Everyone has experienced a strange feeling of their arms or hands falling asleep at night. This phenomenon is also accompanied by numbness and tingling of our hands or arms. When it happens only occasionally, you don’t think about it, but when it starts to happen regularly, you may be worried about the causes of it.
Read the article and find out what the causes of arms or hands falling asleep at night are, how to treat and how to prevent the problem.
What Is It?
The feeling of our arms or hands falling asleep is known as paresthesia in medical terms. It is a painless feeling of tingling and numbness, which is very unpleasant and once you feel it, you want to get rid of it.
It may happen any time, but usually occurs at night when you slept on your arm for too long and pressed on one of your nerves. The pressure disturbs the blood flow and you feel it as if your arm or hand fell asleep. It usually wakes you up, but when you start to move your arms, the feeling goes away after a few minutes.
That, in fact, is the most common cause of our arms and hands falling asleep at night and it’s quite common. However, if it starts to happen very often or doesn’t want to go away for a longer period of time, you need to consult a doctor.
In most cases, the cause of arms and hands falling asleep at night is not serious, but rarely it is an indication of an underlying medical disorder. It is especially the case if you also experience some other unpleasant or worrying symptoms.
The Causes of Arms or Hands Falling Asleep at Night
The sensation of our arms or hands falling asleep at night is quite a common phenomenon. It may be caused by a number of reasons, with most of them not being serious.
1. Poor Sleeping Position
It has already been mentioned that a poor sleeping position is the cause number one of arms or hands falling asleep at night. When your body weight puts extra pressure on your arm or hand for too long, the blood circulation may be disturbed due to the pressed nerve.
Therefore, if this feeling happens to you frequently, but only at night, you need to pay attention to the way you sleep. Sometimes, we are not even aware that we sleep at the exactly same position every single night. Try to change the way you sleep and see if it works for you. Most commonly a pinched nerve appears when you sleep with a bent elbow and with your head lying on it.
2. Vitamin B Deficiency
Vitamins from group B are extremely important when it comes to proper functioning of our nervous system. They also give you energy and promote health of your cells. Mostly we are able to obtain B vitamins from our diet, however, sometimes it is not enough and supplementation is required.
Deficiency in B vitamins usually happens to elderly people, those who drink too much of alcohol, but also among vegans or people who suffer from pernicious anemia. If alcohol, a poor diet, or anemia is the case, you need to deal with that first and then supplement B vitamins if your doctor recommends you so.
3. Repetitive Movements
If you often deal with arms or hands falling asleep at night, you should think about the movements you repeat every day. They are usually connected with the work you do, for example, if you type, sew, or use a hammer every day, the nerves in your wrist may get overloaded.
The repetitive movement to your hand may lead to so called carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by a compressed or pinched median nerve.
That may cause the feeling of numbness, tingling, or even pain in your wrist or other body part which you overuse. As you cannot change your work, try to introduce simple stretching exercises into your daily routine, which will help you relax your stiff muscles and overloaded nerves.
4. Fluid Retention
There are various causes of fluid retention in body. You may have a problem with it if you don’t drink enough water or use too much salt on a daily basis. However, it also happens when you are overweight, don’t do any physical exercises, or hormone levels fluctuate during your period if you are a woman.
Fluid retention may cause swelling of different body parts. When that happens the blood circulation is disturbed and you may feel tingling or numbness in the affected areas of your body.
Diabetes, especially if it is undiagnosed for a long time, may be dangerous. This metabolic disorder is connected with high blood sugar level, which may lead so called peripheral neuropathy, caused by nerve damage.