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5 Helpful Ways to Prevent Dead Arm When Sleeping [+1 Bonus!]

by Ann Ferguson

Have you ever been woken up by a tingling, burning sensation in your arm or hands? That numbing sensation is called paresthesia, or dead, numb arm, and is usually caused by a compressed nerve, cut-off circulation, or other underlying cause. Most people deal with it at some time or other, but when it interferes with our sleep it can become a real problem.

You might think that it’s something you have to live with, but there are ways you can prevent constantly waking up with dead arm, and we’ll walk you through each one!

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We encourage you to consult your physician if you are experiencing numbing pain in your body.

1. Wearing A Wrist Guard

Woman typing on laptop with wrist guard

You might think it a too simple method, but wearing a wrist guard really helps, especially if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, type all day for a job, or constantly perform repetitive tasks.

Wrist guards help stabilize your wrist while sleeping, keeping them straight to relieve any excess pressure on the median nerve. So, if you wear one while you sleep, you will significantly reduce the tingling feeling, and get more rest. You can also wear it in the day time as you do repetitive tasks to keep pressure off the nerve.

2. Switching Up Positions

One of the main causes to waking up with your arm feeling numb and tingly is your sleeping position. If you lay on top of your arms, you compress the blood flow and nerves, which causes the tingly sensation. But other positions, like laying on your back with your arms above you, is also harmful.

So, you’ll want try sleeping on your side or in a position that keeps your wrists unflexed and your arms at your sides. But if that’s too difficult to manage on your own, you can also invest in a pillow that keeps your body in neutral alignment. They even make spooning or cuddling pillows that help keep pressure off your arms.

3. Get Your Blood Pumping

Two people exercising with weights

Since numb arm is usually caused by cut off blood flow, you need to exercise to keep your blood flow moving and to stimulate your nerves. Exercising regularly right after you wake up is very beneficial, and contributes to better blood flow in your whole body, not just your arms.

Not only that, but you’ll also be stretching out your bones and muscles, which is also beneficial. Some exercises you can do include strengthening or posture exercises, stretching out your hands and wrists, or some mild yoga. And if you add in guided meditation and mindfulness, you’ll help relax your body and your mind!

4. Get That Vitamin B

Another underlying cause of dead arm is a Vitamin B deficiency. So, if you increase your Vitamin B intake, you can help soothe your symptoms, even if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Thankfully, you don’t have to come up with elaborate recipes, just start adding some of these foods into your diet:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Citrus fruits, bananas, or avocadoes
  • Whole-grain foods like mullet, brown rice, and barley
  • Red meat and fish
  • Leafy vegetables like broccoli or spinach
  • Beans
  • Nuts like almonds
  • Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Eating more of these foods won’t cure your symptoms, but it’ll give you more relief.

5. Water, Water, Water

Woman hydrating with bottle of water

Drinking more water is always good for your health, but it is also helpful for preventing numb arms while sleeping. Numbness also occurs from fluid retention, which is usually the result of high salt intake. By drinking water, you break down the saline solutions in your body and release the excess water through urination.

But if you find drinking water difficult or want to enjoy other drinks, there are other ways to reduce your fluid retention. Try taking more magnesium, zinc, or vitamin C as daily supplements.

Pro Tip: You can also take herbs like parsley and ginger because they are rich in iron and vitamin C!

6. The Call of a Soft Bed

People sleeping in new mattresses

Of course, one way to decrease the effects of a dead arm is with a supportive mattress and soft pillow combination. With the right mattress firmness and support, you’ll relieve pressure points no matter your sleep position, and keep from compressing them.

And with the right pillows keeping your head, neck, and spine in neutral alignment you promote good blood flow, too! So, if you’re ready to find a new mattress and pillow, Crane's Mattress has what you need!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us call or stop by!