What does tingling and numbness around the temples after lying down indicate?

Posted on Mon, 1 Jun 2015 in General Health
Question: What in the world could be causing the following:
Upon going to sleep for the night over the past two nights I have experienced the following:
It seems to onset approximately 15 to 30 minutes of lying my head on a particular side, left or right.
It seems to start at the onset of sleep and starts quickly as noticeable numbness / tingling around the temple area that then quickly radiates throughout my entire head (like brain pins & needles). There is also some ringing in the ears at the onset. It is then followed by numbness to my neck and chest areas, followed by what can only be described as rapid undulating motions in chest and neck muscles sometimes radiating out to abdomen and upper arm muscles. It almost feels as what I imagine heart palpitations would feel like, however, during any episodes I had the fore thought to take my pulse and it was very regular, steady in strength, and was what I could consider a resting pulse for me.
Thus far, I have only noticed the symptoms upon attempting to sleep at night, I have not noticed the symptoms when say lying on the couch or floor watching TV. I have noticed, the symptoms quickly subside upon getting in a sitting position, though some muscle fatigue seems to remain.
The huge factor is this is preventing me from getting sleep now and to be honest is a very scary feeling when it happens. This is making me groggy during the day. To be quite honest, I am feeling very slight numbness around both temple regions today, but that could just be due to being exhausted.
I plan to make an appointment with my primary physician if it happens again tonight, but I can not find anything on the web even remotely similar to this symptom set.
Answered by Dr. Ahmad Nazzal 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Postural induced nerve pressure leadning to numbness and tingling sensation

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXX,

Thank you for trusting HCM with your query. I will make sure to answer your questions to the best I can.

First I do understand that this numbness feeling irritates your sleep and it in return leads to lack of sleep and feeling energyless the day after.

To role out any cervical or thoracic spinal nerve impingement I would recommend you get an MRI for the spinal cord cervical Thoracic region. Feel free to send me the results to check them if needed.

Meanwhile good news is that the symptoms you get are positional, meaning that they happen in specific position and you managed to describe it perfectly. I would recommend first avoid this position while you try to sleep, get a medical pillow for your head to enhance the neck position and prevent and pressure on nerves while sleeping. Avoid sleeping on one side for long durations. All of those measures are preventive, nevertheless they will help prevent any pressure on the nerves which leads to the numbness tingling sensation you described.

An appointment with your primary physician is a good idea maybe he can prescribe some physiotherapy which can help relief tension in muscles and around nerves. Plus monitoring your heart rate was also a very good measure. Ask your doctor to test for vitamin B12 levels.

Regarding your previous symptoms you described before which were feeling dizzy once setting from flat position its called postural hypo-tension and you are already handling it the proper way, but Its not related to the current symptoms you described.

Finally always try to maintain a healthy diet and make sure you get enough B12, and do some regular exercise after getting in touch with your primary physician.

Stay in good health, I hope I was able to calm your worries until you meet with your primary physician.

Best regards,
Dr. Nazzal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
Answered by
Dr. Ahmad Nazzal

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 343 Questions


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