Do you wake up in the morning with stiff muscles and aching joints? If so, then you're probably wondering why. After all, you have a comfortable bed, a supportive pillow, and that should be enough to get a good night's sleep. Right? Clearly, it isn't, though, if you wake up feeling sore all over and needing to take some aspirin just to start your morning.
But what else do you need to do to feel refreshed and relaxed when you wake up? Well, you need to remember that sleeping is the only activity you do where your body stays in a single position for such an extended period of time. So if you fall asleep in a position that puts stress or strain on any part of your body, you're going to feel it in the morning. Which is why, no matter how you sleep, you need to consider how your favorite position affects your body throughout the night, and what steps you need to take to ensure you have proper support for painless sleep.
Simple Advice For Back Sleepers
If you have a stereotypical sleeping posture (a fancy term for laying on your back, staring up at the ceiling), then you might feel like you're sleeping correctly. After all, it's how most people on TV sleep, so it must be what you're supposed to do. However, if you still end up with pain and discomfort when you open your eyes in the morning, there are a few potential culprits to blame, and correct.
The first is your pillow. While it's meant to be your primary companion when it comes to relaxed, comfortable sleep, the wrong pillow can feel like you were getting stabbed in the neck all night instead of sleeping peacefully.
Ideally, your pillow needs to be firm and supportive, keeping your head in line with the rest of your body (a straight spine is your goal for eliminating back strain while you sleep). Because if your pillow is too soft, then it will let your head drop back as you sleep. If it's too firm, then it pushes your head up too high. In either situation, that can affect how you breathe, which muscles are put under stress throughout the night and your overall quality of sleep. If you have a sore neck and shoulders, or if your throat is dry and painful from snoring, your pillow might be to blame.
Also, remember, your pillow belongs beneath your head. Too often a pillow ends up under your shoulders, which will result in your head falling back, leading to all kinds of strain and discomfort on your neck, shoulders, etc.
Additionally, if you don't have anything behind your knees while you sleep, that might explain why your hips are killing you in the morning. If your legs are laying too straight, it can put a strain on your hip flexors, which is where your start-of-the-day aches are coming from. Putting a pillow or a rolled-up blanket behind your knees is a quick fix for that situation. You can also develop aches and strain in your arms, as well, if they sink below your body while you're sleeping. If you have shoulder and arm pain, consider putting pillows or a rolled blanket under your arm to make sure you have support there. It might feel like you're sleeping in a horizontal recliner, but there's a reason those chairs tend to result in comfortable naps.
Some Tips For Side Sleepers
On the other hand, if you're a side sleeper, you have a whole different set of aches and pains than someone who sleeps on their back does. Because when you lay on your side, you tend to put a strain on your shoulders, your hips, your knees, and your back. Which is why, if you're going to sleep curled up on your side, you need to do everything in your power to make sure these areas have the support they need.
For example, one of the easiest things you can do to take some of the stress off of your hips and knees is to sleep with a firm, full-sized pillow between your knees. This stops your legs from being cocked at an odd angle throughout the night, and it reduces the strain on your muscles. It is important that the pillow be full-sized, though, because it needs to support you from knees to ankles.
In addition to your leg pillow, you also need to make sure the pillow you're laying on cradles and supports your head, keeping your spine in alignment. Otherwise, you'll wake up with neck pain, back pain, and potentially shoulder pain as well. Because a pillow that's too firm holds your head awkwardly, and one that's too soft will sink throughout the night letting your head practically touch the mattress. You should also put another pillow in front of you to be sure your top arm doesn't fall down in front of you, putting undue stress on your shoulder, neck, and across your upper back muscles, as well. Alternatively, cuddling a pillow provides support for your upper arm and shoulder, too.
Remember, Everyone's Body Type is Different
When it comes to getting painless sleep, it's important to remember that everyone is different. We all have different weights, different shapes, and different levels of comfort. The only universal truth is that, whatever position you sleep in, your body has to be comfortable and properly supported the whole time through. Otherwise, you're spending eight hours (or more) in a very compromising position.
But what if you do everything right, and you still wake up with aches and pains in the morning? Well, then the cause of your discomfort might be more than sleeping with your joints out-of-sync. If you're doing everything right when it comes time to lay your head down, but you still awaken with discomfort, you should see your doctor to make sure there isn't something more sinister at work than a lumpy pillow, or a too-firm mattress.For more information on how you can get some painless sleep, simply contact us today!