By Brian Acton
Waking up with stiff, aching muscles or joints in the morning is a common experience for many Americans. The culprit could be physical activity (too much or too little), health conditions such as arthritis or injuries, and even an unhealthy diet.
But your mattress and pillows can also cause stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. Here’s how your bedding could be causing your morning aches and pains.
Mattresses Need to Provide Adequate Support
The ideal mattress depends on your sleeping preferences and body type; ultimately, only you can define what feels comfortable. But the right mattress should, at minimum, provide adequate spinal support and be free of sags and lumps.
Mattresses that don’t provide the proper spinal support can cause stiffness and lower back pain. Ideally, your mattress should support your entire body and accommodate the natural curves of the spine. A mattress that pushes or pulls your body in an unnatural direction can put unwanted pressure on the ligaments and tendons that connect your spine to your bones and muscles. If you wake up with back pain (and there isn’t another obvious cause), your mattress could be the culprit.
For the same reasons, you don’t want your mattress to sag or contain lumps. Mattresses that sag in certain areas (such as your hips) or prop up certain areas (like your head) can cause your body to rest in unnatural positions, causing soreness, stiffness, and pain.
It’s a good idea to replace your mattress once it starts to show too much wear and tear. Keep in mind that your body’s needs change as you age, and the mattress that you preferred in your twenties might not be appropriate a few decades later.
Pillows Affect Spinal Alignment
Your pillow is also extremely important for waking up pain-free. Pillows determine your spinal alignment as you sleep, and a pillow that causes your head to rest too high or too low can cause a seriously stiff neck.
A properly supportive pillow aligns your cervical spine (the part of your spine that’s in your neck) to eliminate sustained muscle tension while you sleep. A pillow that’s too thick or too thin for your body will cause you to continuously hold your head and neck out of optimal alignment. That can lead to major muscle stiffness and neck or upper back pain.
If your neck always feels stiff and tense in the morning, you may want to try thicker or thinner pillows. Core Products offers a wide variety of cervical pillows for every body type and size; many of these pillows offer multiple neck rolls for differently sized sleepers. Some even offer options for side sleeping and back sleeping!
Remember, pillows need to be replaced on a regular basis as well, and Core Products guarantees pillows for at least one year. Want to find the right one for you? Start browsing or give us a call!