Do your hands go numb while sleeping? Your not alone!
Many people report their hands going numb or falling asleep while in bed at night. For some people it is just a few fingers while for others their entire hand falls totally asleep – sometimes both hands at the same time!
There are a few causes of numb hands while sleeping, some more serious that others! In some cases the cause is as simple as your sleeping position but sometimes it can be a symptom of a more serious medical problem.
What causes numbness in hands and arms while sleeping?
Your Sleep Position
One of the most common causes of numbness in the hands at night is how you lay down. If your hands are under your pillows, head or other body part do not be surprised if you wake up with tingling hands!
Instead of laying down with your hands under you try sleeping with them free so that blood can flow and no nerves are pinched.
We recommend sleeping flat on your back with your hands free above the blankets. It may not be the most comfortable position but you won’t have any problems! Sleeping on your side and stomach are easy ways to find your hands pinned under part of your body. Some people even report success sleeping on the floor or in a large reclining chair!
Another common cause of hand numbness is vitamin deficiencies. It you have a poor diet that does not include many fruits and vegetables try changing what you eat and including a daily multi vitamin.
If things do not get better after a change in diet it might be time to visit a doctor for some tests! Vitamin deficiencies are a serious problem that can have long term effects if left untreated.
Possible Nerve Problems
A third common cause of nightly hand numbness is nerve problems. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a pinched nerve in your wrist, arm, shoulder or neck. These injuries can happen due to the way you sleep or as part of another injury.
Two of the most common pinched nerve related injuries are tennis and golfers elbow!
The easiest cure is to find a new sleeping position. We recommend experimenting with body pillows until you find the right way to lay. Cervical collars can help but surgery may be require in some extreme pinched nerves! If that is the case your doctor will likely start with a MRI and develop a treatment plan.
Cervical Stenosis aka a Disc Bulge
Cervical Stenosis aka a bulging disc in your back is another common cause, especially in active adults. Most people can tell right away when they slip a disc but some people don’t find out until they visit the doctor!
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Do you use a computer more than 6 hours per day? Then you may be at risk of developing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in your shoulder. TOS causes pinched median nerves in the wrist and shoulder. Common treatments for TOS include stretching and wrist splints.
Numb hands and feet are an unfortunate side effect of diabetes. If sleep position and other common causes have been ruled out it might be time to talk to your doctor about Diabetes. The numbness is usually located in the fingers and feet due to nerve compression and most commonly occurs in the peripheral nerves when suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
Recommended Sleep Gear for Numb Hands
What does it feel like?
Waking up with numb hands is no fun! It feels like your hands are bloated and too large for your body. Many people report feeling clumsy and have trouble doing basic things like picking up the phone, opening a door or brushing their teeth.
Some women report numb hands at night during pregnancy. The most common cause is carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS. This is common due to fluid build ups in the tissue around the wrist. But don’t worry! Symptoms usually go away after birth! We recommend using a wrist splint or brace to help manage numbness if it occurs too often.
Is it related to MS?
Numbness in the extremities is one of the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The numb feeling usually start off mild and grow in severity over time as the disease breaks down the body. Tingling and prickly feelings commonly accompany numbness so be on the lookout for any co-symptoms!