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  #1  
Old 09-27-2002, 10:59 AM
DrLiver DrLiver is offline
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I wake up with my arms feeling numb, is that dangerous?

Sometimes, at night, I wake up and can't feel one of my arms because I've been sleeping on it, then I usually have to shake it and wait until the blood goes back into it before I can move and feel it normally.

Is that dangerous for my health, will my muscle suffer permenant or temporary damage because of lack of blood into them for a certain amount of time?

What can I do? I tried sleeping on my back, etc but I always seem to turn (in my sleep) and get on the side with my head on one arm (my guess is that's what's blocking the blood)

Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2002, 11:21 AM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
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The board is too slow for a search but Cecil did an article on this a while back but I differ somewhat from his conclusion (dons flame-retardant suit).


While he indicated one could do damage I think he underestimated the likelihood of damagne, the potential damage, and the ability of the numb feeling to alert you to a problem and wake you. I know this first-hand.

First off, do you take sleeping meds, antihistamines, or any other meds which might make you sleep deeper than normal? That will do it.

Secondly, your probably not cutting off the blood supply but rather compressing a nerve. If your sleeping with your head directly on your arm try putting a pillow in between. You basically have to prevent whatever hard contact there is against the nerve in your arm. Here is my story:

One morning I woke up after a hard night of drinking to find I had no control whatsoever over my right hand. It wasn't numb - not pins and needle numb, Im talking no feeling and no ability to move it. It would swing around like someone's would who had cerebral palsy. The condition I had is actually called radial ulner palsey. And it took about a month to get any feeling or use back. American doctors call it Saturday Night Palsy (for people like me who drank too much), while French doctor's call it "Lover's Arm" (for those who would rather lose the use of their hand for a month than disturb their lover's sleep. Ahh romance!). I basically crushed a few mm of nerve that had to grow back at an insanely slow pace. It made for some good comedy when trying to brush my hair with my right hand though.
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Old 09-27-2002, 11:28 AM
DrLiver DrLiver is offline
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Geez, this is more serious than I thought!

Usually I do lose sensation in my arm...it's as if it would be someone else's arm, but attached to my body, I can't move it or anything for a few minutes or so...not a month though...

As for the sleeping aids, do you mean I should take some or I shouldn't?? because I don't... should I?
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2002, 12:21 PM
Horseflesh Horseflesh is offline
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You're not cutting of your circulation, you're pressing on a nerve bundle that causes you to lose sensation in your arms. The feeling you get when you shake your arms does indeed feel like blood is "flowing" back into your extremities. It's just your nerves waking back up. Now if you're waking up and your arms are a mottled black and blue color, you've got problems.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2002, 12:47 PM
Servo Servo is offline
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This happens to me maybe 10-12 times per year. It usually happens when I fall asleep with my arm above my head. When I wake up I have to move it with my other arm to a better position and wait for the feeling and control to come back.

It scared the crap out of me the first time it happened, and it's still pretty eerie when it happens now. I never worried about it because it always starts to go away a couple of seconds after I move my arm (and gone completely in a minute or so).
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2002, 06:56 AM
femtosecond femtosecond is offline
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Cecil on "Is it dangerous when your leg falls asleep?"
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:25 AM
femtosecond femtosecond is offline
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Grumble, I missed that it was a multi-OP. Here's the other half of this thread with 2 more posts: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...hreadid=136999

Anyhow, a link to Cecil is worth repeating: Is it dangerous when your leg falls asleep?
Quote:
Originally posted by KidCharlemagne
The board is too slow for a search
Cecil's columns with their search engine are on a different server, it doesn't affect the message board. Search away!
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2002, 07:46 AM
Nishroch Order Nishroch Order is offline
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I've had similar experiences but i think my is really sleeping in such a way that my chest almost blocks all the blood access to my arm. My whole arm becomes dead cold and as lifeless as an autumn leaf.

Guess thats not very good.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2002, 10:12 PM
tramp tramp is offline
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Hey I have this same problem! It scares the shit out of me.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2002, 02:19 AM
Wonko The Sane Wonko The Sane is offline
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Re: OP

Only if you juggle knives, running chainsaws, or hatchets.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2002, 02:38 AM
emolson emolson is offline
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Re: I wake up with my arms feeling numb, is that dangerous?

Quote:
Originally posted by DrLiver
Sometimes, at night, I wake up and can't feel one of my arms because I've been sleeping on it, then I usually have to shake it and wait until the blood goes back into it before I can move and feel it normally.

Is that dangerous for my health...
Only if you attempt to raise your arm, and slug yourself in the face (which I have done several times).

Quote:
Any suggestions?
Don't attempt to raise your arm!

Seriously, though, I am following this thread because the problem seems to be getting worse in my case, and it's not from sleeping on it.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2002, 06:15 AM
femtosecond femtosecond is offline
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I didn't read it all, but here are some other threads about numb limbs:
Why do my arms "fall asleep" all the time?
Why are my hands asleep?
So I woke up this morning with a paralysed arm...

(Mods, joined threads? Wow, what a service!)
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