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Old 03-22-2002, 03:04 PM
pluto pluto is offline
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Why do my arms "fall asleep" all the time?

Not literally all the time. Only when I sleep; but it happens every time I sleep in a bed. I could understand if my hand or arm were underneath me while I slept or otherwise contorted but it happens even if my arms are above my head or at my sides. Even if I only fall asleep for a few minutes.

I'm not skinny, by any means, but most of my excess poundage is in my torso. My arms aren't fat. My blood pressure tends to be on the high side but with medication it's normal. I don't have any neurological disorder that I'm aware of. (And I don't think this is a symptom of any. I know numbness is a symptom of some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, but this isn't numbness. It disappears rapidly and there's no lingering numbness or tingling.)

Is this just some personal quirk? An effect of my advanced age? (I'm 47.) Is it weight-related? Is my wife slipping mysterious Amazon frog neurotoxins into my tunafish sandwiches? Anybody else do this? Any advice about how to make it go away?
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2002, 03:27 PM
ChoosyChipsAndCeilingWhacks ChoosyChipsAndCeilingWhacks is offline
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Re: Why do my arms "fall asleep" all the time?

Quote:
Originally posted by pluto
Not literally all the time. Only when I sleep; but it happens every time I sleep in a bed. I could understand if my hand or arm were underneath me while I slept or otherwise contorted but it happens even if my arms are above my head or at my sides. Even if I only fall asleep for a few minutes.
I wish I could offer you some help. All I can tell you is that this happens to me too. I have a cervical disc injury and when it flares up (rare now) it's REALLY bad...I wake up so numb I can hardly move my arms. I don't know why that is. I understand the "falling asleep" sensation to be due to lack of blood flow, not a nerve problem. But maybe there is a nerve related element? I hope a doc comes along soon to tell you!

Laura
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Old 03-22-2002, 05:53 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Re: Re: Why do my arms "fall asleep" all the time?

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Originally posted by SexyWriter
I understand the "falling asleep" sensation to be due to lack of blood flow, not a nerve problem. But maybe there is a nerve related element? I hope a doc comes along soon to tell you!
I'm not a doc, but I don't think so. "Falling asleep" is a numbness, and that's a nerve problem. You have a cervical disc problem which can well account for your numbness. [b] PLUTO [b] sounds like he has a compressed nerve (cervical disc or something compressing a nerve or nerves exiting from the cervical spine). It need not be a disc. It can be osteophytes, or anything that's not physiologic. But I don't know why it occurs when you're asleep. But if you're asleep, how do you know your arm is asleep also? Presumably, it still is when you awaken. And presumably also you then get up. So, it may be due to your supine position. This position may cause something to pinch a nerve.
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Old 03-22-2002, 05:59 PM
Danalan Danalan is offline
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Pluto, try changing pillows. If you have a large pillow, and only rest your head on it, not your shoulders, you may be putting pressure on a nerve. It could also be the opposite problem, too small a pillow. It's worth a try.
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:29 PM
Justhink Justhink is offline
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I used to have this problem all the time.. arms, legs.. and body; sleep paralysis. It's very painful and time consuming to get the feeling back before you actually wake up. In my instance, I had a recurring dream of walking on a trail with massive spider webs off a desely forested windy street to a conrete ruin within a forest (nightmarish like, lucid but also 'fun'). In the labrynthian conrete ruin there was an old man who represented wisdom who always managed to elude me, yet beconed me in a way. It took about a year to realize that the closer I came to embracing him the more paralyzed I became, and closer to death I'd find myself upon waking. After realizing this, I never had sleep paralysis again. When the whole body gets it, and you have trouble breathing or talking that is not very fun!

-Justhink
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:35 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
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I have carpal tunnel, and my arms (from the elbow down) fall asleep when I sleep. They don't really go numb, but they feel tingly and tender--enough to wake me up when it's bad.
I use heat when mine gets bad...basically I wrap my heating pad around my left arm/hand (the one that seems worst) and sleep that way in the mornings.
Between soap-stirring, computer typing, and newspaper rolling, I have a lot of repetitive movement, so I guess there's not much I can do at this point except try to treat the symptoms.
Good luck,
k
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