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January 14, 2022

Five potential reasons why you wake up feeling stiff and achy

Adult Health Sleep

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There are few things worse than waking up feeling stiff and achy after a full night of sleep. While your first response might be to blame your mattress or pillow, there are several other reasons why you could be waking up in discomfort. Here are five common causes and what to do about them.

1. Inflammation

Inflammation has a lot of underlying potential causes, and many of them can leave you feeling sore in the morning. Inflammation becomes more common with age and can affect your tendons, muscles, and joints. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing and managing age-related inflammation. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods combined with regular exercise may help reduce mild inflammation without the need for medication.

2. Dietary choices

The food you eat during the day can affect how you feel the next morning. Vitamin D plays an important role in forming bones, as well as in the nerve and muscle systems. If you’re short on vitamin D, you may wake up feeling achy. Other dietary choices can also play a role. Eating a Mediterranean diet, for example, can help you feel better in the morning than one loaded with preservatives and unhealthy ingredients that can cause inflammation.

3. Arthritis

If you suffer from rheumatoid, reactive, or psoriatic arthritis or gout, waking up sore may be something you’ve grown accustomed to. Most forms of arthritis are chronic, but they can be treated with medication which may help you wake up feeling limber. If you think you might be suffering from arthritis, make an appointment with a doctor.

4. How you’re sleeping

The position you sleep in can impact how you feel in the morning. It’s essential to align your neck with the rest of your spine while sleeping for optimal blood flow throughout the night. When you sleep on your stomach, your head remains in one direction for long periods of time, which can result in soreness the following morning. Instead, try sleeping on your side or on your back with a pillow under your knees.

5. Diseases

A number of serious diseases are associated with stiffness and aches. Hypothyroidism can leave you stiff and sore in addition to feeling weak, and Lyme disease causes similar symptoms. Lupus, rheumatic fever, and other viral infections can also cause you to wake up feeling sore. If you’re experiencing a broader set of symptoms beyond morning aches and pains, it’s important to get evaluated by a doctor.

Many times, you can reduce stiffness and aches with some simple lifestyle changes. Start by doing the basics: stay hydrated, eat well, and practice good sleep hygiene. You may find that some small improvements end up making a big difference. If your discomfort persists, schedule an appointment with a health care provider to begin ruling out potential causes of your pain.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have, or suspect that you have, a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

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