How Do I Stop My Hands from Going Numb When I Sleep?


If you're experiencing numbness in your hands during sleep, this blog post will provide insight into the possible causes. Hand numbness during sleep can be a bothersome and sometimes painful experience, often resulting in interrupted rest and decreased quality of life. In this blog post, we will delve into the various causes of hand numbness while sleeping, ranging from ulnar nerve compression to carpal tunnel syndrome and inflammatory conditions.

It's crucial to emphasize the importance of consulting a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis. We'll discuss physical examination techniques used by professionals, as well as non-surgical treatment options and surgical interventions when necessary.

In addition to understanding how medical professionals approach this issue, we will provide tips on how to prevent or manage hand numbness while sleeping. This includes avoiding certain sleep positions that put pressure on nerves responsible for causing numbness and supporting your arms with body pillows or braces.

Maintaining good posture throughout the day is another essential aspect in addressing hand numbness at night; therefore, we will explore ergonomic workstations, taking breaks for stretching and movement, along with neck exercises aimed at relieving cervical spondylosis symptoms.

Lastly, since carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common culprits behind nighttime hand numbness issues like "how do I stop my hands from going numb when I sleep?", we will cover methods such as neutral hand positioning during sleep and stretching exercises specifically designed for symptom relief. So let's dive in!

My Hands from Going Numb

Causes of Hand Numbness During Sleep

Numb hands during sleep can be a result of various health conditions and factors. Understanding the possible causes is essential in finding an effective solution to prevent or manage hand numbness while sleeping.

Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar tunnel syndrome, also known as cubital tunnel syndrome, occurs when the ulnar nerve gets compressed at the elbow, causing numbness in the ring finger and little finger. This condition may worsen during sleep if you bend your elbows for extended periods.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve within the wrist's carpal tunnel. It often leads to numbness, tingling, and weakness in your thumb and first three fingers. Sleeping with bent wrists can exacerbate this condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can lead to peripheral neuropathy or damage to peripheral nerves that transmit signals between your spinal cord and other body parts. RA-induced inflammation may cause hand numbness during sleep due to increased pressure on nerves.

Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Type 1 diabetes: High blood sugar levels over time can cause diabetic neuropathy - damage to peripheral nerves leading to numbness and tingling in hands, feet, arms, or legs.
  • Type 2 diabetes is more likely to cause nerve damage leading to numbness and tingling in hands, feet, arms or legs due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. It may cause hand numbness during sleep due to nerve damage from prolonged high blood sugar levels.

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis refers to age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck. As a result, nerves can become compressed leading to symptoms like hand numbness while sleeping.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy, caused by various factors such as vitamin B12 deficiency or repetitive hand motions, can lead to damaged peripheral nerves and subsequently result in hand numbness during sleep.

Comprehending the root causes of hand numbness that can occur during sleep is vital to constructing a successful treatment plan. Consulting a healthcare provider can help diagnose and provide various options for treating this condition.

Consult a Healthcare Provider for Diagnosis and Treatment Options

If you're experiencing hand numbness during sleep, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider who can help determine the underlying cause. A thorough physical examination will be performed based on your symptoms, which may include checking grip strength, assessing nerve function, and evaluating any signs of peripheral neuropathy or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical Examination Process

  • Evaluating grip strength: Your healthcare provider may assess how well you can hold objects or apply pressure with your hands.
  • Nerve function tests: These tests measure the speed at which electrical signals travel through your nerves responsible for sensation in your hands (median nerve, ulnar nerve, radial nerves).
  • Assessing signs of peripheral neuropathy or carpal tunnel syndrome: Your healthcare provider will look for specific physical indicators that suggest these conditions are causing numbness in your hands while sleeping.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

In many cases, non-surgical treatments can effectively manage hand numbness caused by compressed nerves. Some common treatment options include:

  1. Wrist splints: Wearing wrist splints at night helps maintain a neutral position for wrists and reduces pressure on the median nerve.
  2. Nerve gliding exercises: These exercises involve gently moving fingers and wrists to improve nerve mobility and alleviate symptoms.
  3. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications can help manage discomfort associated with hand numbness during sleep.

Surgical Intervention Considerations

In some cases, if non-surgical treatments are not effective in managing your hand numbness, surgery might be considered as an option. Before opting for surgery, it is important to evaluate the extent of your hand numbness and how it affects your daily activities. Before committing to any treatment, it is essential to discuss all available options with your healthcare provider.

A healthcare professional should be consulted to determine the source of numbness in hands while sleeping and for possible treatment methods. Furthermore, tips such as avoiding arm pressure while sleeping, adjusting your sleeping position and supporting arms with pillows or braces can help prevent/manage hand numbness while sleeping.

Tips to Prevent/Manage Hand Numbness While Sleeping

There are several tips you can follow to prevent or manage hand numbness while sleeping. By adopting better sleeping positions that support your arms and hands without putting undue stress upon them, you may be able to maintain a neutral position for your wrists and reduce pressure on nerves.

Avoiding Arm Pressure During Sleep

To avoid arm pressure during sleep, make sure not to sleep with your arm under your head or body. This can cause compression of the ulnar nerve, leading to numbness in the ring finger and little finger. Additionally, avoid bending your elbow for extended periods as this could compress the radial nerve, affecting grip strength.

Adjusting Your Sleeping Position

  • Side sleeping: If you're a side sleeper, try placing a pillow between your arms so they don't rest directly on top of each other. This helps alleviate any potential pressure on peripheral nerves.
  • Back sleeping: When lying on your back, place pillows beneath both elbows and hands so they remain slightly elevated above heart level - reducing swelling and promoting proper blood flow.
  • Belly sleeping: If possible, it's best to avoid belly sleeping altogether since it tends to put significant strain on the neck/spinal cord region which might contribute towards nighttime hand numbness caused by compressed nerves due to various factors mentioned earlier in this article.

Supporting Arms with Pillows or Braces

In addition to adjusting your sleep position, consider using pillows or braces specifically designed to support your arms and hands during sleep. These can help maintain a neutral wrist position, reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome-related numbness. If you're experiencing hand numbness due to nerve compression, consult with a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations on appropriate support devices.

By following these tips to prevent/manage hand numbness while sleeping, you can ensure a comfortable and restful sleep. Additionally, maintaining good posture throughout the day is also important for avoiding arm pressure during sleep and other related issues.

Maintaining Good Posture Throughout the Day

Maintaining good posture during daytime activities is essential in preventing exacerbation of cervical spondylosis symptoms, which could lead to further complications related to nighttime hand numbness caused by compressed nerves. By adopting proper postures while sitting at workstations or using electronic devices, you can reduce pressure on your spinal cord and peripheral nerves, ultimately helping alleviate hand numbness.

Proper Sitting Posture at Workstations

  • Set your chair so that the feet are flat on the floor and thighs form a 90-degree angle with lower legs.
  • Keep your back straight with lumbar support from the chair's backrest.
  • Avoid crossing legs as it may put pressure on radial nerves and cause poor circulation.
  • Position computer monitors at eye level to prevent straining neck muscles.
  • Taking breaks every hour for stretching exercises can help maintain grip strength and promote better blood flow in hands.

Ergonomic Use of Electronic Devices

  • Avoid holding phones between shoulder and ear; use speakerphone or headphones instead.
  • Holding tablets or e-readers with both hands will distribute weight evenly across main nerves responsible for sensation.
  • Type gently when texting or emailing from mobile devices; excessive force may contribute to nerve compression in fingers.

Incorporating these simple changes into daily routines can have a significant impact on overall hand health and reduce the likelihood of experiencing numbness during sleep. Additionally, practicing stretching exercises throughout the day can further improve circulation and help prevent compressed nerves in your hands.

To ensure proper blood flow and decrease strain on your hands, sustaining a good posture during the day is essential. By taking proactive steps to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, you can reduce discomfort in your wrists while sleeping.

Alleviating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

If you're suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, there are several strategies to help alleviate your symptoms and prevent further nerve damage. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage hand numbness during sleep.

Neutral Wrist Positioning During Sleep

Maintaining a neutral wrist position while sleeping is crucial for reducing pressure on the median nerve. To achieve this, avoid bending your wrists or tucking them under your pillow. Instead, keep them straight and supported with a soft brace or splint if necessary.

Taking Breaks and Resting Hands

Take regular breaks from activities that put strain on your hands and wrists, such as typing or using handheld devices, to give yourself short rest intervals every hour. This includes typing at a computer keyboard or using handheld devices like smartphones for extended periods of time. Give yourself short rest intervals every hour to relax and stretch out those muscles.

Stretching Exercises for Relief

  • Grip strength exercises: Gently squeeze a stress ball or similar object in each hand for five seconds before releasing the tension. Repeat this exercise ten times per session, two to three times daily.
  • Finger stretches: Spread all fingers wide apart then slowly bring them back together again in controlled movements; repeat up to ten times per set throughout the day as needed.
  • Wrist flexor stretch: Extend one arm forward with palm facing up; use opposite hand to gently pull back fingertips until a stretch is felt along the underside of the forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.

By implementing these strategies and working closely with your healthcare provider, you can effectively manage carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and reduce the occurrence of hand numbness during sleep.

By taking the proper steps to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, such as neutral wrist positioning during sleep and regular stretching exercises, individuals can reduce their risk of developing this painful condition. Massage therapy and myofascial release techniques are also effective ways to help relieve pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Massage Therapy and Myofascial Release Techniques

Integrating massage therapy and myofascial release techniques into your routine can help alleviate hand numbness during sleep. These therapies work to ease tension, discomfort, and promote better circulation in the affected areas caused by compressed nerves or other underlying health conditions.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Hand Numbness

  • Pain relief: Regular massages can help reduce pain associated with nerve compression or peripheral neuropathy by improving blood flow to the area.
  • Muscle relaxation: Massaging tight muscles around the wrists and hands may provide relief from muscle stiffness that contributes to numbness during sleep.
  • Increase grip strength: Improving overall hand function through targeted massage techniques can lead to increased grip strength, reducing pressure on radial nerves responsible for sensation in fingers.

Tips for Effective Self-Massage

  1. Gently rub your hands together using a circular motion with moderate pressure. This helps stimulate blood flow throughout your hands while warming up tissues before deeper massage techniques are applied.
  2. Focusing on one finger at a time, use your thumb and index finger of opposite hand to apply gentle pressure along sides of each digit starting from base towards fingertip. Repeat this process several times per finger as needed for optimal results.
  3. To target ulnar nerve specifically (which runs down side arm), place palm facing upwards then gently press knuckles into forearm near elbow joint; slowly move knuckles downwards until reaching wrist bone before releasing tension - repeat steps above if necessary.

Myofascial Release Techniques for Hand Numbness

Myofascial release is a specialized therapy that targets tight, restricted connective tissue (fascia) surrounding muscles and nerves. By applying gentle sustained pressure to these areas, it can help improve range of motion, reduce pain and discomfort caused by compressed nerves or peripheral neuropathy.

Incorporating massage therapy and myofascial release techniques into your daily routine may provide additional support in managing hand numbness during sleep alongside conventional treatments recommended by healthcare providers.

FAQs in Relation to How Do I Stop My Hands From Going Numb When I Sleep?

What Deficiency Causes Numbness in Hands While Sleeping?

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause numbness in hands during sleep due to its role in maintaining healthy nerve function. A lack of vitamin B12 may lead to peripheral neuropathy, which affects the nerves responsible for sensation and movement. It is essential to maintain a balanced diet or take supplements if necessary.

What Is the Home Remedy for Hand Numbness?

A home remedy for hand numbness includes regular stretching exercises targeting wrists and fingers, applying warm compresses on affected areas, massaging with essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus oil, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation. Additionally, ensure proper ergonomics at workstations and avoid repetitive motions that strain your wrists.

Why Do I Wake Up Every Night with Numb Hands?

You may be waking up with numb hands due to poor sleeping positions causing nerve compression (such as ulnar nerve compression), carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical spondylosis affecting neck nerves, or underlying inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Consult a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.


Hand numbness during sleep can be caused by various factors, such as ulnar nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome, and inflammatory conditions. It is important to consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options. Tips to prevent or manage hand numbness while sleeping include adjusting sleeping positions and using body pillows or braces for support.

Maintaining good posture throughout the day with ergonomic workstations, taking breaks to stretch and move, and performing neck exercises can also help alleviate symptoms. For those experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, neutral hand positioning during sleep, stretching exercises, massage therapy, and myofascial release techniques may provide relief.

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