In a perfect world, you'd wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. However, the world isn't perfect and waking up feeling amazing doesn't always happen. How often have you experienced mornings where your body doesn't feel right, or where you've noticed new-to-you aches and pains?
While having mornings like this is far from pleasant, it's not at all uncommon. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel better, while also ideally getting to the root of why you're not feeling your best. What's important to remember about this is that listening to your body is paramount. Pay attention to what it's telling you. Honor it by making sound decisions and paying close attention to how you respond to different treatments and methods.
Here are four possible reasons you might be waking up sore — and what you can do when it happens.
Because You Pushed Your Limits
Working out is wonderful for the body. Whether you're trying to reach a health or weight loss goal, training for something specific or just doing it because you enjoy it, there are times your body will let you know when it has been pushed to the limits. You might notice it as soon as you rise, or it might take shuffling out of the bedroom for you to notice that your joints are achy and your quads are on fire.
Typically, soreness and stiffness from exercise and movement will level out as your day goes on. Nurturing your body during this time of recovery is essential. While consuming whole foods is always a great step in doing this, don't forget about the power of supplements for joint pain. Focusing on targeted specific areas or functions is a great way to ensure you're giving your body what it needs.
Even though muscle and joint pain can be common after exercise, making sure your workouts are evenly balanced will be very helpful. Try alternating areas of the body you work on so you're not overdoing specific areas of the body.
Because Your Diet Isn't Agreeing With You
It's no secret that what you eat and drink has a huge impact on how you feel, but have you paid close attention to exactly what you're consuming each day? If not, now's a perfect time — especially when you consider that many ingredients can contribute to feeling less than your best when the sun rises.
Inflammatory foods, such as processed sugars, refined grains, and even dairy for some, can wreak havoc on your body. Everything from joint pain to gut imbalances can point back to inflammation, which can also lead to chronic illnesses or unnecessary medications.
For many people, figuring out which foods are culprits isn't an overly complicated thing. Try simply omitting certain things from your diet to see if you notice a difference. Keeping a food journal is a great way to track your progress and spot patterns as well.
Familiarizing yourself with anti-inflammatory foods would be a great next step in making positive changes to your diet. There are endless recipes available to suit just about every taste, and you might find it incredibly interesting to learn more about different foods and the effects they're known to have.
You can also take it a step further and try allergy or sensitivity testing. This could be helpful if you're having a hard time nailing down what foods might be at the root of your discomfort.
Because Your Bed Isn't Cutting It
When you think about what makes a bed comfortable, what comes to mind? Is it a place of pillowy softness that swallows you up or is it a place where you feel supported but also cradled? Chances are it's not a place that feels stiff as a board, or one with springs poking through to areas that really don't like to be poked.
While everybody's definition of comfort is going to differ, making sure your bed is meeting your comfort needs is essential. Next time you're laying down, pay close attention to everything. Check-in on the support your mattress gives, any disruptive sounds, or any areas where the mattress dips or protrudes.
Keep in mind that something that might seem insignificant can have an impact not only on the quality of sleep you get but how you feel physically after as well. Don't feel guilty for purchasing a new mattress or mattress topper. Think of it as an investment in your health.
Don't forget to evaluate your pajamas and bedding as well. Do your pajamas make you sweat? Are they comfortable? Is your bedding too thin or is it too thick? When you're uncomfortable sleeping, chances are you aren't sleeping well or are tossing and turning frequently. This alone can lead to overall discomfort when morning comes.
Because It's Time To Replace Your Shoes
Your feet work hard for you each day, supporting your body weight throughout each and every step. Such a big job deserves quality footwear, so giving yours a once-over could do your body good.
Telltale signs of issues could be pain throughout your feet or specific to your heels or arches when you start walking on them after waking up. Trying stretches of ice could help to relieve some discomfort.
When you're noticing regular foot pain in the mornings, purchasing appropriate footwear is a must. Fortunately, it has come a long way in recent years with a focus on orthotics and proper support. This is great news if you're someone who prefers sandals or similar shoes that typically wouldn't offer appropriate support. Familiarizing yourself with recommendations for footwear will be helpful as well.
Making an appointment with a Pedorthist to discuss custom orthotics or footwear could help to give you the answers and treatment plan you need to feel better and more balanced overall.
Waking up in pain or uncomfortable isn't something anyone wants to deal with, but it happens. And while it's not a great way to start your day, there are plenty of things you can do to remedy your symptoms. Remember that while remedies are always good, getting to the root of your pain and making appropriate changes will help you to achieve the best results possible.
The key is to spend time on yourself. Try to push any feelings of guilt aside and remember that your days will only be as good as you feel, so taking the time out to do this will always be the right choice. Whether it's through supplements, dietary changes, upgrades to your bedding, or your wardrobe, you're bound to notice improvements with each change you make.
One of the things that nearly everybody should attempt is to practice better sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a set of practices and habits that help promote better sleep. They include sleep-friendly things like getting exercise, exposing oneself to light at certain times of the day, eating sleep-promoting foods, practicing relaxation techniques before bed, and making sure that the sleep environment is aimed at promoting quality sleep.
Another important thing to do is to make sure that other factors such as sleep disorders (including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and others) aren't also contributing to sleep loss. Your doctor may recommend having a sleep study performed to rule out any number of sleep disorders that may be contributing to your sleep loss, before concluding that the pain is solely responsible for your sleep problems.
The reason many doctors will first want to address the sleep environment and possible sleep disorders as contributing to sleep loss is that sleep medications can often interact with pain medications in a potentially dangerous way. In many cases, it is much more likely that a doctor will recommend changing your sleep habits before prescribing more medications.
Simply having a higher motivation to make sleep a priority (even for those in pain) can increase the quantity and quality of sleep. The best thing a person can do that is having sleep troubles is to take control of their sleep by giving it precedence in their life.
If you live in Alaska and your doctor recommends that you have a sleep study to rule out sleep disorders contact the Alaska Sleep Clinic to receive a free 10-minute phone consultation with a sleep professional.