How to Get Rid of Morning Aches and Pains
Sleep is the body’s time to heal and rejuvenate, but many people have chronic pain that can interfere with their sleep quality. There’s no one right way to address pain because everybody’s situation is different. However, a focus on good sleep and consistent pain management can improve sleep quality and reduce morning aches and pains.
The Case for Better Sleep
Better sleep has more to do with pain management than many people think. Many times, chronic pain and lack of sleep go hand-in-hand. A study published in Sleep explored the relationship between sleep duration and pain sensitivity by splitting participants into groups that each got differing amounts of sleep. Those who slept four hours per night had a 25 percent higher sensitivity to pain than those who slept eight hours (the amount of sleep recommended for the average adult). Similar studies have had similar results – the longer the sleep duration the less pain sensitivity.
Sleep duration and quality can be affected by a number of different factors including room conditions as well as personal habits and behaviors. A mattress may make a big difference in sleep quality. Depending on the type of pain and its cause, different beds may work better for different kinds of pain. For example, those with low back pain often do well with a medium-firm mattress but someone who sleeps on their side may need a softer mattress to prevent shoulder pain. The right mattress for your sleep position could reduce those morning aches and pains.
Personal habits can also make a difference in sleep quality, try:
Keeping a Consistent Sleep-Wake Schedule: Consistency helps the body adapt to a schedule. The brain learns to properly time the release of sleep hormones.
Calming Bedtime Routine: A calming bedtime routine helps release daily tension and stress while signaling the brain to release sleep hormones.
Regular Exercise: Exercise strengthens muscles, improves flexibility, and builds endurance, all of which can help chronic pain. In addition, regular exercise helps your body feel more tired at night so it’s easier to fall asleep.
Effective Pain Management
Improving sleep quality is a first step, but reducing morning aches and pains may require a two-pronged approach. Consistent pain management can help you get ahead of the pain and keep it at levels that don’t interrupt your daily life. To help manage pain, you might want to consider:
A Chiropractor: A qualified chiropractor can identify pain points and look for imbalances in the body that could be causing the pain.
Massage Therapy: Massage can be a good short-term solution to muscle pain. You may need to try a few different techniques before you find one that works for your pain.
Hot/Cold Treatments: Cold numbs pain by constricting blood vessels and reducing swelling. Heat works as a muscle relaxer and increases blood flow to the affected area.
Topical Pain Relievers: Pain-relieving gels, creams, sprays, and patches can help joint or muscle pain. They’re a good option for those who are sensitive to other kinds of pain management like over-the-counter pain relievers.
Reducing morning pain starts by caring for yourself during the day and setting yourself up for successful sleep at night. With a consistent effort, better sleep and less pain may be right around the corner.