Do you find that your hands sometimes go numb when you sleep? Have you ever woken up suddenly with an unexpected feeling in your hands like pins and needles and numbness? Do your hands go numb several times at night, waking you up with a strange sensation? If this sounds like your own experience then you should read this article to find out what may be causing it and what you can do about it!
There are many harmless causes of cramps or numbness in the hands. It could be something such as sleeping in a bad position which has caused a blockage of blood flow to the affected area. However, there are some other potential causes that are a little more complicated. Here is a selection. This sensation can also happen in other areas of the body such as the legs or feet.
Causes of hand numbness
This is one of the most common causes. The three main fingers: the thumb, index and middle finger, tend to be the most affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem is caused by the median nerve and is a peripheral neuropathy that applies pressure to the wrist. The symptoms are pain, difficulty in moving, loss of sensitivity and numbness. The symptoms seem to be more pronounced at night.
There are several over-use syndromes that can arise because we carry out the same movement over and over again. They are related to the repetitive strain syndrome. The actions do not have to involve heavy objects or long distances. It is the repetition that causes the problem. Manual workers on production lines and people who work on computers, small tools and sewing machines often suffer from this sort of condition. It is thought that the problem arises from repeated small areas of inflammation in the nerves in the affected area of the body. The pain often appears at night, when you are no longer moving and the nerves and tendons release the pressure.
If you are carrying a few too many pounds and do little exercise you could suffer from fluid retention. The hands are one of the areas where this can happen. It causes a tingling feeling that is always most intense at night. The circulation is also affected and this creates pressure which causes a characteristic discomfort.
Vitamin B deficiency
Many modern diets lack B vitamins. This lack of vitamins has been associated with symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, skin paleness and numbness in the hands and legs. It is typical for hands and legs to go numb at night. This can be remedied with some adjustments to your diet or by taking vitamin B supplements.
Remedies for numbness in the hands
Here are some simple remedies that you can try at home to alleviate the problem of numb hands at night.
- Before going to sleep, try drinking a tablespoon of linseed oil. Some studies have shown that this is an effective anti-inflammatory that acts on the extremities such as the hands.
- Dip your hands in cold water. Including a few ice cubes makes this even more effective. This will alleviate pressure and inflammation around the nerves in the hands. Try it before going to bed and you should get a better night’s rest.
- Cut down on salt and acidic drinks. These products encourage inflammation and pain.
- Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water a day. You could, for example, substitute teas and coffees with an artichoke drink to benefit from its diuretic and cleansing effects. This will tackle your fluid retention. All you need to do is boil a few artichokes in water and the strain out the artichoke retaining the liquid. Mix it with the juice from half a lemon.
- It is important that you include vitamin B in your diet. Vitamin B rich foods are tuna, potatoes, bananas and all leafy green vegetables. Alternatively, you could buy supplements at the pharmacy or in health food stores.
- If you think you have a repetitive strain problem you could adjust your work practices. Also you could try a compression wristband which will apply enough pressure to protect your nerves and joints.