain to them how you sleep. They’ll be able to direct you to a pillow that may be better for you according to your sleep position.
Similar to your pillow situation, you may be sleeping on the wrong mattress, which is causing you to be stiff and sore when you wake up. With so many different mattresses out there, it’s challenging to navigate the waters on your own. For that reason, it is recommended that you seek the help of a professional.
If you sleep in a position that does not align your neck, hips, and spine, you may throw yourself out of whack by having one area higher than the other, and some parts of your body may sag or sink into the mattress (or the mattress may simply be too hard and cause pressure points).
A mattress isn’t a cheap investment. Therefore, you should go to a mattress store, speak with a professional, and try out a few different options that may help you not wake up stiff and sore each morning. Some mattress companies even allow you to return the mattress within a certain timeframe if it doesn’t improve your sleep, so ask if they have such a policy in place before purchasing anything.
One of the best ways to prevent waking up stiff and sore is to move more during the day. This doesn’t mean you need to hit a workout seven days a week, but simply get up and move. It could be something as simple as a walk over your lunch hour or a family walk after dinner.
The fact is, moving helps keep your joints lubricated. Sitting behind a desk all day is not doing you any favors in terms of your soreness. In addition, you’re disrupting blow flow and circulation sitting on your butt, staring at a computer monitor all day.
Make it a point to get up throughout the day and move. Walk down the hall to your co-worker’s office instead of sending an email. Get up and refill your water bottle. Simply put… move more.
Your body battles inflammation 24 hours a day – it’s a never-ending fight. And unless you focus on reducing inflammation, it can lead to joint problems, arthritis, and even some chronic issues that will need medical attention.
There are a lot of factors that can lead to inflammation. Stress, the food you eat, exercise (even a lack thereof), and free radicals are the main culprits of inflammation in the body.
One of the best ways to combat inflammation is to better manage the food you put in your body. Try to consume more fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants, nuts, healthy fats, and fatty fish that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Supplementing with vitamin D can also help manage inflammation in the body and help you not wake up stiff and sore. A deficiency in vitamin D alone can cause inflammation and diseases that involve elevated inflammation levels in the body. Those who suffer from low vitamin D levels may generally find they have chronic joint pain that never seems to go away.
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, go for a walk and take in the sunshine. Moving like what was mentioned in #3 to keep the joints lubricated, along with sunlight that can help your body naturally take in vitamin D and is a powerful combination.
It may even be wise to consult with your doctor if you sense your inflammation is at high levels. Your doctor may be able to better advise you on what you can do or take according to your current health status and any medications you may already be taking.
If you don’t manage your muscles following a long day or grueling workout, you’re doomed to wake up the next morning stiff and sore. For starters, post-workout, you should always have a protein source such as a protein shake to kickstart the recovery process.
It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to sip on an amino acid mixture at some point during the day as well. An ideal amino acid product should contain all the essential amino acids (EAAs) along with BCAAs.
With MPA PharmGrade EAA, you have the ability to supply your muscles with quality essential amino acids at any time of day. Use it as an intra-workout supplement to help fuel your muscles during intense workouts, sip on it throughout the day to help stay in an anabolic state, or drink a serving before bed to help preserve your lean muscle mass and prevent your body from going into a catabolic state while you sleep for the next several hours.
Should your muscles already be stiff and sore before your head even hits the pillow, try massaging the muscles using something like a foam roller or massage gun. If you have neither, do some stretching to attempt to loosen up those stiff and sore muscles. A nice warm shower may also help ease muscle soreness and pain.