How to Keep From Being Sore & Stiff While Sleeping

Updated April 17, 2017

Getting a good night's sleep is important for your health and general well being, so it can be very frustrating if you wake up in the morning feeling sore and stiff and generally not well rested. The position, mattress, pillow and environment in which you sleep can all contribute to waking up with aches and pains, particularly getting stiffness in your back and neck, which is a common complaint for lots of people. Making some simple changes to your sleeping habits can help prevent these problems so you can start each morning feeling refreshed and revitalised for the day ahead.

Sleep on a firm mattress that supports your back and keeps your body well aligned. Soft mattresses cause your body to sink and curve, which can give you back pain over time. An old mattress can also cause aches and pains if the springs have become loose or the fabric is bumpy, so buy a new one if you think this could be what is causing your discomfort.

Use a pillow that supports your head properly. The wrong pillow can give you neck pain because if it is too low, your neck will slope down and your shoulders with hunch together; if it is too high, you're head will be strained and your neck will bend upward. A good pillow will support your head and neck without too much or too little elevation. Special neck pillows have been designed to provide optimum support, so consider buying one of these if you experience consistent neck pain after sleeping.

Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs, or sleep on your back with a pillow underneath your knees, to avoid stiffness or cramping in the body; these positions put the least amount of pressure on your joints and muscles. The worst position for sleeping, according to Neck Pain Support, is on your stomach because it causes you to rest your head at an uncomfortable right-angled in order to breathe and also puts pressure on your stomach muscles.

Create a sleep pattern for yourself that you can stick to. Avoid falling asleep on the couch, or changing pillows and sleeping positions each night. Once you get into a routine that works for you, you can avoid aches and pains all together if you stick to it.


It is important to find the right mattress to suit your posture and build, so do your research and ask for expert advice before purchasing.


If you experience consistent aches and pains every morning when you wake up, seek advice from your doctor because it could be a symptom of a medical disorder like arthritis.

Things You'll Need

  • Firm mattress
  • Neck pillow
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About the Author

Emily Watson started writing in 2008. Watson has been published in "Children & Young People Now," "Youth Work Now," "Accent magazine," "The House Hunter," "Gap Year Business," "Timeout Education" and online at and She holds an honors degree in history from Newcastle University and has a PMA-Group postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.