7 Reasons Why You Wake Up With Numb Hands: Here's What You Can Do About It
Feeling numbness or a tingling effect on hands or feet is known to be a symptom of peripheral neuropathy
Compression of nerves can lead to numb hands and feet
- Changes in lifestyle can reduce damage caused to your nerve cells
- Alcohol abuse can damage nerve cells
- Ayurveda can help in dealing with numbness in hands and feet
How often has it occurred that you experienced numbness in your hands immediately after waking up? One of the most common reasons for this is sleeping on one arm for too long. However, if the numbness is repeated continuously every day, there may be an underlying cause or a chronic condition behind it. Feeling numbness or a tingling effect on hands or feet is known to be a symptom of peripheral neuropathy. This is a condition which develops when there is damage in the nerves in body's extremities. Diabetic people are more prone to a condition like peripheral neuropathy.
Common reasons for waking up with numb hands
If your blood sugar levels are high, there are chances of a possible damage to the blood vessels that circulate blood to peripheral parts of the body. Shortage of oxygen in the blood can also lead to nerve damage that causes numbness. But this numbness is first experienced on the feet and then on the hands.
2. Sleeping in a bad posture
When you sleep in a bad posture or sleep resting on one arm for too long, it creates excess pressure on the arm. This pressure compresses the nerves in that area and causes numbness.
Sleeping in a bad posture can cause numbness in hands
Photo Credit: iStock
3. Toxins and medications
Medical treatment like chemotherapy or medicines used to treat conditions like heart ailments or blood pressure can result in peripheral neuropathy. Being exposed to toxins in insecticides or other toxins such as mercury, arsenic and lead can damage nerve cells.
4. Deficiency of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 performs the function of nerve signal transmission in the body. People who are deficient in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 will often experience numbness in arms and legs.
5. Injury or an insect bite
An injured nerve around the neck area can make you feel numbness in hands. Also, toxins in seafood, animal or insect bites can contribute to numbness in hands.
6. Alcohol abuse
Consuming alcohol in excessive amounts can cause numbness in hands. Alcohol adversely impacts the nervous system. Alcohol abuse for a long period of time can cause permanent damage to nerve cells. This damage can be halted by reducing alcohol intake or giving up on it entirely. Nutritional deficiencies created by alcohol can also lead to peripheral neuropathy.
Alcohol abuse can damage nerve cells in the body
7. Other diseases
Other health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, stroke, multiple sclerosis and lupus can cause peripheral neuropathy.
Also read: Side Effects Of Mixing Alcohol With Painkillers
Ways to treat numbness in hands
1. Address the underlying cause
Finding out the real reason behind numbness in hands is important to understand what kind of damage there has been to peripheral nerves. Functional loss caused by damage to peripheral nerves can be treated if the damage is not too severe.
2. Live a healthy lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle and habits like smoking and drinking are some of the leading causes of a condition like peripheral neuropathy. Adopting a healthy lifestyle which involves regular exercising and eating healthy can help in reducing effects of peripheral neuropathy.
Doing stretching and strengthening exercises like nerve and tendon gliding exercises can help in reducing pressure on the wrists.
Capsaicin is responsible for the hotness in chilli peppers. The substance is believed to ease down the pain messages sent to your brain. Using a capsaicin cream can help in dealing with numbness in hand and feet. Use the cream cautiously because it may cause irritation and burning initially.
Also read: What Are The Causes Of Groin Pain And Home Remedies To Deal With It
4. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels
Diabetics should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels to avoid numbness in hands and feet. Consuming foods like extracts of jamun, garlic and fenugreek can help in controlling diabetes.
Yoga is proved to be effective in having a stronger grip in people and treat conditions like peripheral neuropathy,
Yoga improves grip and reduces instances of numbness in hands and feet
It is suggested in Aryurveda that management of vata dosha can reduce pain and suffering. Ayurveda requires people to make lifestyle changes like avoiding caffeine, tea, tobacco and alcohol. All these factors are known to interfere with peripheral circulation in the body. It also suggests avoiding cold dry foods or foods which are refined. Ayurveda recommends eating only hot cooked meals.
Alongside, it recommends people to have a disciplined routine with sufficient rest and sleep. To avoid numbness in hands, Ayurveda recommends applying sesame oil on the wrist for at least 3 times in a week. Also, soaking hands and wrist in hot water every night before sleeping can help in relaxing muscles and relieving pain.
Applying a mixture of turmeric and honey on sore points can help in dealing with numbness in hands as well. Adding ginger to your diet can help in easing out pain because of ginger's anti-inflammatory properties.
Also read: How To Treat Your Pinched Nerve?
When should you visit a doctor
You should visit a doctor immediately if you feel numbness in your limbs after a head injury; if you experience numbness every day; if your general health is deteriorating along with the numbness; if you experience strange pain in neck, fingers or forearms.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.