Why My Hand Go Numb When I Wake Up?

waking up with numb hands

Waking up with your hands feeling numb can be a confusing and scary way to start your day. It’s that odd, tingling sensation that greets you when you first open your eyes, making you wonder if you slept on your arm wrong or if something more serious is at play. If you often find your hands feeling like they’ve fallen asleep before you even get out of bed, you’re not alone.

In this blog, we’ll dive into why your hands go numb in the morning and what you can do to stop it. We’ll explain some common causes of this strange numbness and share simple changes you can make to prevent it. Let’s dive in and have a look at some possible solutions!

Understanding Numbness in Your Hands

Waking up to numbness in your hands can be a bit unsettling, but it’s actually a pretty common experience. Let’s break down what’s really going on and why this happens.

When your hands feel numb, it’s often because the nerves in your hands are being compressed or they’re not getting enough blood. Imagine your nerves like tiny water hoses carrying messages from your brain to your hands. If someone steps on the hose, the flow gets cut off, and the messages don’t get through properly. That’s similar to what happens when you experience numbness.

There are a couple of specific conditions related to nerve issues that could be causing your morning numbness

Most of the time, the numbness is just because of how you slept and it’s nothing to worry about. However, understanding the underlying causes & conditions can help you better communicate with your doctor if the problem keeps happening.

Common Triggers of Morning Hand Numbness

If you often wake up with numb hands, you might be wondering why this happens. While the sensation can be alarming, the causes are usually quite common and can range from simple habits to underlying health conditions. Let’s explore some of the typical triggers

Causes Behind Numb Hands After Waking 

Causes Behind Numb Hands After Waking

  • Sleeping Posture: The way you sleep can significantly impact your nerves. Sleeping with your arm under your pillow or in a position that puts pressure on your arms or wrists can compress nerves, leading to numbness.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. It’s common in people who perform repetitive hand movements, but it can also flare up at night when your wrist might be bent during sleep.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy: This involves damage to the peripheral nerves and can cause numbness. Conditions like diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy, as high blood sugar levels can damage nerves over time.
  • Cervical Spondylosis: Aging and wear and tear on your neck’s vertebrae can lead to this condition. It can compress the nerves leading to your hands, resulting in numbness.
  • Excessive Alcohol Use: Drinking too much alcohol can have a toxic effect on your nerve tissue, leading to nerve damage that manifests as numbness in various parts of the body, including the hands.
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS): This syndrome occurs when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause numbness in your hands, especially when your arms are positioned overhead or extended for a period.
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can lead to nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication where numbness in the hands can be a frequent symptom, especially upon waking.

Understanding these triggers can help you identify changes you might need to make in your lifestyle or alert you to potential health issues that need medical attention. By addressing the root cause of the numbness, you can better manage this discomfort and improve your morning experiences.

Simple Adjustments to Prevent Numbness

Simple Adjustments to Prevent NumbnessIf you’re tired of waking up with numb hands, a few simple changes in your daily routine and sleeping habits can make a big difference. Here are some practical tips you can start using tonight to help keep the numbness at bay:

  • Change Your Sleeping Position: If you usually sleep on your side or with your arm under your pillow, try sleeping on your back. This can relieve pressure on your arms and hands.
  • Use Ergonomic Pillows: An ergonomic pillow designed to support your neck and shoulders can help maintain proper alignment and prevent nerve compression. Look for pillows that also offer wrist support if you suffer from conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Adjust Your Mattress: Sometimes, a mattress that’s too hard or too soft can contribute to numbness by not supporting your body evenly. Consider a mattress that has a good balance of support and comfort, and make sure it helps keep your spine straight.
  • Wear a Wrist Brace: If carpal tunnel syndrome is a concern, wearing a wrist brace at night can help keep your wrist straight and relieve the pressure on the median nerve.
  • Keep Warm: Make sure your sleeping environment is warm enough, or consider wearing light gloves if your hands tend to get cold at night.
  • Stretch Before Bed: Doing some gentle stretches for your hands, wrists, and arms before bed can improve circulation and decrease the likelihood of numbness.
  • Manage Your Health: If you have health conditions like diabetes or thyroid issues, managing your condition with the help of your healthcare provider can prevent symptoms like numbness from worsening.

Implementing these tips can empower you to reduce or even prevent the discomfort of waking up with numb hands. These changes are easy to apply and can significantly improve the quality of your mornings and overall health.

Exercises to Improve Circulation Before Bed

Exercises to Improve Circulation Before BedImproving circulation with some simple exercises before you hit the sack can be a great way to prevent numbness in your hands during the night. So, here’s a set of easy exercises you can do right before bed:

  • Wrist Circles: Extend your arms in front of you and rotate your wrists ten times clockwise, then ten times counterclockwise. This helps loosen the wrists and reduce tension.
  • Finger Stretches: Spread your fingers as wide as they can go, hold for a few seconds, and then relax. Repeat this ten times. This exercise helps improve the range of motion and circulation in your hands.
  • Arm Shakes: Let your arms hang loosely at your sides and gently shake them for about 30 seconds. This can help release tension in your arms and shoulders.
  • Shoulder Rolls: Roll your shoulders forward ten times, then reverse and roll them backward ten times. This helps relieve neck and shoulder tension, areas crucial for maintaining good nerve health.
  • Neck Stretches: Tilt your head towards each shoulder, holding for about 10 seconds on each side. This stretch can help reduce compression in the cervical spine, which can impact nerve function in your hands.
  • Prayer Stretch: Put your palms together in a prayer position below your chin, then lower your hands toward your waist, keeping your palms together until you feel a stretch under your forearms. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. This is particularly good for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Doing these exercises each night can not only help prevent numbness in your hands  but also improve your overall comfort and sleep quality.

When to Consult a Professional

When to Consult a ProfessionalGenerally, numb hands are not a cause for alarm, certain signs should prompt you to seek professional advice, especially if you’ve tried the usual remedies without relief. Here’s when you should be concerned and consider seeing a specialist:

Signs to Watch For:

  • Persistent numbness
  • If the numbness or tingling increases in intensity or begins affecting other parts of your body.
  • Numbness paired with pain, burning sensations, or worsening tingling.
  • Difficulty moving your fingers, gripping objects, or a noticeable decrease in hand function.
  • If numbness comes on suddenly or severely without a clear reason.

Consulting a Professional:

  • Visit Your Doctor: If simple adjustments don’t help, see your healthcare provider. They can diagnose underlying conditions that might be causing your symptoms, such as diabetes or thyroid issues.
  • Consider a Physiotherapist: For persistent or puzzling hand numbness, a physiotherapist can be invaluable. They specialize in assessing and treating nerve, muscle, and joint conditions. A physiotherapist can provide targeted exercises and treatments to alleviate numbness, improve nerve function, and strengthen the affected areas. They can also help adjust your posture to prevent future issues.

Remember: Ignoring persistent numbness can lead to worsening symptoms or underlying health complications. Getting a professional evaluation is not just about managing symptoms—it’s about maintaining overall health and quality of life. A physiotherapist can offer personalized advice and therapy tailored to your specific needs, helping ensure you wake up feeling your best each morning.

Get Your Physiotherapy Done Today!

If numb hands have been troubling your mornings or if you’re dealing with persistent pain and discomfort in other areas of your body, it might be time to consider physiotherapy. Physical therapy isn’t just about recovery; it’s about empowering you to take control of your health and improve your quality of life.

Physiotherapists are experts in relieving pain and improving mobility. Whether you’re struggling with back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, neck pain, elbow pain, hip pain, or the discomforts of arthritis, a physiotherapist can tailor a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

Don’t let pain hold you back from enjoying your daily life. At MantraCare, our experienced physical therapists are ready to help you recover and thrive with physical therapy. Book a physiotherapy session now and start your journey to a pain-free life!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can hand numbness go away on its own?
Yes, hand numbness can often go away on its own, especially if it’s caused by a temporary compression of the nerves, such as sleeping in an awkward position. Making simple adjustments to your sleep setup or daily habits can resolve the issue. However, if numbness persists, it’s important to seek medical advice.

What deficiency causes numbness in hands while sleeping?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with numbness in the hands while sleeping. This vitamin is crucial for nerve health and a deficiency can lead to nerve damage, resulting in symptoms like numbness. If you suspect a vitamin deficiency, it’s wise to consult a healthcare provider who can recommend appropriate blood tests and treatment options.

How do I stop my fingers from going numb when I sleep?
To prevent your fingers from going numb during sleep, try the following:

  • Adjust your sleeping position to ensure your neck and arms are properly aligned without undue pressure.
  • Use ergonomic pillows to support your neck and keep your wrists straight.
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands or arms.
  • Perform gentle stretches and exercises before bed to improve circulation.

Can stress cause numbness in hands?
Yes, stress can cause numbness in hands. Stress and anxiety can lead to hyperventilation, which reduces carbon dioxide levels in the blood and can cause tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, or speaking with a mental health professional can help alleviate these symptoms.

Do numb fingers mean diabetes?
Numb fingers can be a symptom of diabetes, as high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), which often affects the extremities first. However, numb fingers can also be caused by many other factors. If you have concerns about diabetes or if numbness is accompanied by other symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, or unexplained weight loss, it is crucial to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and management.

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