Stiff and Sore? 9 Tips on How to Wake Up More Easily With Arthritis
7 minute read
Many people who have a diagnosis of arthritis report a worsening of symptoms in the morning, when they first wake. As if getting out of bed in the mornings wasn’t difficult enough.
This is no way to start your day, and, for many, the morning is a hectic time that just can’t wait for your aching joints to join the party. The following tips can help you streamline your morning routine and conquer it like a champ.
1. Preplan and Prepare the Night Before
This tip is great for anyone who has trouble in the morning; it helps relieve you of some morning stress by taking it out of your morning routine. If you’re rushed making lunches before your kids head off to school, some planning can easily make that a nighttime job.
How about buying a coffee maker with a timer, so it’s ready to go when you wake? When buttons are difficult, why not preplan your wardrobe and unbutton clothing the night before, so it’s half the trouble in the morning.
Try thinking of morning chores that can be shifted to the night before, so your day goes more smoothly.
2. Warm Up
Heat can work wonders when it comes to loosening muscles and joints. If you can set an electric blanket or heating pad to turn on before you get up, you can begin the warming process before you even get out of bed.
Otherwise, don’t put off your shower or bath, make it your first stop after getting out of bed.
3. Stretch and Move
Before you even get out of bed, start stretching. Gently moving your body, stretching those muscles, and getting your blood flowing eases your body into the day.
Give your entire body a morning wake-up call. Don’t just focus on those areas that give you trouble, create a routine that includes your entire body, from head-to-toe, for a thorough stretch.
4. Take Your Meds Then Snooze
If you habitually hit the snooze button, add a step to your routine. Take your medications the first time your alarm goes off, so while you’re snoozing they have time to take effect.
This is especially useful if you take a pain reliever as part of your pain-relief regimen. Remember, if your medications recommend that you take them with food, you can keep a couple crackers at your bedside to soothe your stomach. Then hit the snooze and grab those few extra moments.
By the time you really wake and start stretching, you’ll feel ready to tackle the day.
5. Pick Great Supplements
One wonderful way to help you manage arthritis pain is to use a natural approach. Turmeric (curcumin) can help with joint inflammation. Boswellia Serrata can be a strong pain-reliever, even more than ibuprofen, and undenatured collagen can help restore joint mobility. A joint health supplement, like 1MD’s EasyFlex, contains all three of these ingredients.
| Related: What Is Curcumin and What Is It Good For? |
Regular use of supplements can support your healthcare routine and help keep you on track for less acute arthritis symptoms.
6. Let the light in.
Natural light has many benefits. It not only helps you wake up, it signals your brain to raise serotonin levels.
There are a few different ways to wake up to sunshine. You can open the curtains yourself to start the day, you can get automatic blinds that can be opened through a timer or a remote. Or you can fake the entire thing.
Look into alarm clocks that can be set to mimic sunrise with a slow increase in brightness. This is the perfect solution for people who don’t get up with the sun or who live in cloudy areas.
It’s also a very gentle way to wake for anyone and using alarm sound options makes mornings feel less abrupt.
7. Be Realistic
Don’t expect too much of yourself or you’ll wind up in a downward spiral. Knowing what you can accomplish, realistically, can help you set a morning routine that’s practical.
Maybe you can even establish one that gives you enough time to take a moment and relax before your day, have a cup of coffee, and read the morning news.
8. Expect to Be Flexible
While warming your muscles and stretching is important, it’s not what we’re talking about here. Your morning schedule and expectations need to be flexible.
| Related: The Inflammation Factor at the Heart of Joint Health |
This means you have to accept that some days you’re going to have limitations and more arthritis symptoms to deal with. Stress can make arthritis worse. By being prepared to take it easy on rough days, you can remove added stress.
When getting out of bed in the morning feels almost impossible, the suggestion to exercise seems laughable. But this is not necessarily a suggestion that you exercise first thing in the morning.
A regular routine of health and fitness keeps your body functioning at its highest level and will help relieve symptoms of arthritis and all other ailments and aches your have. Don’t get discouraged if your exercise routine has been disrupted by arthritis, there are still a lot of things you can do and enjoy.
Exercising with arthritis may mean a change in how you approach fitness, but it will help keep you healthy and happy.
In addition to these tips, practicing healthy lifestyle habits can help you live with arthritis, during the morning and throughout the entire day.
The Bottom Line
Each type of arthritis is a little different and every individual with an arthritis diagnosis has unique needs and symptoms to work with.
Discuss your situation with your healthcare provider to establish your best plan of attack. Get help when you need it so you can keep participating in activities that mean the most to you.
If you have some bad habits, work to remove them and pick up a good lifestyle approach to make every day more enjoyable and pain-free.