Updated at: 01-03-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Having numb hands when you wake up isn’t unusual. Many people have experienced the strange sensation of their hand falling asleep.

Many people who sleep with their arms or hands in an awkward position experience numbness and an excruciating sense of pins and needles, but it isn’t the only possible explanation.

It’s vital to keep an eye out for other symptoms, such as numbness in the hands, if you see them.

Find out why this is happening and what you can do to fix it.

Waking up with numb hands causes

If you wake up with numb hands, try one of the following.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

Compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, a tiny conduit on the front of the wrist, results in carpal tunnel syndrome. A common symptom is the sensation of tingling or numbness. Grip strength can also decline.

Hand movements, such as typing on a computer keyboard or operating machinery, may cause it. Obesity or wrist damage may also be to blame for it.

Cervical (neck) spondylosis

A typical cause of cervical spondylosis is age-related wear and tear on your neck’s spinal disks.

Osteoarthritis symptoms, including as bone spurs and bulging disks, might result from this. Both can reduce the amount of space in your cervical spine and put pressure on a nerve root or spinal cord, resulting in tingling and numbness in your arms and fingers.

Numbness in the legs and feet can also result from cervical spondylosis, along with neck discomfort and stiffness.

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)

When the lower neck or upper chest area is inflamed, damaged, or squeezed, TOS is a collection of illnesses.

Neuronal compression can produce numbness in the forearm, hand, and fingers, as well as pain in the neck, shoulder/arm/hand region.

Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)

Damage to your peripheral nervous system (PNS), the system that receives and transmits signals between your CNS and the rest of your body, is referred to as peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy can damage any number of different nerves, and each form has its own unique set of symptoms. Symptoms might range from:

  • A tingling sensation and a lack of sensation
  • acute, piercing pain
  • sense of buzzing

Diabetes mellitus

High blood sugar is a symptom of diabetes mellitus, a long-term condition. It occurs as a result of a lack of insulin or a poor response to insulin.

Peripheral neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause hand pain, numbness, and weakness, affect around half of all patients with diabetes.

Sleeping posture

Your sleeping position may be to blame for numb hands when you wake up in the morning. Sleeping on your arm or hand or in a position that puts pressure on a nerve can cause this. Numbness or tingling in the extremities can be the result of a momentary interruption in blood flow.

Your discomfort can usually be alleviated by just shifting your body position.

Chemotherapy and other medications

Peripheral nerve injury is possible as a side effect of chemotherapy and other drugs. It has been found that chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy affects between 30 and 68 percent of patients.

Anticonvulsants, certain heart and blood pressure-lowering drugs, and some antibiotics, such as metronidazole (Flagyl) and Fluoroquinolones, are all known to produce peripheral neuropathy (Cipro, Levaquin).

Vitamin B-12 deficiency

DNA synthesis and the proper operation of the brain and central nervous system are both reliant on vitamin B-12. Red blood cells are another product that relies on it.

Age, family history, and medical disorders like gastritis and autoimmune diseases can all contribute to vitamin B-12 insufficiency.

If you don’t have enough vitamin B-12 in your diet, you may have symptoms such as tingling in your toes, muscle weakness, and a lack of appetite.

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Alcohol abuse

When consumed in excess, alcohol can harm the nerve tissue in the body. Acne in the hands of an alcoholic is known as alcoholic neuropathy.

Overindulgent drinkers may experience numbness and tingling in their extremities. If you’re drinking heavily, you’re more likely to be low in specific vitamins and nutrients that your body requires to maintain good neuron function.

This isn’t the only thing:

  • a weakened muscular mass
  • cramping and spasms in the muscles
  • problems with sex

Ganglion cyst

Joints or tendons in the wrist or hand might become inflamed by noncancerous ganglion cysts. A numbness in the hands might be caused by a cyst pressing on a nerve. Pressing on a cyst can cause pain, and it can also limit joint motion.

If left untreated, most ganglion cysts resolve themselves.

Other diseases

Hand numbness can be caused by a variety of different medical conditions. These are some examples:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • lupus
  • The term “Lyme sickness” refers to a
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and AIDS
  • syphilis
  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • hypothyroidism
  • Syndrome of Guillain-Barré
  • phenomenon of Raynaud’s

Numbness in hands and elsewhere

Check out this list if you’re feeling numbness in other areas of your body.

Waking up with numb hands and arms

You may wake up with numbness in one or both hands and arms due to carpal tunnel syndrome and your sleeping position.

Other reasons of numbness in the hands and arms include cervical spondylosis, peripheral neuropathy, and TOS. – It might also be a result of alcoholism.

Waking up with numb hands and feet

The numbness in your hands and feet might be caused by a medical condition, such as diabetes, or certain medications, such as chemotherapy. It can also be brought on by excessive alcohol use or a vitamin B-12 deficit.

Waking up with numb hands and fingers

Except for the pinkie, the hands and all of the fingers are commonly affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. Hand and finger numbness can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including cervical spondylosis, torticollis, peripheral neuropathy, and poor sleeping habits.

Waking up with one numb hand

Numbness in only one hand can be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome or pressure on the hand while you sleep. Other possibilities include injury to the peripheral nerves or ganglion cysts.

How to manage it

Changing your sleeping posture can generally alleviate nighttime nerve compression.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t sleep on your stomach. Numbness might result from sleeping with your arms and elbows bent, which can put additional pressure on your nerves. Make it more difficult for yourself to roll over and cuddle up in your sleep by tucking your covers in tight.
  • Keeping your arms out at your sides is important if you’re going to sleep on your stomach. If you sleep with them under your body, you run the risk of causing them numbness from the pressure.
  • The best position for sleeping is to have your arms at your sides, rather than tucked under your head. Numbness in the hands can be caused by sleeping with your arms raised above your head.
  • Keep your arms out of the way of your pillow when you slumber. A nerve might be compressed by the weight of your head on your wrists or elbows.

Being unable to regulate your motions when asleep means you may require assistance.

Try sleeping with an immobilizing brace on your elbows or wrists if you have difficulties keeping them straight all night. This will keep your wrists and elbows from shifting.

These braces are available online for both the elbow and wrist. Wrap a towel around the area you want to immobilize and secure it in place.

So that it does not fall off while you sleep or cause further compression, whether you buy or make a brace, make sure it is tight enough.

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Eventually, your body will become used to the new position and you won’t need to wear the brace at night.

Treating hand numbness

Treatment for numbness in the hands varies depending on the source. If your numbness is only infrequent and improves when you alter your sleeping position, you may not require any treatment.

Home remedies and medical therapies may be used as part of a therapy plan.

Exercise

If you suffer from muscle weakness in addition to carpal tunnel syndrome, you may benefit from carpal tunnel syndrome exercises.

Cervical spondylosis symptoms can also be alleviated by stretching, strengthening, and correcting posture.

Over-the-counter pain medications

With modest pain and inflammation in your hands, neck and other places, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin can be helpful.

Splints or wrist guards

A wrist guard or splint maintains your wrists straight, which alleviates pressure on your median nervous system. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can be alleviated by wearing them while doing repetitive jobs or at night.

Topical treatments

Applying Lidocaine patches and capsaicin lotion to the skin may help relieve moderate to severe pain and peripheral neuropathy. Biofreeze, a topical menthol, can also help alleviate carpal tunnel pain, according to a study published in 2014.

Vitamin B-12

Oral B-12 supplements can be used to address a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Supplemental B-12 injections may be required if the deficit is severe or if the vitamin is not being properly absorbed by the body through the food.

Foods strong in vitamin B-12, such as salmon, egg yolks, and liver, may also be beneficial.

Antidepressants

By interfering with the systems that send pain signals, some antidepressants can alleviate neuropathic pain. They may be useful in the treatment of diabetic nerve pain, amongst other things.

Antiseizure medications

Neurological pain may be relieved by epilepsy drugs. In addition to Gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin) and Pregabalin (Zoloft) (Lyrica).

Surgery

For some illnesses, surgery may be an option if nonsurgical therapy fail. For example, a surgeon might operate to relieve pressure on nerves or blood vessels caused by a compressed carpal tunnel, a bulging disk, TOS, or a ganglion cyst.

Tips to Reduce Numbness in Hands When Sleeping

You may be able to lessen hand numbness while sleeping in a few different ways, depending on the underlying cause. Having a pillow and mattress that are both supportive and comfortable might help alleviate pain in the neck and shoulders. It is critical to have a good night’s sleep to support your neck and spine. Try the following as well:

  • Stabilize your wrist as you sleep by wearing a wrist brace.
  • Alter your sleeping posture, especially if you prefer to sleep on your side.
  • Avoid compressing your nerves by not sleeping with your arms under your pillow. Make sure you don’t flex your wrists, as this can cause tingling.
  • Keeping your arms close to your body as you sleep can help alleviate nerve pinching if you frequently sleep on your back.
  • Stretch your hands and wrists before you go to sleep to help you sleep better at night.
  • Consult your physician to determine whether there are any other underlying health issues.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

Numbness and tingling that occurs throughout the night is rare and usually disappears within a few hours. If, on the other hand, the tingling or numbness persists or is affecting your ability to sleep, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. If you’re having any of the following symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor:

  • A dull numbness that lasts all day
  • Not just in your hands, but all over your body.
  • a lack of power in the muscles
  • Hand or finger clumsiness
  • a sudden onset of fatigue or fainting
  • Leg and arm pain that will not go away

There should be a doctor who can assess your symptoms and guide you in the right direction.

Takeaway

If you wake up with numb hands on a regular basis, it’s unlikely to be a sign of a more serious problem.

See a doctor if the numbness persists or if you notice any other signs or symptoms. Nerve injury and other underlying causes of numbness can be investigated by them.

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