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Numbness in hands during sleep
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Numbness in hands during sleep

I am a 55 year old male who is apparently in good health.  My blood pressure at home is frequently as low as 95/65 with pulse from 47 to 55 when at rest.  In the doctors office my blood pressure is 110/70.  I exercise on a tread mill for 15 minutes at a time several times per week, snow ski twice a year and was very athletic when I was young.  I recently had a complete physical including blood work, x-rays, and a cardiac stress test on the tread mill.  My internist said everything was great.  My problem is frequent slight numbness in my hands when I awake in the middle of the night.  I have used Rogaine on my hair since it was approved but have recently stopped because after a few days of using it as directed, the numbness in my hands can extend to the whole arm.  Hanging my arm off the side of the bed causes feeling to return in about a minute.  A couple of beers at night also seems to make the problem worse.  My doctor says its the way I position my hands while I sleep that is the cause of my problem.  What is your opinion?  Thanks.
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If you have had a normal cardiovascular and neurological examination by your doctor, I cannot think what may be causing your symptoms, other than your doctor's suggestion. If it gets worse or other associated symptoms develop, probably you ought to vistit your doctor again.
29 Comments
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Hi,
Hope you don't mind me butting in, but I have the same nagging problem.  I'm female, in my 40's, and lately have been waking up with my left hand totally numb! Like you, if I hang my arm over the side of the bed, the feeling comes back after about a minute or two.  Sometimes I get numbness in my right hand.  Do you happen to get this symptom when you're awake (working, for example)?  I get small twinges of it in my hands once in a while.  My doctor has told me it's probably a pinched nerve and also like you, and it's they way I have my arms when I'm sleeping.  I hope you get a answer to your question from the Forum, because I'm curious too.

dah
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Avatar_n_tn
I do not have this problem, but my mother-in-law does and I'd be interested in hearing what might be causing it.  If she sleeps any other way other than flat on her back, she wakes up several times during the night with her hands numb.  She cannot sleep on her side, stomach or anything.

The other thing that she has noticed (but she's not sure if it's just coincidence) is that if she eats a good bit of celery, she has the problem (when she is awake).  It doesn't appear that  any other food gives her these symptoms, but celery does.  She can eat a little bit of it, but if she eats more than she should she'll have problems.
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It actually sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome.  I first experienced this same feeling in both my hands when I was pregnant for my 3rd child.  After I gave birth, the numbness gradually subsided. From time to time I still experience the same numbness, especially when I have used my hands rigorously, such as painting or writing for a lenghty period time.  The carpal tunnel syndrome became so severe at one point that the pain traveled up my arms and it seemed to take longer for the feeling to return to my hands and fingers.  When it first began to happen I was also concerned that it had to do with my circulation, but my OB doctor confirmed that it was indeed carpal tunnel.  I know that they can use wrists splints that help with they symptoms.  Perhaps this is what you have.  Hope this helps.
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My brother and I have this problem,too.  We have Raynaud's disease, which isn't a big deal, but causes a problem like you are talking about when we lay with our arms above our shoulders even for a short period of time, whether on our stomach or back.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
I suffered from nighttime numbness in my left hand also. It went on for a very long time and eventually turned into a painful situation that woke me several times a night and also started effecting my arm. Like you, when i hanged my arm over the bed side it relieved. My dr. at the time thought it was a pinched nerve. He said that massages would help but that I needed a neruologist cuz he couldnt possibly begin to tell me which nerve it was. My husband bought me a massager, it has two large rotating knobs. You put it possitioned with the knobs on both sides of the spine (not to hit the spine). The first time he used it on my back he went accross a spot near my left shoulder blade and it sent a sensation down my left arm that I can only explain as like lighting. He went over the area a couple times and believe it or not, I have never had the problem again. It is called Shogun Shiatsu kneading massager, a smaller version of the ones used in chiropracters offices. I cannot believe that I suffered for so long (over a year) when all it took was $50.00 and a caring husband, but one that cant give a good massage to save his (or my <g>) life. It's worth a try. Good luck
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I had these symptoms, too. Dr. prescribed hand splints(about$50.00) to be worn at night,,,felt difference 1st night.
As soon as I make my wrists perfectly straight, the numbness disappears. Try it...
  Dr. also took ekg at that time,was normal. splints now 2 years old..just recently diagnosed w/cardiomyopathy..so is it a toss-up?
  Not sure.
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Thanks for all the replies.  It appears that my problem is more widespread than I had thought and may have many causes.  My personal opinion is that my numbness is caused by a drop in blood pressure while I am asleep.  This would explain why it becomes worse when I use Rogaine which can lower blood pressure to some extent.  My usual blood pressure is around 100/65 but I have measured it myself at home as low as 88/60.  My internist insists that my blood pressure is fine and I never feel weak or dizzy.  Do any of you have low blood pressure?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, Richard, I have low blood pressure and the same problem with my hands and numbness. My hands also get a bit tingly during the day occasionally. I'm on a medication that also lowers my blood pressure even further as a side effect. My cardiologist says not to worry. As long as I don't faint and hurt myself, that the low blood pressure isn't any problem. It's just a nuisance and one that I can live with. Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I dont know what to say but I too was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 1 1/2 years ago. I had these symptoms with my left arm about 4-5 years ago too. I have also recently been diagnosed with a condidtion called syndrome x, microvasscular spasyms. Go figure!!
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Avatar_n_tn
To Richard: I have terrible numbess in both my hands and arms when I sleep. It is so severe that I have no feeling or use of them for quite some time when I first wake up. For instance, I may wake up and need to reach the night stand to get a sip of water but I have no use of my hands until I "rub them awake".I took the diet drug combination phen phen and redux in 96 and 97. I was later diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse and never had any of these problems with numbness before the onset of the symptonms of MVP.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had CHF for a year and I also get the numbness in my hands and feet. I also have low blood presure. I use to get it before my by-pass but it went away for 3 years. Then when I went into failure it came back. If I sleep on my left side or stomach I get numb in my chin and lower face. Wierd, but so is so many other things with CHF. I found that sleeping in a recliner stops the numbness as well as making it easier to breath. Good Luck and have a nice 4th of July.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm replying a 2nd time to address the low blood pressure idea.  I've been taking a low dose of Atenolol for various types of heart palpitations for about 1 1/2 years now, and it has lowered my blood pressure over time.  It never seems to go below 93/60, but my normal blood pressure was about 130/80 for many years (before I started the Atenolol).  So perhaps the drop in blood pressure due to medication has now started to cause numbness in my hnds while asleep.  This is a very interesting topic (and a very annoying problem) so it would be interesting to continue to hear what people's doctors have to say about this problem.  Good luck, everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 44 yrs. old, and in the last year, I have had three heart attacks, CABG surgery (4 arteries), CHF, pneumonia and angioplasty with a stent insertion (5th artery). My hands are tingley numb almost every night, it wakes me up, and it's very annoying.  Also, they "fall asleep" sometimes when I raise them above my elbows, like when driving, or putting on makeup, when I paint (on canvas), holding the paintbrush very securely, or even a pen.  This has occurred only in the last year, and I believe it's either heart related, or prescription related.  The doctors don't know anything.  They say I am sleeping on my arms in some unusual way.  Not True!  Hanging them off the bed helps me too.  I know I'm stumped, but it's comforting to know I am not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
For the past few years I have had some problems with my hands and arms falling asleep while I sleep. It has seemed to get worse here in the last year or two.
I was born with an aortic valve that isn't quite right, regurgitative at 3+ to 4+. I have been diagnosed in the last two months with an aortic aneurysm in my assending aorta, 5.3cm.
I have spoken with others that have had aneurysms and they said they also had some numbness at night.
I am not saying that any of you have an aneurysm, but it may be worth asking your doctor about. It could just be carpel tunnel, who knows. I just thought I would give you guys my two cents worth.

Ben
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have problems with numbness in my hands and arms.  I had by-pass 6 years ago.  This problem started about 1 year ago.  At different times of the day my hands and arms will tingle and get sort of numb (they feel real warm).  sometimes it is in my legs and feet as well.  My heart dr. says he doesn't think it is my heart.  I also ache a lot especially around my biceps, wrists, calf and ankle (usually during the numbness or shortly before or after.  Anyone one else do this?  I have even wondered if it could be some kind of chemical imbalance since everything else has been out of whack since my surgery (I always had a lot of alleries and now I have none, I used to could take any medicine and now a lot of medicine had adverse reactions especially cholestrol meds.  

Anybody relate to this?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am very familiar with these symptoms in the bed or while watching tv in an arm chair for a while.
It always start with the left side.
I was first told it was tunnel carpal syndrome as I had also tingling during the day in the small  and ring finger. What I found myself is that carpal tunnel syndrome involves only the three fingers starting with the thumb, the other two are related to a problem coming from the spine. Indeed it stopped after a manipulation of the spine.

Now the numbness is back, but after two years of problems the
diagnostic is atrial fibrillation ( known since the very beginning) and fibromyalgia. I would suspect coumadin in my case. I am 56/M
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Avatar_n_tn
Janel, I have the exact same problems and it is really inferring with my ability to get a good night's sleep.  I also have this sort of vague tickling feeeling in my left arm and in the tail of my spine.  Haven't been to the doctor yet, but am considering it as I am concerned about heart problems.

***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Carol & Me Too, I also had the numbness (in my right arm) while sleeping (during twin pregnancy).  I too was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, about 2 weeks after giving birth.  They blamed the numbness as carpal tunnel and the cardiomyopathy as peri-partum.  That's wierd that I make the third person to have the arm numbness & then be diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy... a link??  Makes you wonder???

mike&***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
I saw my internist in November 1999 for a regular exam.  He discovered that I had high cholestrol and put me on Lipitor.  By mid-December, I started developing numbness in my arms and hands that would wake me several times during the night.  I would awake in the morning with pain and stiffness in my fingers.  After six months or so, I mentioned this to my doctor.  Although "unusual," he said to stop the Lipitor.  The numbness stopped immediately.  After a month or so, I started on Zocor.  It has now been six weeks and the numbness has started again.  I see a connection!  Can anyone else relate this to medication?
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I too have some of the simular problems.I have numbness in my left hand and left arm )used to be also left leg)Began back in 1984. I had to sleep sitting up on pillows in bed for quite some time. Went to primary MD,sent to have Echo, holter,ECG. All turned out normal. Diagnois: STRESS. Place on Xanax, no more problems for several years. Then it began in Left hand & Left arm always at night during sleep waking me. I do usually run a low BP anywhere from 90/60 to 120/80. Also have severe stress and panic problems. I have no answers as of yet. But take my word for it, Xanax is very addictive. I can't express that enough. My advise is to find other alternatives for stress relief. I chose to stop taking Xanax, had to be hospitalized and even the doctors and nurses at a very well known teaching hospital said that coming off Xanax was worse than heroin, valium, cocain, crack, and anything they knew of. I can tell you that it was the most living hell I have been through in my life, you feel you are loosing your mind and actually have for a while, and your body is out of whack, seizures, high B/P.  
I still don't have any answers to my numbness, but I hope that maybe some of this info may help someone.  Thank you.  Dianne
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just woken (3am here) and experienced two numb hands/forearms. I have had one numb hand in the past but tonight spooked me. I exercise well and am on no medication. Apart from the medics suggestion of get your heart checked out does anyone else have any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had this problem for many years.  Waking up and arm and hand will be numb to the point that I have to use my other hand to lift the numb one up and let it fall over the side of the bed after a few min. the feeling comes back.  I have had this happen with both arms. (not at the same time)  Recently there has been pain as well.  I also get numb hands and arms during the day while driving or working.  The problem seems worse after a hard day of lifting or other physical activities.  It also seems to get worse after eating salty foods.  I have been treated for high blood pressure ( with poor results) for about ten years.  But the problem with the numbness in my arms and hands has been around longer than that.  Dieuretic seems to help somtimes.
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Avatar_n_tn
For the past 6 months have had several problems with my neck, back, shoulder, arms and fingers.  I have also had numbness in my head and pain that feels like and electrical shock.  The doctors diagnosised me with a pinched nerve in my neck, carpal tunnel syndrome and a pinched nerve in my elbow.  They also concluded that I had several bulging disk in my neck and a slight case of osteoarthritis.  Their solution to my problem was to give me vioxx, nortriptyline and tylenol 3.  This seemed to alleviat the  pain. BUT after taken these medications for about 2 to 3 weeks, I had not slept all and was so exhausted that I slept approximately 14 hours straight. I woke up and my whole body felt like it had fallen asleep, tingling, numbness, even in my eyes, face, legs arms, rear end, back, everywhere.  If I turned to one side it would be more severe on the side I was laying on.  I should also mention that I had heart irregularities shortness of breath, dizzness and blurred vision  the night before.  The next morning the numbness was on my left side only. One week later I still have the numbness but not as bad and still only on the left side. I called the doctor.  My doctor (neurologist) was not available so I called the neurosurgeon that I had seen before. Since I have a lot of allergies I assumed I was having a reaction to the medications. So I stop taking all of my medication.  Three doctors and two pharmisists told me that they had never heard of any type of numbness throughout your whole body from any type of prescription drug.  The neurosurgeon ordered an MRI on the brain.  And told me if I have any more heart irregularities or shortness of breathe to go to the emergency room immediately. The heart palpations stopped.  The other symptons did not. After receiving the MRI, my regular doctor came back in to town and was concerned, he ordered blood test.
I saw my regular doctor yesterday.  My MRI and blood test were normal. But, he still suggested that I might possibly have MS. I had already looked up information on the internet about MS because I knew some people who had the same symptons. He suggested having another MRI, an EKG, a spinal tap and more blood test. I just kind of laughed because I have already had 3 MRIs, an EMG and several blood test in the past six months. He also suggested that I go back on the nortriptyline.
I took one last night.  This morning, I had more numbness in my whole body, rear, left side of my face, lips tongue, arms and hands.  I came to work and got on the internet and decided to look up drug reactions and allergies and found that all three of the medications that I have been on have RARE side effects of numbness, heart palpatations, sleeping problems, low blood pressure etc. (By the way my blood pressure is normally 110 over 60 or 70, but has been 90 over 50 in the doctors office.) I have not had any rib pain, but I have gas pain & indigestion which is alleviated somewhat with loose clothing.  I realize that some of my symptons are not the same and/or I may have more symptons than some of you. But I just thought that any of you who are on prescription drugs, that you may want to make sure that you are not allergic to them, because they can cause heart attacks and other life threatening side effects.  I realize I am not a doctor and I have not yet confirmed that I am allergic to these drugs, but it seems to me that my doctors seem to be guessing a lot and have not yet come up with a definite solution.  I feel that most people know their bodies pretty well and when something is wrong, we know our symptons better than anyone.  
So if you feel it could be your prescription please make sure you check out all side effects including the RARE ones. If anyone else has these symptons and feels I might be grasping at straws or has any other suggestions. Please let us all KNOW.  Thank you.
By the way, I am female, age 38.
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Avatar_n_tn
About six months ago, I began to experience numbness not only in my hands but in my feet. One foot would go to sleep, the other would be ice cold, one or both hands would fall asleep, my nose would turn into an ice cube. This would happen in any combination. I am 52 years old, and suffered a compression neck injury almost 40 years ago. My blood pressure is normal, heart is normal,and my colesterol is very low. I aquacise three days a week, see a masssage therapist who can find no sign of carpal tunnel or spinal misalignment, and a chiropractor who also can not find any reason for this numbness. The feet have not turned numb for a while, but my hands go numb when I lay down or recline in a chair. My right hand and arm, in particular, hurt especially when I am awakened by the numbness and I cannot close my hand into a fist. This numbness seems to happen when I sleep but not when in an upright position, or when I blow dry my hair which means that my hands are above my head for an extended period of time. This numbness began overnight, and I can't pinpoint any particular activity that happened at that time to cause it. Perhaps a nerve has been aggravated in some way.
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I am a 35 year old female that has been having numbness in my hands for about two months now. Usually just the left hand is affect from the palm to my fingers. Sometimes it is my right hand also. I startend seeing a chiropracter (for back pain) about five months now. Wonder if there is a relationship there. The numbness occurs from one to three times at night. It occurs while I am usually on my side and sometimes while sleeping on my back. Starting to worry as it has been constant for the last four weeks.
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I have the same problem, usually with my left arm. It could be carpel tunnel, as I use my hands a lot with typing & computer mouse. But also I do know from an xray that I've got a bone spur in my neck near the spine as well as a touch of arthritis. Any of these can be the cause for mine, I think.
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Id I'm just sittin around or laying normally my legs and arms sometimes hands get numb for about 30-40 secs. And then goes away! I just wanna make sure I'm not gonna have a heart attack or diabeties. I'm only 32, and I'm scared as hell can someone please tell me what this might be.
Thank you!
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I normally feel tickly below my knees down to my feet. And my elbows to my hands. My bp drops to 90/68 at night which wakes me by a pounding heart, and feeling of falling. I have not checked my bp during the day when I feel dizzy, but my usual bp is btween 105-112/70's. I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I barely started eating two days ago as well as drinking water. I wonder if I could b anemic. I know I probably have some vitamin deficiencies, so I am going to buy multivitamins. I am scared though. I am a 25 yr old female, wife, and mother of 3. I suffer from anticipatory anxiety and obsessive thoughts (fear of dying,somethin is wrong). Any ideas or advice?
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I to have recently started having night pains. Mostly in my left arm but have also had them in my right as well. It's like a burning sensation shooting down my hand and into my middle and ring finger primarily. As with others on this thread I have to "rub them awake" for about five to eight minuits before I can use my hand(s). I use my hands a lot as I am a window tinter and 12 volt automotive mobile electronics installer as well as a home remodelers helper in my off time along with being a husband and father of three. I don't get much sleep as it is and the constant waking up and while I drive, talk on the phone, or anything involving the prolonged use of my lefty is a killer. Please respond or call me at 405-625-2059 with any suggestions as to what I can do. As with others on this post again I have been told it's everything from how I hol my hands to carpl tunnel. ( I don't know how to spell very adequately lol).
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Well to me I suggest u stop ur arm from working to hard or lifting or anyother thing which causes arms to tighten and see a docter ...stretch ur arms regular ,try muscle pain relief mint cream and visit ur docter.
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