Why My Body Pain When I Wake Up
Exercise – Morning body aches can be caused by a lack of good quality sleep, which deprives your body’s tissues and cells of repair time. An effective way to improve sleep is with exercise, which tires the body and reduces stress, helping to improve both the quality of your sleep, and the amount of sleep that you get each night.
- 1 Why does my whole body hurt when I wake up in the morning?
- 2 What diseases cause morning stiffness?
- 3 Can you live a long life with fibromyalgia?
Why does my whole body hurt when I wake up in the morning?
5 Reasons why You’re Waking up with Body Aches – When you wake up, you may wonder, “Why does my body feel sore?” If your body often aches upon waking, there are a variety of possible causes, including your mattress, sleeping position, weight, sleep disorders, and underlying health conditions.
Multiple reasons are most likely to blame. Luckily, you can alter some of your sleeping and lifestyle habits to help prevent waking up with body aches. Choosing a better quality mattress, finding the proper sleeping position, and losing weight are a few ways to start. However, if you still have body aches after sleeping, it is time to talk to your doctor to find out if you have an underlying health or sleep disorder,
The following five factors can affect the severity of your waking body aches.
Why is my body so stiff after waking up?
Why you feel stiff – Most of the time, that tight feeling when you wake up is a result of overnight changes to the lubrication in two different features of the body: the joints and the fascia. The fascia is a complex group of connective tissues that surround and support the muscles, soft tissues, organs and bones.
- Think of fascia as a fibrous web that wraps around and through muscle tissue to give it structure and stability.
- It forms multiple layers, with a gel-like lubricant in between that allows the layers to slide and glide smoothly, and which helps you to feel loose and limber, said Dr.
- Antonio Stecco, a fascia researcher and professor of rehabilitation medicine at New York University.
In certain situations — like when your body temperature drops, when you’ve been still for an extended time, or when lactic acid builds up in the muscles and fascia during intense exercise — the lubricant becomes thicker and more viscous and the layers of fascia can’t glide as easily, leading to feelings of stiffness.
When you sleep, many of those thickening situations occur: you’re usually still for a long time (say, eight hours) and your body temperature tends to drop. Your joints may also contribute to feeling stiff in the morning. In healthy joints, a thick fluid lubricates the space between the ends of your bones, which are capped with cartilage, to help them move freely and comfortably.
Whenever you’re still for a long period of time (like when you’re sleeping), the cartilage sucks up the lubricant like a sponge, Dr. Capetta said, making your joints feel creaky.
Why does my body pain while sleeping?
Why Pain Can Be Worse At Night – There are many reasons why you might feel muscle cramps or body aches at night only. Common causes of pain at night include:
Hormone levels – production of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol drops to its lowest point at around midnight, so this could see discomfort rise for certain ailments 3 Sleep position – staying in one position all night can cause your joints to get stiff. Sleeping on your stomach, meanwhile, may put strain on your back 4 Body temperature – inflammatory musculoskeletal pain can respond well to heat 5, but experts also recommend keeping your bedroom cool at night to aid sleep 6, As a result, balance is important! Multiple sclerosis – symptoms including fatigue, tingling and stiff muscles can be common for people with this condition 7 Arthritis – this can be a common reason for swelling and joint pain at night, particularly when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis 8
Why do my legs hurt when I wake up?
Waking up with aching legs – Waking up with aching legs can be causes by lifestyle factors – for example, long periods of walking or standing the previous day can leave legs sore. Poor sleep can also contribute to leg ache, as our bodies need a good night’s sleep to recover from any muscle soreness.
- Another possible cause of painful legs is poor circulation.
- While some medical conditions such as diabetes can lead to poor circulation, lifestyle factors such as sitting or lying in the same position all day can also contribute.
- If you have varicose veins, you might find you get experience leg pain and itching.
Varicose veins are caused by veins and valves that are too weak to efficiently and effectively pump blood through them, which can lead to these symptoms.
What diseases cause morning stiffness?
It’s easy to blame aging, an old mattress, or a poor night’s rest when you wake up feeling stiff and achy. It’s true that those things can make you feel stiff in the morning. But if it happens a lot, it might be a sign of a medical condition. Morning stiffness is a symptom of several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), the common type many people get as they age.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
It’s not surprising that aging and OA cause morning stiffness. Age causes the cartilage that cushions your joints to dry out. And your joints make less of the synovial fluid that adds lubrication, causing you to feel stiff and sore. This is sometimes called “morning gel,” because your joints stiffen like gelatin when you’re inactive for several hours.
When you have RA, PsA, or AS, inflammation is what triggers your morning stiffness. The biggest difference between morning stiffness in people with OA and those with inflammatory arthritis is how long it lasts. For those with osteoarthritis, the stiffness often lasts just a few minutes and eases once you start moving.
If you have inflammatory arthritis, it may take an hour or longer to go away. Morning stiffness is the most common symptom of ankylosing spondylitis, which mainly affects the spine, hips, and knees. With AS, you most often have stiffness in your low back and neck.
Thyroid disease Vitamin D deficiency Fibromyalgia Obesity
If you wake up feeling seriously stiff and sore for more than 3 days in a row, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may check your joints, run bloodwork, or test your joint fluid to check for inflammation, The results will help determine the cause of morning stiffness and help your doctor figure out how to treat you.
Low-impact exercise like yoga or tai chi Healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight or reducing stress Physical therapy
No one wants to start the day feeling stiff and sore. Finding out the cause of your stiffness and establishing a treatment plan can help you wake up ready to start the day.
Which arthritis is worse in the morning?
Explain the pain – Is it osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? – Harvard Health If opening jars becomes more difficult because of painful hands, or if climbing stairs produces pain in your knees, “arthritis” is often the first thing that comes to mind.
The two most common forms of arthritis—osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—can cause similar aches and pains, but there are a few key differences between them. For example: Onset. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage (tissue in your joints that cushions your bones) wears away. Pain occurs when bone rubs against bone.
This type of arthritis pain tends to develop gradually and intermittently over several months or years. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 27 million Americans. Many people believe it’s a crippling and inevitable part of growing old.
- But things are changing.
- Treatments are better, and plenty of people age well without much arthritis.
- If you have osteoarthritis, you can take steps to protect your joints, reduce discomfort, and improve mobility — all of which are detailed in this report.
- If you don’t have osteoarthritis, the report offers strategies for preventing it.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory condition in which your immune system attacks the tissues in your joints. It causes pain and stiffness that worsen over several weeks or a few months. And joint pain isn’t always the first sign of rheumatoid arthritis—sometimes it begins with “flu-like” symptoms of fatigue, fever, weakness, and minor joint aches.
Location. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the hands. However, osteoarthritis often affects the joint closest to the tip of the finger, whereas rheumatoid arthritis usually spares this joint. And while rheumatoid arthritis can appear in any joint, its most common targets are the hands, wrists, and feet.
Type of stiffness. People often describe vague muscle aches as “stiffness,” but when doctors talk about “stiffness,” they mean that a joint doesn’t move as easily as it should. Stiffness may be prominent even when joint pain is not. Mild morning stiffness is common in osteoarthritis and often goes away after just a few minutes of activity.
- Sometimes people with osteoarthritis also notice the same type of stiffness during the day after resting the joint for an hour or so.
- In rheumatoid arthritis, however, morning stiffness doesn’t begin to improve for an hour or longer.
- Occasionally, prolonged joint stiffness in the morning is the first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
For more about diagnosing and treating rheumatoid arthritis pain, buy, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
What is the best position to sleep in?
What Are the Best Positions for Sleeping? During sleep, your body works to restore and repair itself National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- Your sleep position can either help or hinder that process, depending on how effectively it supports the natural curvature of your spine.
- It’s also common for people to wake up with brand new aches and pains in the morning, sometimes due to sleep position.
- We spend a third of our lives National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
asleep or resting, so it’s important to choose a sleep position that assists your body with physical recovery. A proper sleep position can relieve stress on your spine, while an unhealthy position can increase pain or stiffness in the back, arms, or shoulders, all while contributing to lower-quality sleep National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- The best sleep position is one that promotes healthy spinal alignment from your hips all the way to your head.
- What that looks like for you depends on your personal health situation and what you find comfortable.
- Having said that, there are some positions that are considered healthier than others.
- Specifically, sleeping on the side or back is considered more beneficial than sleeping on the stomach.
In either of these sleep positions, it’s easier to keep your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables your muscles to relax and recover. However, if sleeping on your stomach feels good to you, don’t feel forced to change it.
- You can minimize your risk of pain and improve spinal alignment with the right mattress and pillow.
- Different sleep positions provide different benefits that may be helpful for you if you’re dealing with back pain, pregnancy, allergies, acid reflux, or another health condition.
- In these cases, it may be worth trying a new sleep position to enable more restful sleep.
In one study, a group of adults with back pain were trained to sleep on their back or their side. They experienced significant pain relief in just four weeks. Adjusting to a new sleep position takes time, but it is possible. Be patient with yourself and use pillows to help train your body to the new position.
- More than 60% of people sleep on their side, with men spending more time on their sides National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- Each night than women.
- As children, we split our nights by sleeping in all positions equally, but by adulthood, a clear preference for emerges.
The flexibility of our spine decreases as we age, which may make the more comfortable for older adults. Sleeping on your side offers several benefits. It promotes healthy spinal alignment and is the sleep position least likely to result in back pain, especially when supported with pillows.
- Side sleeping also may reduce heartburn National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- And snoring National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
, making it a better sleeping position for people with or acid reflux. Side sleeping may be particularly beneficial for:
- Pregnant women
- People with acid reflux
- People with back pain
- People who snore or have sleep apnea
- Older people
Experts recommend that sleep on their side with the knees bent Medline Plus MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. The side sleeping position relieves the pressure of a growing belly, enabling the heart to pump and blood to flow easily throughout the body.
In particular, the left side is recommended because it prevents pressure on the liver and facilitates healthy blood flow to the fetus, uterus, kidneys, and heart. If you feel discomfort sleeping on your left side during pregnancy, you can switch to the right side now and then to relieve pressure on the left hip.
You can also relieve tension by placing pillows under the belly, between the legs, and at the small of the back. The best sleeping position for is on your side with a pillow or blanket between the knees. Side sleeping can also relieve symptoms for those with neck or,
- People with shoulder pain
- People worried about wrinkles
Side sleeping can lead to soreness or tightness in your shoulders National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
So it’s good to shift positions occasionally and use the most appropriate pillow and mattress. Ensure your mattress has enough “give” to allow your hips and shoulders to sink in deeper than your middle spine. Side sleeping can also contribute to facial wrinkles National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
, since your face is pressed against the pillow, stretching and compressing the skin. If you’re already a side sleeper and want to go for that gold star, opt to sleep on your left instead of your right side. Sleeping on the right may increase pressure on your internal organs, which is why experts recommend the left for pregnant women and sleepers with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Lying on the back is the second most popular sleep position, with plenty of benefits to rival the side sleeping position. When you’re flat on your back, it’s easy to keep your spine in alignment and to evenly distribute your body weight, preventing any potential aches in the neck or back.
- People with lumbar spinal pain
- People worried about wrinkles
- People with neck pain
- People with nasal congestion
Lying on the back is the best sleep position for neck pain, as it prevents the misalignment that can occur in the side or stomach positions. To prevent neck pain, use a pillow that supports the neck while letting your head sink deeper. Memory foam pillows or pillows with a divot for the head are good options.
- Alternately, you can roll a towel underneath your neck and use a flatter pillow for your head.
- When sleeping on your back, aim to keep your arms in similar positions.
- For example, having them both lie by your sides is preferable to having one rested on your forehead, as that causes unevenness in the spine that can contribute to shoulder or neck pain.
If you’re coping with allergies or a stuffy nose, use pillows to prop up your upper back so you’re in more of an upright position, without collapsing the spine. This positioning can enable your airways to stay open and may help drain your nose. Avoid lying flat on your back, as that may increase nasal congestion National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- Pregnant women
- People who snore or have sleep apnea
- People with some types of back pain
- People with GERD or acid reflux
- Heavier adults
- Older adults
Back sleeping is the worst sleeping position for people with snoring and because it leaves you susceptible to airway collapse. More than half of people have position-dependent sleep apnea, meaning that the severity of their symptoms increases when they lie on their back.
- Also, while some people feel relief from the back sleeping position, others find it increases their back pain.
- Depending on the firmness of your mattress, a small gap can form between your lower back and the mattress surface, which can lead to uncomfortable tension in the lower back.
- You can resolve this by placing a thin pillow in that area, or placing a pillow under your knees instead.
Either way, you’ll relieve pressure while supporting the natural curvature of your spine. You can also switch between back and side sleeping throughout the night. The back sleeping position is not recommended for pregnant women because a growing baby can add pressure on the heart and make it difficult for blood to flow easily.
Theoretical postulation may suggest National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. that sleeping on the back during the third trimester can increase the risk of stillbirth, though conclusive evidence is lacking.
Individuals with acid reflux or GERD should also avoid sleeping on the back. GERD episodes become more frequent in this position, and can start as soon as one minute after switching to lie on the back. Finally, as we grow older or heavier, it becomes harder to breathe while lying on our backs, due to the pressure of gravity on the body.
- Switching to a side sleeping position can be a better option for heavier and older individuals.
- The stomach is the least popular sleep position.
- Research suggests we spend less than 10% of our night sleeping in this position.
- Does have some benefits, however.
- Namely, the position can help relieve snoring, by opening up your airway.
However, your ribs do have to work against gravity in order to breathe in this position, which may force you to use more energy and thereby make your sleep less restful. The stomach sleeping position comes with several drawbacks and is not recommended for most people.
- Pregnant women
- People with neck or back pain
- People worried about wrinkles
The stomach position provides the least back support of all sleeping positions and increases pressure on the spine, sometimes causing pain upon waking up. In order to sleep on your stomach, you must sleep with your head facing one side, invariably twisting your neck and head out of alignment with the rest of your spine.
If your mattress isn’t firm enough, your stomach and hips will sink into the mattress, uncomfortably stretching your spine out of alignment. This kind of asymmetrical sleep posture can negatively impact your spine over time. Also, sleeping on the stomach can contribute to facial wrinkles, since your face is pressed against the pillow or the surface of the mattress.
Without the right pillow and mattress, it’s easy for the stomach sleeping position to cause aches and pains. However, it is possible to sleep well in this position. If you enjoy sleeping on your stomach, try doing so with a very thin pillow, or no pillow at all.
This way, you can avoid tilting your neck back and up, creating further spinal misalignment and discomfort. Place a thin pillow under your hips to further even out the spine and relieve pressure. A firm mattress can also prevent some of the spinal alignment issues that come from sleeping on your stomach.
When your mattress is firm, you’re unlikely to sink deeply into the mattress surface and stretch your spine out of alignment. The best sleep position for you is whichever sleep position enables you to enjoy a restful night of uninterrupted sleep and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, without any aches and pains.
If that describes your current sleep position, don’t feel forced to change it. If you think a new position might make sleep more comfortable for you, though, go ahead and try another position. Be patient and use the strategies named to help yourself adjust to the new position. Your sleep position plays a pivotal role in the quality of your sleep.
Changing it up is just one of many,
- Cary, D., Briffa, K., & McKenna, L. (2019). Identifying relationships between sleep posture and non-specific spinal symptoms in adults: A scoping review. BMJ Open, 9(6), e027633.
- Desouzart, G., Matos, R., Melo, F., & Filgueiras, E. (2015). Effects of sleeping position on back pain in physically active seniors: A controlled pilot study. Work, 53(2), 235–240.
- Lee, W.H., & Ko, M.S. (2017). Effect of sleep posture on neck muscle activity. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(6), 1021–1024.
- Skarpsno, E.S., Mork, P.J., Nilsen, T., & Holtermann, A. (2017). Sleep positions and nocturnal body movements based on free-living accelerometer recordings: Association with demographics, lifestyle, and insomnia symptoms. Nature and Science of Sleep, 9, 267–275.
- Khoury, R.M., Camacho-Lobato, L., Katz, P.O., Mohiuddin, M.A., & Castell, D.O. (1999). Influence of spontaneous sleep positions on nighttime recumbent reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The American journal of gastroenterology, 94(8), 2069–2073.
- Ravesloot, M.J., van Maanen, J.P., Dun, L., & de Vries, N. (2013). The undervalued potential of positional therapy in position-dependent snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: A review of the literature. Sleep & breathing, 17(1), 39–49.
- A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (2020, June 2). Problems sleeping during pregnancy. MedlinePlus., Retrieved April 12, 2021, from
- Zenian, J. (2010). Sleep position and shoulder pain. Medical Hypotheses, 74(4), 639–643.
- Anson, G., Kane, M.A.C., & Lambros, V. (2016). Sleep wrinkles: Facial aging and facial distortion during sleep. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 36(8), 931–940.
- Berson, S.R., Klimczak, J., Prezio, E.A., Hu, S., & Abraham, M. (2018). Clinical associations between allergies and rapid eye movement sleep disturbances. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, 8(7), 817–824.
- O’Brien, L.M., & Warland, J. (2014). Typical sleep positions in pregnant women. Early Human Development, 90(6), 315–317.
: What Are the Best Positions for Sleeping?
How do I know if my pain is fibromyalgia?
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia – The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
Chronic, widespread pain throughout the body or at multiple sites. Pain is often felt in the arms, legs, head, chest, abdomen, back, and buttocks. People often describe it as aching, burning, or throbbing. Fatigue or an overwhelming feeling of being tired. Trouble sleeping.
Other symptoms may include:
Muscle and joint stiffness. Tenderness to touch. Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. Problems with concentrating, thinking clearly, and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”). Heightened sensitivity to light, noise, odors, and temperature. Digestive issues, such as bloating or constipation.
How did I get fibromyalgia?
Possible triggers – Fibromyalgia is often triggered by an event that causes physical stress or emotional (psychological) stress. Possible triggers include:
a serious injury, such as after a car accidentan infection, such as Epstein-Barr virus or Lyme disease having a major operationsignificant emotional trauma, such as after serving in the armed forces during a war
Sometimes, fibromyalgia does not develop after any obvious trigger.
Can you live a long life with fibromyalgia?
What is the youngest age to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia? – Fibromyalgia is relatively uncommon in young people, but it can occur in adolescents and even younger children. In general, a fibromyalgia diagnosis in younger individuals can be challenging due to the overlap of symptoms with other conditions (i.e., growing pains, depression ) and the limited research on the condition in pediatric populations.
Widespread pain: This may be a dull ache or a burning sensation that occurs all over the body. Fatigue: Feeling tired or exhausted, even after getting enough sleep. Morning stiffness: People with fibromyalgia often report feeling stiff and achy when they wake up in the morning, and this can last for several hours. Cognitive difficulties: This can include difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and a “foggy” feeling. Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling refreshed after sleep. Headaches: Tension headaches or migraine attacks may occur frequently. Digestive issues: This can include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Mental health symptoms: Many people with fibromyalgia also experience anxiety and depression.
Evidence suggests that these conditions are often seen with fibromyalgia:
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders : TMJ disorders cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw, face, and neck. Rheumatic diseases : Conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and seronegative spondyloarthritis can coexist with fibromyalgia. Hyperparathyroidism : This is a disorder of the parathyroid glands that can affect calcium levels in the body. Degenerative disk disease : This is a condition that affects the spinal disks and can cause back pain. Calcifications : These are the accumulation of calcium deposits in the body’s tissues.
While fibromyalgia can be a chronic and sometimes debilitating condition, it’s not considered a life threatening illness and doesn’t typically affect life expectancy. However, it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and daily functioning.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that can be challenging to treat, as it can cause a wide range of symptoms and may have multiple underlying causes. There’s currently no cure, and treatment generally aims to manage pain and other symptoms. Treatment typically involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and other therapies that are tailored to the individual’s specific symptoms and needs.
Medications for fibromyalgia may include:
OTC pain relievers: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be used to manage mild to moderate fibromyalgia pain. However, these medications are generally less effective for fibromyalgia pain than prescription medications.
Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are commonly used to help manage pain and depression. They work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which can help to reduce pain and improve mood.
Skeletal muscle relaxants: These muscle relaxers can help to relieve muscle spasms and improve sleep. They work by decreasing the activity in the central nervous system, which can help to reduce pain and promote relaxation.
Anti-epileptic agents: Some medications commonly used to treat seizures, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, can be effective in reducing pain in fibromyalgia. They work by decreasing the excitability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Anesthetics: Some anesthetics, such as lidocaine, can be administered as injections or patches to help reduce pain in specific areas of the body.
However, evidence suggests that only a small number of people with fibromyalgia experience substantial symptom relief with medications. Other treatments may also include:
exercise massage therapy physical therapy acupuncture cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBTI) moving meditation (i.e., yoga, tai chi, qigong ) good sleep hygiene
Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, cognitive issues, and sleep disturbances. The condition can develop at any age, but it’s more common among middle-aged and older adults. If you have fibromyalgia, it’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific symptoms and needs.