Do you ever get achy bones and muscles first thing in the morning? You may need to consider your sleeping posture.
It’s fairly common to be a bit stiff as soon as you wake up, simply due to decreased blood flow from lack of movement. But if the pain carries on once you’re up and moving about, you are most likely sleeping with poor posture, potentially damaging your body while you sleep.
So what does a good sleeping posture look like?
Firstly, avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts added pressure onto your spine, causing it to misalign while you sleep. Some studies have shown that sleeping on your stomach can help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, but if you struggle with these then it is more beneficial to seek ways to relieve those symptoms while also not sleeping on your stomach.
A great sleeping position is on your side with a pillow in between your legs This not only keeps your spine in a neutral position but the pillow reduces pressure on your hips and knees. This is also a great trick if you suffer from sciatica.
There are also some things you can do as soon as you wake up to shorten the length of time between aches and pains to feeling yourself again.
- Stretching while you're still lying in bed. Try bringing your knees up and into your chest, followed by gently rocking from side to side to get an even deeper stretch.
- As soon as you get out of bed, reach all the way up to the ceiling and then slowly reach down to the floor, holding the position when you feel the stretch. Make sure to not overdo it as you are simply getting movement back in your spine. Save the flexibility training for when you are properly awake.
- Drink a big glass of room temperature water. You are at your most dehydrated as soon as you wake up, another cause for decreased blood flow. Although icy cold water as soon as you wake up can be a bit of a shock to the system, room temperature water will greatly increase blood flow, reducing prolonged morning pain.
If you’ve tried everything and still have morning pain, here are some other things to consider:
- Invest in a good quality mattress. You should avoid sleeping on mattresses older than 10 years old (the newer the better), and make sure to seek professional help before picking one out that will be best for you.
- Exercise throughout the day. This will not only help your quality of sleep but also the way your body reacts to being still for such a long period of time.
Overall, it is common to have a bit of pain as soon as you wake up, so try any, or all of these tips and see if you notice any improvement!
But please note, if your pain is extreme and non-subsiding, make sure to seek help from a medical professional.
Now go catch those pain-free Zzz!