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Waking Up To A Dead Arm

sleep numbness tingling minnie tang physio

Good morning, dead arm. Have you ever woken up with your whole arm feeling like a dead weight or with numbness and tingling in your hand and fingers? It’s frightening when you wake up to discover that you can’t feel one of your arms. However, this phenomenon is actually quite common.

When nerves are compressed, they can cause numbness or pins and needles. Picture it like stepping on a garden hose — the information between your fingers/hand/arm and your brain gets momentarily disrupted, but once the pressure is relieved, everything flows again and returns to normal. This happens especially when you sleep on your side at night and lay on your shoulder, or when you sleep on top of your arm, or when you pin your arm underneath or against something for a prolonged period of time.

Because the main cause of this sensation is due to poor positioning, the only way to prevent it is to learn how to sleep in a less restrictive position. Otherwise, if you wake up with this feeling, all you have to do is readjust or reposition yourself to relieve the pressure. However, if you have underlying nerve conditions, or if the sensation persists even after a period of repositioning, or if you experience other symptoms beyond numbness and tingling, it is advised that you seek a professional to get it looked at.

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