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Hands fall asleep when sleeping on back but not on side

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2272 Questions
Hello. For the past few weeks, when I sleep on my back I wake up during the night with either one or both of my hands sleeping. It's more the pinky and ring finger. But it I sleep on my side this dosnt happen
Posted Wed, 3 Oct 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 27 minutes later
Thanks for writing in to Healthcare Magic!
This is happening due to a faulty habit of posturing when you retire to bed.
When you are asleep your arms are going above your head and because you are in XXXXXXX sleep there is no change of posture for hours and your neurovascular bundle which is not habituated to that long overhead stretch, so gets stretched and ischemic and becomes numb.
Best remedy is when you go to bed keep the upper limbs always down yous shoulders, preferably at belly folded below umbilicus.
In a day or two you would get this habit and would never have this problem again.
You do not need any investigation or sub-specialist consultation for this.
If you have any further query please let me know I would try to answer it for you.
Wish you a great health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Hands fall asleep when sleeping on back but not on side 9 minutes later
Thank you. Actually my arms are usually down at my sides when I wake up and not over my head
Follow-up: Hands fall asleep when sleeping on back but not on side 48 minutes later
Would this still be normal?
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 8 hours later
Welcome back to Healthcare Magic!
In the long night hour your arms go above head and suffer the event of stretch up, then you develop symptom and bring it down but due to sleep you do not recall.
Try first and then you will see the difference, to make sure you can lie down on a strip of cloth and tie it's two end at wrists so you would be able to move them but would not be able to carry them above head.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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