Hands Fall Asleep While Sleeping

Hands falling asleep

Do your hands fall asleep while sleeping and you're worried if something might be wrong? In most cases, you're probably just sleeping with your hand in the wrong position and causing the circulation to cut off, but there are also some medical problems that can cause hands to feel numb.

Symptoms When Hands Fall Asleep While Sleeping

When hands fall asleep while sleeping, you might experience things like tingling, a prickling feeling, numbness, and an inability to feel one or both of your hands when you first wake up. You might also have trouble making a fist or opening your palms wide. For the most part, the symptoms should pass by quickly. If you have fallen asleep on your hands it can be helpful to slowly try to move your palm in and out of a fist until the feeling returns and you can do it more quickly. Shaking your arms gently and holding them up can help.

Reasons for Numbness

This condition can happen to anyone of any age. When the blood supply is cut off from your hands, it is usually due to a pinched nerve or poor circulation in this area. However, there are also some medical problems that can cause hands to fall asleep. Here is a list of some of the possible reasons why hands might fall asleep while you are sleeping. Consult with your doctor if you are noticing severe symptoms or if the symptoms persist.

  • Poor Circulation: This is likely the most common reason why your hands might fall asleep and it can usually be alleviated by changing sleeping positions.
  • Diabetes: Hands, arms, and feet can fall asleep due to diabetes and this can happen even when someone is awake and relaxing, such as while watching television, or while on the computer.
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or Tendonitis: With pressure to the nerve in your wrist joint, these problems can cause hands to experience a tingling sensation and a loss of sensation that may be more pronounced early in the morning.
  • Arthritis or Hand Surgery: These conditions may cause the nerves to be irritated or damaged.

Get Relief

To reduce or prevent this from happening, try the following tips:

  • Keep your hands from being under a pillow or your head while you sleep.
  • Don't lie directly on your arm and cut off the circulation.
  • Don't fall asleep with your hands in a fist; try to keep them uncurled.
  • Hold your hands above your heart to help them "wake up."
  • Try drinking ginger tea, which can improve circulation.
  • Try doing exercises to strengthen your shoulders, neck, and arms.
  • Try using softer pillows, including a knee pillow, and sleeping on your back (side sleeping can cause hands to fall asleep when they're under the pillow).
  • If you're having carpal tunnel or tendonitis problems that are causing your hands to fall asleep or feel numb, an anti-inflammatory drug might also be helpful.
  • Nocturnal support braces for your wrists and hands can help reduce the tingling sensation that disrupts your sleep. Splints can provide support, help you avoid bending the hands and wrists awkwardly and reduce the chance of crimping any nerves.

Talk to Your Doctor

You should not create your own splint, but consult a physician about whether this is an option for you. If you are experiencing hand numbness during sleep and you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or insomnia, you should be sure to let your physician known. In some cases of sleep apnea, healing and recovery are slower than normal. If the numbness in your hands and wrists are related to an injury, it may be that sleep apnea is impairing your healing process.

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Hands Fall Asleep While Sleeping