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Why Do I Feel Stiff When I Wake up? 7 Tips for Relief

Do you often wake up feeling stiff or aching? Do you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning because of your sore and stiff muscles? This is very common and often referred to as morning stiffness. Even though it is common, many people don't understand the causes of morning stiffness or how to avoid it. Many people think it solely has to do with getting older and the aging of the body. While this can certainly be a reason and a normal occurrence, aging is, more often than not, unlikely to be the reason for morning stiffness.

Lazy woman in bed waking up and yawningThe most common cause of morning stiffness is tight muscles or worn and tired joints. Muscle tightness can often be mistaken for joint pain. These symptoms can also be an indication of arthritis or inflammation, but that is not always the case.

The fact is that joints do not always age at the same rate as the rest of the body. They can age faster due to wear and tear, or they can age more slowly if they are taken care of properly. Typically, overweight people are more subject to having worn joints and feeling stiff in the morning. Cartilage works as the cushioning of your joints. As your joints age, cartilage dries out and stiffens. As cartilage dries out, your joints also lose necessary lubrication, which also contributes to morning stiffness. This leads to tightness in the morning, stiff tendons, and weakened muscles. It is very difficult to reverse the symptoms of aging joints. Still, there are different things that you can do to reduce morning stiffness and the aging of your joints.

Joint Stiffness and Arthritis

Many people think that joint stiffness means you have arthritis. While this is not necessarily the case, joint stiffness can be a clear indication of arthritis. One factor that you should be aware of is how often and when the stiffness and pain in the joints occur. If it seems like it happens randomly and doesn't have a trigger or daily cause, it is a good idea to contact a doctor as this is an indicator of arthritis. Naturally, you shouldn't be too worried if you feel stiff and have joint pain after an intense workout or activity, as this can also be very normal.

How To Overcome Morning Stiffness

You can do several different things to avoid morning stiffness. While some short-term solutions can help reduce the pain momentarily, they do not solve the problem. Instead, focus on long-term solutions that can help you get rid of the issue permanently. To do this, there are several different lifestyle changes you should consider making. By following the tips below, it is possible to live without feeling so stiff in the morning.

  1. bed with bookGet enough sleep: First, you should always make sure to sleep enough. Prioritizing sleep is critical. Otherwise, you prevent yourself from receiving enough rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is crucial for repairing and recharging your body. It is also a good idea to invest in a high-quality mattress that fits your body type.
  2. Manage your bedroom temperature: It's important not to get too cold during the night. Sensitive joints are more likely to become stiff if they get too cold. Click here to learn about more reasons you might not be getting your best sleep! 
  3. Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink enough water! This is crucial for avoiding morning stiffness and, in general, for your overall health. Click here to learn more about staying hydrated
  4. Focus on your diet: You can also try focusing on a healthy joint diet. A healthy joint diet focuses on cutting down on toxins like aspartame, dyes, and preservatives. These toxins can contribute to morning stiffness.
  5. woman stretching outsideStretch regularly: Stretching frequently will help your muscles and joints relax and reduce the risk of morning stiffness. Furthermore, it can be a good idea to do a quick morning stretching routine before even getting out of bed to get the blood flowing and the muscles warm. Read more about stretching:
  6. Reduce stress: Lowering your stress levels can be a very effective way of removing morning stiffness. We often forget about the effects of stress, but it can be very detrimental to the health of our bodies. This includes making our bodies feel stiff in the morning. To lower your stress levels, you can try meditating regularly, give yourself time every day to do something you love, or check out these other eleven tips to reduce stress!
  7. Exercise regularly: Keeping your body active and exercising often is essential to get rid of morning stiffness. By exercising regularly, you get the blood flowing and train your joints, making them stronger and giving them the activity they need. You should, of course, make sure not to exercise too much or incorrectly as that will lead to joints that are even sorer in the morning.

Let us know in the comments below - how do you combat morning stiffness?

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