General Question

Magnus's avatar

Is it dangerous to let your arm fall asleep?

Asked by Magnus (2852 points ) January 24th, 2009

Last night I woke up and couldn’t move my arm, couldn’t feel my arm. I had to move it with my other arm and then I felt the blood starting to flow back in. It happens like once a month if I lie in a weird position. It was dark so I didn’t check the color, but I bet it was blue. After a quite painful five minutes of feeling the blood flowing back I could move my fingers and eventually my whole arm. I lifted my arm all the way up and it was like it weighed a ton. Now, twelve hours later, it’s fine.

Is this dangerous? Can it cause blood clots or something? It can’t possibly be healthy to let your arm be absent of blood for a period of time.

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9 Answers

judochop's avatar

I sometimes sit on my hand until it falls asleep, I call it (her) the stranger.

lunabean's avatar

i wake up some nights with my arm completely numb, sometimes it’s worse than others. i don’t think there any danger involved unless maybe it happens every single day unconnected with a weird sleeping position. just be conscious of your sleeping position and you should be fine.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

lol the stranger, ah I havent heard that in forever. I lurve the stranger.

cdwccrn's avatar

I think it’s the nerve that’s affected, not the blood flow. An extremity without bloodflow gets your attention through severe pain, believe me.
I have the same thing happen tony arm, too, sometimes, with no ill effects at all.

AstroChuck's avatar

Only when it’s driving.

Netfreak's avatar

Its true that it happens when slept in weird position and also when we don’t cover with a blanket when its too cold. Regular arm exercises can control this.

Moegitto's avatar

When you sleep, your body pretty much does what it wants to, this includes tossing and turning. It’s natural to wake up with your arm asleep sometimes. Someone already said this, but pain is the actual only real sign that you did any damage to your arm while sleep. When I was diagnosed as diabetic, but they didn’t know if I was type 1 or 2, they kept me in the hospital. They asked if I wanted them to poke me with a needle every 4 hours for my blood test, or leave in a artery line. I choose the line, and by GOD, every time they drew blood, my whole hand felt incredibly hot, then unbearably cold, I almost cried the first time they did it. If your arm stays numb for longer then 10 minutes, sometimes 15, you might want to get a check out, because diabetics heal much slowly than everyone else, not that your arm being asleep is a major problem, but it could be masking something else with your body.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

This happened to me for the first time this morning. It didn’t even feel like it was my arm! Don’t worry though, cdwccern is right on the money.

Nullo's avatar

Nothing bad should come of it; the sensation is caused (AFAIK) by compressing the nerves in the arm, nothing more.

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