Friday, 25 October 2013

Wake Up Pain

Sleep: My favourite activity. I can't seem to get enough of it! But the couple hours of inactivity isn't great for those of us with arthritis and other pain disease: Morning stiffness is an extremely common symptom. But pain can also be a huge problem in the morning, as I have been personally experiencing: Lately I've needed a half hour just to get out of bed in the morning.

Waking up and getting up are two completely different things. Waking up, you may experience anything, from pleasure of waking up to the sun shining, little pain and a day of relaxation  to a blaring alarm, lots of pain and a busy day ahead. Sometimes I wish the day starts when I say it can, having slept in enough to feel completely rested. But, that's not possible... Anyway, getting up is a process in and of itself. It's hard to try and move when you feel like you can't, and it's worse when you're in pain. Sometimes it seems like it would help the pain to just stay in pain, and I really wish I could.

I've been trying to do a few things to make mornings less stressful:
  • Sleeping in a stretched position can help with the pain. It's tempting to curl up, but it may be harder to get up in the morning. It may also put less strain on your joints. In colder weather, layering your bed with lots of blankets and wearing warm pyjamas and socks can help you resist temptation of curling for warmth.
  • Set your alarm clock for a half hour or even hour before you need to get up- and make sure it goes off a few times before you need to get up. Waking up gradually may help you feel more rested. It's an ancient Chinese practice I've read about.
  • Along with the alarm going off, take your pain medicines an hour or so before you need to get up. That way they have time to work and can make the mornings easier. Keep a glass of water and the right pill/pills on your bedside. I keep only exactly what I need because my mind is really fuzzy in the morning, and nothing says 'good morning' like extra pain meds.
  • Try to lay out your clothes, pack your bags and lunches and make sure you have everything you need for the day the night before, if you're able to. It makes the day easier. And if you're anything like me, it maybe ideal to put out two outfits in case I'm not in the mood for the first one. :) 
Mornings are hectic, stressful and foggy. They shouldn't have to be painful, but it's hard to avoid. I hope my suggestions can help! If you have any morning suggestions or tips, leave it in the comment section! I'd love to read it. :)

6 comments:

  1. When I'm very sore when I wake (as opposed to the usual stiffness) I head straight to a nice, hot shower. It helps loosen the stiffness and helps the pain, some. I like your idea of taking pain meds before getting out of bed--that's smart, Elizabeth! I'd never have thought of it.

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    1. That's a great idea: Usually I'll shower at night to save time in the morning, but it might be worth it to have a hot shower!
      Thanks, I came up with that when I read about having an electric blanket heat up a half hour before you wake up... Which sounds nice. :)

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  2. Ahh, I so relate. Mornings suck. lol. I do the same thing, I set my alarm half an hour earlier so my joints can "wake up."

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  3. Great ideas, very helpful! I can relate a lot to this post. I guess we all do the waking up extra early routine to thaw out :( A hot shower also helps loosen the joints for me. I wrote a waking up post also which I'll post at some point - we have similar ideas! Great minds do think alike ;)

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