Why am I so stiff in the morning? There’s a good reason!

You wake up in the morning and feel about as flexible as cardboard cutout of yourself.  You felt fine the night before, what happened? Why do we wake up so stiff?

Relax, you don’t need to go out and replace your mattress or pillow.

A study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, says there’s a protein call cryptochrome that actively suppresses inflammation while we sleep. When you wake up and start to move around, the effects of the protein starts to wear off.  This seems a little backwards, but it actually makes a lot of sense. When we’re asleep, there’s much less weight on our joints.

What is inflammation exactly?

It’s an immune response, the defense mechanism in your body. When there is something harmful or irritating the body senses it and starts the process of trying to remove it. The signs and symptoms tend to be uncomfortable at best but they show that the body is trying to heal itself.

The symptoms can vary depending on whether its acute or chronic inflammation. They can include, heat, swelling, redness, immobility and pain.

Scientists are just now starting to get a clearer picture of how inflammation is actively trying to protect our bodies. It is a lot  more nuanced than was originally thought.

By suppressing inflammation while we sleep, our body is actually giving itself the best chance to heal. It’s the body’s natural way of putting ice or heat on an injury.

“By understanding how the biological clock regulates inflammation, we can begin to develop new treatments, which might exploit this knowledge”.  Dr. Julie Gibbs, a researcher at the Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes

Another recent study found that there is a link between back pain and your spinal discs are not in sync with your 24 hour body clock.

So what can you do to help with aches and stiffness in the morning?

Simple stretches, like pilates or yoga can ease the pain in your muscles and joints.

We all know that having a healthy circadian rhythm is beneficial for your health.

Getting a good night’s sleep and keeping to the same sleep schedule can help protect your body clock and avoid back pain later in life.

 

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