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Cannot move arm after sleep. Have to rub it for circulation. What is causing this? What can prevent it?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6595 Questions
When I sleep, my arm falls asleep (my right arm). When I wake up, I cannot move it. I have to use my other had to lift it and rub it to get the circulation moving. It is a scary feeling. I do not thinking I am sleeping it. What can I do to prevent this from happening? Should I be concerned?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Sleep Disorders
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 47 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.
Most commonly the condition of arm numbness while sleeping results from sleeping with arm beneath the body,or sleeping with arm under the head.
This results in lack of blood supply to the arm,resulting in pain and numbness of arm.
This however resolves on it's own,once the arm is kept in normal position.
Apart from this there are several medical conditions which may cause arm numbness while sleeping.Common conditions areĀ 
Low temperatureĀ 
Cervical disc syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Type 2 diabetes
Deficiency of VIT B12
Injury to spinal cord etc.
The treatment of arm numbness while sleeping,is about identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate measures to deal with them
If you don't have any of the above mentioned disorders then you can try using SIDE SLEEPING PILLOW which allows proper alignment of body parts in such a way that you don't put pressure on your arms while sleeping.This pillow is easily available.

I hope to have answered your query however you can revert to me for any follow up query.
Thanks and best of luck
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