Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like you had no arms? I'm not trying to be funny here. You literally wake up and cannot feel your arms? Or if you do feel them, it's like they weight 1000 lbs? Well, you're not alone.
Your arms falling asleep at night sounds weird, because your whole body falls asleep at night. But for a lot of people, there's something that happens to their arms that they have no control over. Think of it as when you get pins and needles from sitting on your foot weird for too long, except it's both your arms, and nothing else.
What Causes This?
Well, to say there's only one answer would be a lie. The sensation is known as "paresthesia," happens when blood flow to your nerves is interrupted. It can also happen when you put to much pressure on a nerve, such as laying on it or sitting on it funny.
Generally, if this is the cause of your paresthesia, shaking your arm a little or readjusting your position will fix your problem.
However, if this problem is happening frequently, or you find that your arm isn't waking up for a while, it could be the cause of an underlying medical issue.
1. Vitamin B Deficiency
Paresthesia can be caused by a lack of vitamin B in your body. Vitamin B helps maintain cell health and keeps you energized, and also helps promote the growth of red blood cells in your body. Generally, most people can maintain a healthy level of vitamin B through their diet, but there are some people who are more susceptible to a deficiency. These people include:
- older adults
- people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- people with anemia
There are supplements you can take in order to get your daily dose of vitamin B, or you can increase your intake of these foods:
2. Fluid Retention
If you are somebody who takes in a lot of sodium during the day, then you are at risk of fluid retention. This can affect your weight, but it can also disrupt circulation throughout your body. If certain areas of your body are holding onto water, they swell up and make it more difficult for blood to get to your nerves, which in turn causes a tingling sensation.
There are ways to get rid of water retention, however.
3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
People who suffer from carpal tunnel will tell you that flare ups can happen at any time. Carpal tunnel is caused by repeated motions impacting your median nerve in your wrist. Things like writing, typing on a keyboard, or working on machinery can cause you to develop the condition.
Carpal tunnel causes your wrist and forearm to tingle and lost sensation, which you could mistake for paresthesia. If you find that the numbness is happening frequently, or after a particular motion, it would be best to contact your doctor.
While these causes are fairly mild in nature, there are others that should be taken more seriously.
4. Peripheral Neuropathy
If you have diabetes and are experiencing paresthesia frequently, you may have developed peripheral neuropathy, which is caused by continuously high blood sugar levels. It causes permanent nerve damage, which could be why you are losing sensation in your arms, or any other part of your body. It is in your best interest to contact your doctor immediately.
5. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease which affects your central nervous system. Early warning signs of MS can be tingling or loss of sensation in your limbs, so it is important to get yourself checked out, especially if there is a history of MS in your family. MS can also cause extreme fatigue and vision problems, so be sure to contact your doctor if you experience any or all of these symptoms.
If you have a stroke, you may lose sensation in parts of your body. There is an easy anagram to detect if you are having a stroke:
- F: face drooping
- A: arm weakness
- S: speech difficulty
- T: time to call for help
7. Tumors or Growths
Tumors or growths located on the spine or in the brain could affect the nerves in your body, which in turn could trigger numbness and tingling in your arms. If you feel as though your numbness has gone on for too long, or has come on suddenly, seek medical attention.