Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Numb Arms When Sleeping (Page 1)

I am a 39 year old male who has been experiencing extreme numbness in both arms when sleeping. I have been to a neurologist and have had test for carpel tunnel, a mri brain scan, a mri scan of the arteries of the heart and the arteries of the brain. All came back normal.

The numbess gradually goes away after I get up. I can minimize the problem if a sleep with my head elevated on 3 thick pillows. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to matter if I sleep on my back, stomach, or side. Both arms still get numb.

Due to a history of heart disease in the family I have also had a nucmed stress test in the last year along with a chest xray and heart ultrasound. All of those were normal as well.

The other 2 issue I have been having lately are trouble urinating and lightheadedness. I have a urologist appointment scheduled the week after next. Not sure if this could be related or not.

The lightheadedness was the original symptom I had and what first prompted my primary care physician to refer me to a neurologist. The lightheadedness is not dizziness or vertigo but rather a feeling of floating outside my body.

I do sit most of the day in my job as a programmer. I try to walk a couple of miles every day so I do get a little excercise. I would probably be considered 10-20 pounds overweight. (5'11" 190-195)

i am trying to make a follow-up appointment with the neurologist for next week. In the meantime, does anybody have any thoughts on what this could be? It has become very frustrating not to be able to sleep well.
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First Helper NumbMornings
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replied February 14th, 2007
You've had a lot of tests done but, have you been to see the chiropractor? Since you are a programmer it is possible that the numbness is caused from the position you sit in all day putting pressure on the neck and spine and in turn causing pinched nerves. I've experience this myself and chiropractic care has been successful in eliminating it for me.
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replied June 27th, 2008
numbness in arm
I too have had numbness in particularly my right arm while sleeping. It wakes me up about two or three every morning and I have to walk around until it gets back to normal. I'm interested in what some have said about a pinched nerve in the neck being the cause. I've never been yo a chiropractor and am wondering if anyone can advise??
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replied March 1st, 2009
i also have been experiencing numbness in both arms and sometimes my feet too while asleep also elevating my head helps and the numbness doent go away untill i stant up even if i raise my arms in the air it still dont go away i thought maybee it is low blood pressure because i smoke alot this scares me due to the fact that i have no health insurence whatsoever and havent had a doctors visit in over 10 years i am 21 now
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replied March 20th, 2009
numb arms
I'm overweight, don't have a heart problem, because I just went through a battery of test.
But my arms are keeping awake at night.
I do have high blood pressure.
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replied February 6th, 2013
Check your veins in the legs. You may have poor circulation. Get a ultrasound done
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replied April 12th, 2009
Numb arms while sleeping
I too get woke up at night and one or both arms are asleep. Scares me....

I wonder if any of you take medications? I am on a statin for cholesterol issues. I take Simvistatin 40mg.
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replied July 28th, 2009
Im 25, and have been expierencing the same issues of going to sleep only to be woken up by the painful numbness in both my hands and arm, i also suffer from constant back pain. today i went to talk to my doctor about this problem and the doctor was most unhelpful and told me i was a liar, and if i had numbness it would be in my feet for a pinched nevre, or i would have swelling in myh wrists if there was something wrong with the nerves there. i know im not crazy, thank god someone else is expierenced the same arm-sleepy-numbness crap that i have been suffering for the past few months. to make things even worse, my doc decides to lie to me and perscribe my anti-depressents but told me it would decrease the numbness. funny huh?
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replied July 28th, 2009
I wake at night with one or the other arm numb below the elbow and hand numb on pinky side. Once I stretch my arm out and work it some, the numbness goes away after a few minutes. Dr advised that this is pressure on nerve in elbow due to a cocked arm, fairly common, nothing to worry about. I have no experience with numbness in both arms or other than described above.
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replied July 30th, 2009
i have the same problem, which i believe in my case is caused by TMJ and problems with my bite. I have an open-bite which causes strain and pain in my jaw and this apparently affects the nerves in your arms and hands while you sleep. do any of you have bite problems?
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User Profile
replied May 9th, 2011
TMJ & Numbness
I have had a total TMJ Replacement on my right side 2 years ago. I now have numbness in my right hand together with terrible pain from my forearm through to my hand. I am starting to get the same problem in my left hand and I am waiting for a total replacement of my left TMJ. So your post here is very interesting and one I need to discuss with my surgeon.
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replied April 10th, 2012
I have TMJ and since I was told I had it I have been having the night time numbness Thank god i'm not the only one out there..
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replied August 19th, 2009
The doctors don't want you to go to the chiropractor because you might get the healing your needing with out all of those drugs he could put you on to keep you hooked and in more pain later down the road because the acid in the pills was never meant to be in your system. Acid is killing our bodies from the inside out.
Get your back looked at by the good guys and you will be fine.
I am reading this because I too am suffering with the same numbness and remember that when I was using the invertaline(hanging upside down machine) my arms were fine and that machine affect the back.
hope your searching is blessed with useful answers.
Debbie from California....
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replied September 10th, 2009
Any one who sugested a Chiroprasctor is absolutly on the right track. Chiros have saved me and my family more than once. I am now discovering the benefits of cranial sacral manipulation. I have TMJ and this has helped me. In my opinion most of the time doctors just want you unhealthy physically and mentally so you keep coming back. Look back over these posts, like the girl whpo got antidepressants why........to keep coming back.....how could anti depressants help numb arms.
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replied October 13th, 2009
numbness
Well this is my problem....I just started on antidepressants again(i have been on them off and on for 10 years) and I have noticed that every time I take antidepressants my hands start going numb mainly at night but sometimes during the day it is about to drive me really crazy ....
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replied October 15th, 2009
Numb Arms in the Morning
Same symptoms for the last few YEARS now, and after many types of tests (MRIs, CAT scans, nerve tests (your arms and legs fly off the table) blood work, X-Rays, heart tests,(slight heart murmur/ mitral valve prolapse), etc. etc.) they think it could be a pinched nerve, or maybe thorasic outlet syndrome?! Three months of physical therapy, and yes they wanted me to take Cymbalta...or other anti-depressents... some Chiro. treatments, and raising the head up onto several pillows helps a bit.... numb arms and slightly numb legs in the morning still but learning to live with the numbness that does wear off... oh started Folic Acid about six months ago because I was low on this.. low blood pressure- 98 over 62... usually.
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replied March 24th, 2014
Did you ever get a diagnosis? I have pretty much the same exact story as you, and the docs basically said it was just a vitamin deficiency, because they don't know what else to look for. Went through numerous tests to check for MS also.
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replied November 5th, 2009
iv had terrible sleeps for about the past 6 YEARS and am constantly wriggling in my sleep waking up constantly to turn sides. i thought it would just go away but its still here, and feels like its getting worse. Im getting used to living with it though, which is so bad. A few years ago i asked around for a masseur who knew the anatomy... none of this relaxation stuff. He really got into the nerves in my shoulders, the hinge of the shoulder, not the back or the front but on the side view. it will probably hurt you like crazy but you just have to breath-personally, i love it! but anyway 1 hour of massage pain is better that awfull sleeps for years. he also gave me some POWDER magnesium to take. I definatly think it was the combo of the massage and the magnesium. it stopped the numbness for a few months, and i would have kept going but then he moved away Sad chinese market masseur's are also lovely. pointy little fingers.

Im 26, my blood pressure is fine. 12 years ago i fractured 3 vertabre's and both feet at the same time. i think in my case its caused from the accident and my body not alligning properly in the healing process. i also have really tight tense shoulders. i think this also adds to the numbness............
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replied November 11th, 2009
I've been having the exact same things as mindsong, with a numbness in one of my arms with usually my pinky being completely numb and the numbness seems to radiate from it to the rest of my hand and up my arm almost to the elbow. I haven't been to the doctor about it, because I have so many other symptoms. I've just been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with some features of fibromyalgia so I don't know if it is related to that.

Oh and to Debbie who said "...because the acid in the pills was never meant to be in your system. Acid is killing our bodies from the inside out."
What are you talking about?? Tablets generally don't have anything acidic in them whatsoever, although often the drug is often present as a hydrochloride salt form, this isn't the same as hydrochloric acid. You obviously don't have a clue what your talking about or are just plain misinformed. Moreover your point is completely ridiculous, because you seem to forget that our stomachs produce acid that is so acidic it's around pH 1-2. Have you ever had orange juice or had fish with lemon juice on it? These foods are full of this deadly 'acid' your talking about, but I don't see it doing harm to anyone. Please get your facts straight before spreading misinformation around the internet.
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replied November 12th, 2009
I have been experiencing the numbness and pain in my elbows so bad that I have to reach over with my other hand to bend my right arm up and on to my chest, now it has progressed to both arms, I am going to the doctor as soon as I can get in and if I learn anything I will post it. I dont think anti depress meds will do a thing for it and if u think there is acid in any pill form u r just paranoid, unless u r talking hallucinagen, like the king said, get a clue, there is enough acid in my stomach to digest that big t-bone of beef I just wolfed down. it will be a while, but after I get run around by my doc I will post it.
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replied November 23rd, 2009
SLEEP APNEA IS A CAUSE FOR NUMB ARMS WHEN WAKING UP.
sleep apnea IS A VERY HIGH probability. During sleep, you are not going in to a deep REM sleep. You are actually stopping breathing anywhere from 30- 400 times a night. That is what I have and I experience the numb arms. See a Dr and tell him you want a sleep study done. They can monitor your brain activity and breathing. Simple fix - using a CPAP look it up....
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replied November 25th, 2009
WHY ONLY AT NIGHT?
Numb arms during sleep, either must lay flat on back with arms straight pointing down toward my feet or hands on my chest, or sleep sitting up. Always happens when I do arm work. Been doing land clearing on my farm, but also comes up when I do construction, such as hammering, or try to hold a needle while quilting. Been happening for years. Something new is a feeling of arthritis in both elbows. So maybe mindsong is right about the nerve in the elbow. Had two carpel tunnel tests - negative. Doctor said carpel affects only the hands so I probably have a pinched nerve in my elbow. SO BIG QUESTION, WHY DOES IT AFFECT ME SO MUCH AT NIGHT??????? WOULDN'T I HAVE A PINCHED NERVE SOMETIMES IN THE DAY TOO?
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replied November 26th, 2009
wake up in night with numb arms
i have the same issue and to 'farmergirl' who said 'SO BIG QUESTION, WHY DOES IT AFFECT ME SO MUCH AT NIGHT??????? WOULDN'T I HAVE A PINCHED NERVE SOMETIMES IN THE DAY TOO?' i guess when you sleep on your back...the shoulder blades are now further pressing the pinched nerve..so i guess blood flow is further restricted to the arms resulting in pain and numbness...
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replied December 19th, 2009
Numb, tingling hands & arms while sleeping
Cure for numb hands & arms while sleeping.

I had a similar problem of my hands and arms becoming numb & tingling while I was sleeping. This went on for over a year. I looked online and found nothing that would explain what was causing this. I'm in good health otherwise, so I did not believe it could be a disease of any sort. I asked my doctor about this but she did not give me an answer.

Finally, I found someone else that had the solution.So, a week ago, I did the same thing and so far my arms and hands are not getting numbness and tingling when I'm sleeping. Here's what I did...

Take vitamin B-12 (1,000 mg per day) and vitamin C (500 mg per day)
Since taking these vitamins, I've been able to sleep all night long without waking up and having to shake my hands and arms.

If this doesn't work for you, then the problem could a food allergy. I would start by stopping all eating of dairy products including anything made with dairy products. Do this for 30 days. If you still are having the numbness at night then, you may have a serious medical condition that will require a doctor.

I hope this helps. - Cubegirl
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