Why Does My Hand Go Numb When I Lay Down?

Many people experience the sensation of their hand going numb when they lay down to sleep or rest. This can be a concerning symptom, as it can disrupt sleep and impact daily activities. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of this phenomenon and when it may be a cause for concern.

Pressure on the Nerves

One of the most common causes of hand numbness when lying down is pressure on the nerves. This can occur when the position of the arm compresses the nerves that run through the wrist and into the hand. For example, if you sleep with your arm under your pillow or tucked under your body, the pressure can cause the hand to go numb.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist and into the hand, becomes compressed. This can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by repetitive motions, such as typing or using a computer mouse, but it can also be aggravated by sleeping positions that put pressure on the wrist.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves that transmit information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. When these nerves are damaged or disrupted, they can cause a range of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and weakness. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, alcoholism, and certain medications.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to constrict, which can cause numbness, tingling, and discoloration. This condition can be triggered by cold temperatures or stress and is more common in women than men. In some cases, Raynaud’s disease can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as joint pain and skin rashes.

When to See a Doctor

In most cases, hand numbness when lying down is not a cause for concern and can be addressed by changing sleeping positions or adjusting daily habits. However, if the numbness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, weakness, or changes in skin color, it’s important to see a doctor. They can perform a physical exam and recommend further testing if necessary to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.


Hand numbness when lying down can be a concerning symptom, but it’s often a benign condition that can be addressed by adjusting sleeping positions or making other lifestyle changes. However, if you experience other symptoms in addition to hand numbness, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any potential medical issues. In most cases, making simple adjustments to your daily habits can help reduce the occurrence of hand numbness and improve overall comfort and well-being.

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