Why Does Morning Stiffness Happen
Its not known why morning stiffness occurs, especially as people age, but the only common thread is that it occurs after long bouts of inactivity, says Dr. William Docken, a rheumatologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital. That is why you often feel so stiff when you wake up, since sleeping is when you are inactive for the longest continuous time.
However, any prolonged period of sitting also can cause stiffness, like watching TV, working at the computer, or riding in the car.
How Do You Release Chronic Muscle Tension
Home Remedies Applying a warm compress or heating pad to the affected muscle to help relax rigid muscles. Gently stretching your stiff muscle to help relax it. Avoiding strenuous activity that may trigger the muscle to become rigid again. Encouraging the muscles to relax using massage, yoga, or tai chi.
How Anxiety Causes Tension
While the focus is on anxiety, it may be better to focus on the stress that anxiety causes. Nearly every negative consequence of anxiety comes from the stress that anxiety creates.
Muscle tension is one of those difficult consequences resulting from stress. When a persons fight or flight system is activated muscles naturally contract. This muscle contraction is advantageous when the body and brain signal a person is in danger.
But when a person is stressed for an extended period of time , the muscles are also contracted for that period of time. Eventually, this tension contributes to pain, discomfort, and trouble with mobility.
In some cases, ones response to the muscle tension may also cause further aches and pains. For example, bending over because of a backache may lead to aches in other parts of the back, or avoiding exercise because of leg pain and tension could lead to further stress on the muscles. Having physical muscle pain can be a vicious cycle, as certain movements or lack thereof can cause additional pain.
Also Check: Can You Overdose On Sleeping Medication
Waking Up With Pain And Tension
MS tends to throw us curveballs, however. The ways in which we clench parts of the body, even during sleep, are something we might want to pay more attention to, especially if we are experiencing pain as a result.
Sometimes, these mornings of pain and tension indicate untreated MS symptoms, and sometimes, they indicate areas in the body where we harbor tension and stress without realizing it.
Cant Sleep Because Legs Feel Weird
Restless legs syndrome , also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening hours, and are often most severe at night when a person is resting, such as sitting or lying in bed.
You May Like: Sleep Number Bed Store Closest To Me
Relationship Between Sleep And Muscle Recovery
Before diving into the correlation between sleep and the muscles, we must understand the two key sleep stages and the intention of each phase.
Deep Sleep which is the restorative phase for muscle growth and recovery tends to make up anywhere 1-1.5hrs on average among adults. It is during this phase your blood pressure drops, muscles relax, and your tissue repairs. Lack of deep sleep may be an indicator of why your bodys muscles tighten up when you sleep.
REM plays an important role in the cognitive function and helps consolidate memory and re-energizing your mind. Although most muscle recovery is associated with deep sleep, the central nervous system is transmitting signals to the different parts of your body, thus REM is an important factor that cannot be overlooked in relation to your muscle function and coordination.
As you can tell, both stages are important for your muscles to recover properly. Therefore, you need to make sure you enter these stages enough during your sleeping hours.
Below is an example of how a typical nights sleep looks like.
So what does this mean for you?
If you dont enter the deep sleep stage enough, your muscles might be tightening up because they don’t fully recover. A sleep tracking device such as the Oura ring will give you insights to your sleep data so that you can better understand the quality of your sleep.
When Should You Call A Doctor About Muscle Rigidity
If you know that your muscle rigidity is the result of a minor injury, stress or overuse, then you can usually treat it at home effectively. However, if you suspect that your muscle stiffness is being caused by a severe injury or an undiagnosed condition, you should call your doctor.
You should also contact your doctor if your muscle rigidity doesnt go away within one week or is accompanied by any of the following:
Best Stretches To Tight Calves
Tight calves might get worse for some people to the extent they cant walk after waking up. If you have experienced this before, then you ought to look for a solution. Stretching your calves provides a short-term and long-term solution.
Here are good stretches you can do to reduce calf tightness:
Doing static stretches: By doing these stretches, you will loosen up the filaments found in your calf muscles. You will have reduced a lot of pressure from your calves.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommendation is that you should hold the stretch for about 15 seconds.
Dynamic stretches are also significant: This type of stretch involves active movement. Good examples of dynamic stretches are squats and lunges. Such exercises will help you relax your calves a big deal.
Sitting on the wall stretches: It is as simple as it sounds. Stand against a wall and pretend that you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Ensure you drop down your heels and hold for 30 seconds.
You will have stretched your hamstrings and hips, which will, in turn, reduce the calf tightness.
Elevate your legs at night: Although this is so much of a stretch, its a good way of relaxing your calves. Elevating your legs boosts circulation. Your legs will feel more relaxed, and there wont be muscle tightness.
If you follow and practice these few stretches before you sleep, you wont deal with tight calves in the morning.
Check out more calf exercises here.
Why The Scalene Muscles Get Tight
The scalene muscles are a muscle group in your neck. You have more than 100 muscles in your neck, head, and face area. The scalenes are made up of three pairs of muscles, with one set located on either side of your body.
When the scalenes are healthy and working in a balanced way, they help support the upright posture of your cervical spine, which is the upper part of your spine. Sometimes the scalenes can give you problems because they’re prone to a lot of tension.
Also Check: Sleep Number M7 Vs I7
How To Diagnose Sleep Leg Cramps
Talk with your medical provider about your leg cramps. Your medical provider may be able to help you find simple ways to relieve the pain and deal with the problem. You may need to see a sleep doctor if the leg cramps continue to cause severe sleep problems that affect your daily life.
Doctors do not need any tests to treat most patients with leg cramps.
Pain Inflammation And Sleep
We all want to wake up feeling rested and refreshed with our mind and body ready to dive into the day. Unfortunately, for many people, thats not how mornings begin. I see patients every day who are frustrated by waking with pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Why do I feel so physically uncomfortable when I get out of bed? is the question I hear again and again.
The truth is, there could be a number of sources of soreness, stiffness, and discomfort first thing in the morning. It may involve the sleep equipment youre using, i.e., your bed and pillow. It also may be related to inflammation, coming from one source or another.
Lets take a look at what can cause morning pain and fatigueand what you can do to improve it.
Check In With Your Sleep Gear
When youre feeling sore, stiff, or in pain upon waking, the first place to look for answers is your sleep equipmentspecifically, your mattress and pillow. Remember: Sleep is a performance activity. If you hiked a mountain in shoes that don’t fit, youd probably finish the climb in some pain. The same idea applies to sleep. To do it as well as you can, you need the right equipment, and you need to replace that equipment when its worn out.
Only you can be the judge of what sort of mattress is comfortable to you. Nevertheless, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when assessing the viability of your mattress:
Inflammation and sleep problems
What is Inflammation?
Read Also: Mathis Brothers Sleep Center Edmond
How To Keep Fascia Flexible
Keeping your fascia healthy has many benefits. Youll move more easily, have better range of motion and experience less pain. Things you can do to prevent fascia problems include:
- Move more: In addition to a consistent but varied exercise routine, its important to be active throughout the day. Have a desk job? Take at least a two-minute break every hour to stand up and move around, which helps fascia stay supple. Consider walking meetings or stand up and walk while participating in conference calls.
- Stretch regularly: Stretching is essential to good health. It reduces the risk of inflammation and structural problems in the body.
- Focus on posture: Slumping over a desk or a phone or walking in an awkward way to compensate for an injury can cause fascia to tighten. Try to maintain good posture while sitting or standing.
7 Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Back pain rehabilitation specialist Andrew Nava, M.D., offers insights into common chronic back pain causes and nonsurgical treatment optionsand advises not to give up hope.
What Causes Extreme Muscle Tightness
Muscle stiffness typically occurs after exercise, hard physical work, or lifting weights. You may also feel stiffness after periods of inactivity, like when you get out of bed in the morning or get out of a chair after sitting for a long time. Sprains and strains are the most common reasons for muscle stiffness.
You May Like: Sleep Number 360 Bed Reviews
What Causes Leg Muscles To Tighten Up While Asleep
Muscles tighten up while we sleep because we arent using them. When we wake up, it can help to stretch muscles out before moving around. Leg cramps can happen while sleeping because there is unusual nerve activity, so the muscle begins to cramp. When waking up, this ache is felt, and the pain is felt.
What Causes Tightening Of Muscles
Muscle can become tight in three ways. It can become tight if you are inactive. It can become tight during exercise or heavy work, or cramps can occur after exercise.
If you are inactive such as if you have to do long hours of desk work sitting in one place, the muscles of thigh can become tight and simultaneously the muscles of hip or gluteus will become lengthened. In the same way, while prolonged sitting with a bad posture can tighten the front muscle of chest while the back muscle will lengthen.
Muscle tightening or muscle cramps can also occur while you are exercising. Cramps are painful, they can occur as a result of overuse of muscle. Muscle fatigue, low level of sodium and potassium and magnesium can be a triggering cause for it. Even if you are not hydrated properly, it can lead cramps and shortening of muscle. Allow the muscle to relax, if it is stretched forcefully, it may lead to injury to the muscle fibers.
In the same way, muscle can also become sore and tight after exercising. This may occur 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. Many people also call it as delayed onset muscle soreness. The soreness is result of tiny injuries in the muscle fibers.
You May Like: Do Sleep Number Beds Come In Queen Size
Better Sleep More Effective Muscles
Whatever you decide to do to get better sleep, make your night routine a habit and stick with it, just like you have to stick with exercise to obtain your goal. Contact me today for a customized personal training service in Tampa, FL and lets improve your muscle tightness which will, in turn, make your workouts more effective and efficient!
Experiment With Potential Causes
If you are unsure what is causing your inability to sleep, experiment with different sleep-inducing practices that also rule out potential causes.
For example, you could wear noise-canceling headphones to block out any sound in your room, change your bedding to something softer like Egyptian cotton sheets, and wear an eye mask to keep out any light.
You might wake up the following day to find that noise, textures, or visual distractions were indeed the causes of your poor sleep. It is a trial-and-error practice, so be very patient as you rule out potential vulnerabilities.
Don’t Miss: Low Heart Rate When Sleeping
Why Do I Have Muscle Stiffness When I Get Out Of Bed
These symptoms could mean theres an underlying condition. Muscle stiffness typically occurs after exercise, hard physical work, or lifting weights. You may also feel stiffness after periods of inactivity, like when you get out of bed in the morning or get out of a chair after sitting for a long time.
Youre Exercising Too Much
Although a lack of exercise can be the cause of muscle aches in the morning, it will probably come as no surprise that too much exercise can also cause dreaded muscle soreness when you wake up.
Whether its down to DOMS, inadequate recovery or simply overtraining, too much activity can have a huge impact on your overall health, causing insomnia, increased cortisol and poor-quality sleep.
So if youre a regular gym-goer and will do anything to avoid missing a session, then that might be the reason why your entire body aches when you wake up. To reduce your morning muscle aches, its important to make sure youre scheduling in enough time for adequate recovery. You should aim for a minimum of two rest days per week to give your body time to recuperate. Additionally, swapping some of your high-impact workouts for more low-impact exercise will help you to avoid overtraining and give your body the rest it needs.
Also Check: Sleep Number Queen Bed Sale
Massage And Myofascial Release
Massage the tight muscle until you feel the cramp relax, then apply heat to stimulate blood flow and release all of the tension, or ice to bring down inflammation and soothe soreness. If you can, gently work the tight leg through its normal range of motion to restore flexibility. Self-myofascial release combines several types of massage. It provides pressure that relaxes connective tissue, slowly stretches and lengthens the affected muscle, and relieves trigger points for pain. Rest the tight muscle on a sturdy foam roller and let your body weight compress the spot, helping to break up a knot and restore normal blood flow to the area. Roll very slowly back and forth on the sore place to ease the clenched fibers and end the contraction. For a small area, such as your instep, putting your weight on a tennis ball and rolling your foot over it can relieve the cramp.
Do You Hold Tension While You Sleep
Have you ever got out of bed, first thing in the morning, and found your neck and/or shoulders feels super, super stiff?
And wondered: How can I be stiff from sleeping?
In this article Im sharing one of the most common reasons people wake up with sore neck/shoulder muscles and one super easy tip you can try.
When youre stressed, or pensive, or just have a habit of holding your shoulders up/tensing up, your muscles may just learn to be tight to hold that tension.
Theres isnt just one reason why a person might wake up with tense or sore neck and shoulders, but there is one very common one Ive found.
If you wake up with a sore neck or shoulders, I share what you can do below either in the video from our YouTube channel, or the full article below.
Do you ever find yourself lying in bed, feeling your thoughts flying around your brain?
Wishing it would stop so you could go to sleep?
Thats what my thoughts were doing one night when I first noticed it.
As I was frustratedly trying to shut up my brain, I noticed that I was tensing my shoulders around my ears.
I felt tense?
Hows that possible, right?
I checked again, and sure enough my shoulders were up near my ears, but not in a relaxed, gravitys-got-a-hold-of-them kind of way.
Now, Id never noticed this before.
As an experiment, I took a deep breath, and tried to relax.
Thats weird, I thought. Good thing I caught it.
Trying again to fall asleep, my thoughts again started racing around my head.
Recommended Reading: Is A Sleep Number Bed Worth The Price
The Added Anxiety Of Pain
Another problem can arise for those with anxiety and muscle pain if they are hyper-aware of the way their body feels. Those with panic disorder, hypochondria, and other anxiety disorders become “hypersensitive” as to the way their body feels. They tend to notice everything – every ache, every pain, every itch, and every change. It may also feel unavoidable, as this awareness can be an inherent part of certain anxiety disorders.
Muscle tension, whether initially caused by anxiety or not, can become worse if the person with the muscle tension experiences any anxiety. The worse the anxiety, the worse the muscle tension and pain can become, and often, the pain adds to the anxiety, which in turn can add to the pain and become an uncomfortable and difficult cycle to break.