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Arm Tingling While Sleeping Or Lying Down: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Few days back one of my dear friend Maria came to visit me. Like always we got in to our talks and then eventually she told me that for past few months she has been experiencing severe tingling in her arm at night. Being unaware of the cause, she usually used to wake up with cramps in her hands causing intense pain and discomfort. And for the past one month, she has been suffering more numbing and pain in her elbow, arm and even fingers that most of the times she's unable to sleep at night. Getting worried of her condition, we decided to visit a doctor to diagnose the actual causes and cure for the disorder...

arm tingling at night usually occur suddenly and may sustain for few seconds to couple of minutes at night and in extreme cases even till next morning. Although tingling in arm is not a life-threatening disorder, there are various causes ranging from severe to mild that contribute to its occurrence.

Causes of Arm tingling

  • Nerve Compression: One of the most common cause of arm tingling is compression of the nerve running from our central nervous system to the arm. This compression interrupts the blood circulation to the arm due to which the arm goes numb. There are various causes for nerve compression like peripheral neuropathy, infections, injuries, metabolic disorders, etc.
  • Ganglion Cysts: Ganglion cyst is a swelling or tumor that develops on the wrists and hands, especially the area around the joints and tendons. Though it is not painful and can be removed with the help of surgery, it is also a common cause for arm tingling at night.
  • Raynaud's Syndrome: Raynaud's Syndrome is a debilitating condition which is characterized by vasospastic attacks or narrowing of the blood vessels of the fingers and the toes. Quite common in women, it is mainly triggered by emotional stress or extreme cold that causes fingers of the arms to become numb. The attack may last for few minutes to hours causing severe tingling and whitening of the fingers and arms.
  • Angina: Angina is a severe health condition which occurs due to thickening of the blood arteries due to reduced oxygen supply to the heart. Intense chest pain with tingling in the arm is one of the prime symptom of this heart disorder.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): Carpal tunnel syndrome is another common cause of arm tingling at night in which the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist, causing paresthesias, tingling and muscle weakness in the hand. The most effective treatment for this syndrome is carpal tunnel release surgery which relieves the symptoms and prevents further nerve damage.
  • Other Causes: Wrong sleeping postures, alcoholism, vitamin deficiency, poor eating habits, etc., are some other causes for arm tingling, pain at night.

Symptoms of Arm tingling

  • Loss of sensation in hands and fingers
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling in arms and hands
  • Severe tingling with sharp pain
  • Muscle cramps or spasms

The treatment for arm tingling at night primarily depends on the underlying cause. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor for necessary treatment and medications. However, avoid straining the arm or the elbow joints. Trying to sleep with your arms straight to enable easy blood flow, taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, etc., are some simple yet effective ways of treating arm tingling. Having a balanced diet and regular exercise like a brisk walk for 30 minutes will also be very beneficial.

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