The primary reason for sleep is to help the body and the brain rest. The body needs long periods of rest to rejuvenate and restore damaged tissues, grow muscle, and synthesize hormones. A well-rested person should feel refreshed and energized, ready to take on the day’s activities.
This may not be the case for some people as they wake up tired, in pain, with stiff and sore muscles even after sleeping for the recommended number of hours (7-9 hours). Several reasons explain this unusual feeling:
1. Poor Sleeping Position
Experts recommend sleeping on the back. This is because the position ensures the body rests and allows the neck and the back to take a natural position.
However, most people are either side or stomach sleepers. Side sleeping prevents the uniform distribution of the body weight, causing your hip, knee, and shoulder muscles to become sore.Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, exert excessive pressure on the chest and the spine leading to a plethora of side effects (neck and back pain, soreness, tingling nerves, and pain on different pressure points).
Since it is challenging to adjust your sleeping position, you can combat the issue by keeping your torso and legs straight instead of curling them inwards. It also eliminates the likelihood of developing neck and back pain, as well as snoring.
2. Check Your Sleep Gear
The type of mattress you are using can also contribute to muscle soreness and poor sleep quality. The best mattresses sold online, according to SleepDelivered and other top-ranks online stores, should fit your sleeping position while providing adequate support and comfort.
A supportive mattress holds the entire weight of the body, providing relief and comfort at pressure points, including hips, knees, the head, and the shoulders. Your sleep gear also includes items like your pillow. Check if it is providing adequate support to your neck.
Ask a friend to help you determine how it feels when sleeping on the pillow. A worn-out, low quality or extremely stiff pillow might not give adequate support. It would help if you replaced it with a new one, say a memory foam pillow.
Research conducted at Manchester University shows inflammation causes muscle soreness after sleeping. This is because sleep suppresses the body’s ability to produce anti-inflammatory proteins. The study also found that exposure to light increases inflammation than when the body sleeps in a dark room. Some other causes of inflammation include:
- Injury and illness: When you are sick or injured, the body responds through inflammation.Treating the condition and managing the pain helps one sleep better and reduce muscle soreness
- Aging: As you age, stiffness and muscle soreness becomes a common symptom of inflammation. This is because the level of C-reactive protein increases as the body ages
- Diet: Eating foods rich in unhealthy fats and sugar increase the risk of developing inflammation during sleep. It would be helpful if you examined your diet if you are experiencing sore muscles, pain, and stiffness in the morning
When asleep, the body is inactive for a prolonged period causing the muscles to develop soreness. This is because the joints and muscles don’t stretch regularly to promote the circulation of synovial fluid. The fluid keeps the joints, and the muscles lubricated aiding movement.
It explains why doctors recommend stretching exercises immediately after waking up to loosen the muscles and enhance blood flow. Taking a hot shower also helps the muscles to relax. It would also be helpful if you massaged the sore muscles with sesame oil or any other herbal oil. The oil not only lubricates the joints but also improves flexibility and promotes cell regeneration.
Sleep should provide your body with adequate relaxation. If this is not the case, identify the possible causes of the constant stiffness and muscle soreness. Your sleeping position may be poor or sleeping gear to worn out to provide adequate support. Also, consider performing some stretching exercises once you wake up.