Hey Angels and Alphas,
If you get sore after a tough workout, that’s completely normal. Pulling and pushing heavy weights, going out for a long endurance run, or performing some high-intensity intervals will test your muscles, stress your joints, and allow you to experience the glory of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS.)
But feeling sore right after you wake up can happen because of a variety of other reasons, and they’re all worth exploring. That’s exactly what we’ll be doing today.
According to experts, when you move, the tissues that surround your joints start secreting a fluid that lubricates your joints and allows your bones to easily move past one another. If you stop moving for long stretches of time, say between 7 and 9 hours (during sleep,) you might expect all that immobility to lead to pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
This can be further exacerbated by your body’s natural affinity to stifle inflammation during sleep. A 5-year study from the University of Manchester discovered that a protein called cryptochrome is directly tied to your biological clock. It serves to repress the inflammatory pathways while you’re sleeping at night, making the symptoms of inflammation such as stiffness and pain feel way worse when you wake up.
This general temporary soreness is pretty common, even more so as we age, and it will usually go away after 10–15 minutes of moving around once you wake up.
Even so, here are five tips you can apply instantly if you want to alleviate some of that morning stiffness and start your day up with vigor and energy.
Let’s get started.
#1 FINDING THE RIGHT PILLOW
An unspoken rule of sleep is that your pillow should match your sleeping style. If you sleep on your back, you need a different pillow than the one a stomach sleeper would use. Everyone should have a pillow that supports the natural curvature of their neck and allows the head, neck, and spine to align as you’re lying down. This helps you sleep with more comfort, prevents muscle strain, and reduces undue soreness the next day.
#2 INSTANTLY GET MOVING
Yes, even though exercise can make you sore, regular exercise will go a long way to keeping your joints lubricated and your muscles enduring and strong. If you can’t really make it to the gym every day for some reason, you can still schedule movement into your day. People who have sedentary jobs should aim to get up from their desk every hour so they can walk around for a few minutes before they actually sit back down to work.
#3 TRY MEDITATION AND STRETCHING BEFORE BED
Meditation has always been an amazing way to relieve stress. And stretching feels good pretty much any time of the day. But going to bed as relaxed as possible will help your mind and body stay relaxed as you’re sleeping. Try a simple stretching routine if you want to relax your muscles or just engage in a short meditation so you can prepare your mind for sleep. If you’re still stiff in the morning, you can wake your body up with a series of stretches such as cat-cows, hip-openers, and child’s pose.
#4 EAT MORE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Anti-inflammatory diets have always been customizable and flexible, so while you may need to reduce your intake of a few foods, you’ll still have no shortage of delicious food to consume. Load up on berries, avocados, fatty fish, nuts, veggies, and you’ll be able to enjoy treats like dark chocolate while still keeping an overall healthy and balanced diet. Not only do these foods taste good, but they’re also packed with nutrients that fight inflammation and keep you healthy.
#5 GET MORE VITAMIN D
A lack of vitamin D can be associated with anything from reduced brain function to poor immunity. That being said, vitamin D’s impact on your muscle and bone health can have a major impact on your mornings. Increase your levels by taking a supplement or going the natural way and spending 15-20 minutes more in the sunlight every day.