Waking up with Numb Hands: Why and What to Do

A number of people complain about waking up with numb hands. You may get worried when this condition occurs too frequently. If you suffer from tingling and numbness in your hands when you wake up, this article will be of immense help for you. We will first go over the possible causes of this condition, then give a few home remedies that you can easily apply. If the home remedies do not help, seek medical attention.

Why Am I Waking up with Numb Hands?

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a passage in the wrist through which tendons as well as the median nerve run. The median nerve in turn is responsible for the nervous functions in the fingers. When there is an increased pressure on this nerve, a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome is experienced. This increased pressure may be the result of injury to the wrist, fluid retention in pregnancy, or conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, hormonal imbalances and hypothyroidism. The increase in pressure causes a tingling or numbness in the fingers.

2. Alcohol Consumption

If you consume too much alcohol, chances are that you are not taking sufficient care of your dietary needs. This means that your body is lacking in some important vitamins such as thiamine. This deficiency then causes a condition called peripheral neuropathy, or even alcoholic neuropathy. Both conditions lead to the patient waking up with numb hands.

3. Cervical Spondylosis

This condition is linked with the wears on the neck vertebrae. The prevalence is high among adults over forty years of age. The wearing of the vertebrae causes the cartilage and bone around the neck region to worsen, compressing the nerves and leading to stiffness, spasms of the muscle, as well as pain in the shoulder, neck, chest and arms. Numbness in the hands upon waking up is one of the symptoms.

4. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome may occur as the neck and chest muscles tighten up. The thoracic outlet gets pressed, thus nerves and blood vessels are unable to pass through to the hands, leading to numbness.

5. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This occurs when there is a blow on the elbow. When the pressure is exerted, the ulnar nerve is affected. This nerve passes through the cubital tunnel and the pressure can lead to a tingling sensation on the hands.

6. Vitamin Deficiencies

Certain deficiencies of vitamins can also lead to a person waking up with numb hands. These vitamins include B12, B1, B6, and E. All of these are necessary for healthy functioning of the nervous system.

7. Other Causes

Other causes of numbness in hands include exposure to toxins such as mercury, lead and thallium; peripheral neuropathy; nerve palsy; animal bites; bad sleeping position; radiation therapy to treat cancer; side effects of medications; too little or too much intake of sodium, potassium and calcium.

Home Remedies for Numb Hands

There are many remedies that you can easily adopt to alleviate the numbness or prevent waking up with numb hands.

  • Use a warm compress, such as a washcloth, on your hands.
  • Warm some olive, coconut or mustard oil on your palm and massage your hands gently.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle that involves exercise which can increase blood flow to all of your limbs, thereby reducing the risk of numb hands upon waking up. At the same time, do not get involved in high intensity exercises as they may actually have the adverse effect on your hands.
  • Add turmeric to milk and drinking the lukewarm mixture daily before bed.
  • Add half a cup of some Epsom salt into a small tub of warm water and dip your hands into it for about ten minutes.
  • Drink cinnamon in warm water every night.
  • Gingko biloba is a very popular herb that relieves the numbness in the hands upon waking. You can easily find this as a supplement in the market.
  • Elevate the affected the hand.
  • Increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. Eat foods such as cereals, eggs, avocados, bananas, beans, milk, nuts, or even B-complex supplements.
  • Increase your intake of magnesium. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter on a regular basis.

When to See a Doctor

If the home treatments do not work, you should consider seeking medical attention. If the numbness persists for a while or worsens, this could be an indication of a serious condition. In addition, if the numbness spreads to other parts, affects either side of the body, comes in bouts, you should seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible. Most importantly, if your numbness begins suddenly, and is accompanied by paralysis, fainting, confusion, dizziness or a headache, call for help instantly. 

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