For many of us, waking up with aches and pains is an all-too-common complaint. If you?re waking up sore every morning, it?s only natural that you?ll want to find a solution to your problem. Aches and pains can disturb your sleep, wake you up too early and leave you in a foul mood at the start of the day. So, what can be done?
The good news is that whether you are suffering from achy joints or want to avoid back pain, there are some simple tips and tricks that can help to make you more comfortable. Interestingly, a lot of the causes of morning aches and pains come down to your bedding and sleeping habits. So, here are three simple measures you can take to make yourself more comfortable starting tonight.
Take a close look at your mattress
When it comes to finding the cause of aches and pains in the morning, the first place you should be looking when it comes to apportioning blame is your mattress. Unfortunately, the wrong mattress can cause pain in your joints and back. However, the good news is that replacing a problem mattress with the right one can make the pain much better. Here are some signs that your mattress may be the culprit:
- Your morning aches and pains are worse than the level of discomfort you experience throughout the rest of the day. If you wake up in pain which then improves after you get up, this is a warning sign pointing straight at your mattress
- The mattress has reached the end of its life (older than 8 years, as a rule)
- There are areas of the mattress that are beginning to form ?dips? or look saggy
- The surface of the mattress feels uneven or lumpy
If you notice any of these red flags, it?s probably time to buy a mattress better-suited to improving aches and pains. When you?re shopping, look for a mattress with a good level of support and that has pressure-relieving qualities. We recommend checking out expert and user reviews to make sure that the mattress you are considering is good for back and joint pain.
Consider your sleeping position
Believe it or not, your sleeping position may be contributing towards aches and pains in the morning. Even if you?re sleeping in a position that?s good for your back and joints, there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and relieve any lasting niggles. Here?s our expert advice based on individual sleeping positions:
- Side sleepers: If you sleep on your side, this is a good position for avoiding aches and pains in general. That?s because it helps to support your spine in a healthy position. However, it?s not unusual to still feel some aching in this position because it can put pressure on certain joints, particularly in the hips and shoulders. If this is you, consider switching to a medium-soft or medium mattress. This will allow the side of your body to sink down more comfortably and relieve pressure and pain in these areas. If you still have pain in your lower back or hips, a pillow propped between your knees can provide relief. You can use a regular pillow or buy a special one for the purpose.
- Back sleepers: There?s good news for back sleepers- you have also chosen a position that?s good for your spine. However, if your mattress isn?t supportive enough in this position then aches and pains can occur. Back sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress in order to remain comfortable. If you are suffering from aches in your neck, try switching to just one thick pillow placed under the back of your head to reduce stress and strain.
- Front sleepers: If you sleep on your stomach, unfortunately the news isn?t so rosy. This position is unsupportive and can put your spine and joints into an uncomfortable position. Therefore, it?s pretty common to feel aches and pains in your joints if you sleep in this position. The best solution is, of course, to sleep in a different position. However, this can be difficult if you?ve slept on your front all your life. If you can?t nod off in any other way, make sure you have a firm mattress to support your body better. You can also try removing the pillow from under your head and place it under your hips to remove pressure and strain in your back and hips.
Upgrade your pillows
Another key area to look at more closely is your pillows. Many people carry on sleeping on the same old pillows year after year without giving them much thought. However, pillows older than a couple of years won?t give you the support your neck needs. If your aches and pains are mainly around your neck and shoulders, checking out your pillows should be your first port of call.
Pillows should feel full and fluffy and should not be flattened or lumpy. Flat, lumpy pillows are uncomfortable and a good way to ensure an aching neck in the morning. If your pillows feel like this, they need replacing. You may also want to look for hypoallergenic pillows if you suffer from night-time allergies. Although allergies won?t make you ache, they can seriously disturb your sleep.
The age-old question is: how many pillows should I use? Many people sleep on a fluffy pile of several pillows. While this may feel cosy, it can force your neck into an awkward angle and cause aching. The best advice is to sleep with just one, good-quality pillow to avoid an aching neck and shoulders. Some people believe that it?s best to use no pillows at all. While this may be helpful for certain people, most people will not be able to sleep comfortably with no pillows.
The bottom line
Hopefully you?re now much closer to pain-free and comfortable slumber. By making simple changes to your bedding and sleeping position, you can begin to reduce the strain on your body while you sleep and take the pressure off your joints and spine. Sweet dreams!