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What Causes Numbness in Left Arm While Sleeping?

What Causes Numbness in Left Arm While Sleeping?

Left arm numbness is a fairly common occurrence experienced by most of us. Usually the numbness recedes on its own after a while. Though most of us are quite unsure of its causes. This HealthHearty article tries to shed some light on some probable causes, and enlists some accompanied symptoms of left arm numbness experienced at night.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Experience numbness in the left arm during the night usually occurs suddenly and may sustain for a few seconds to couple of minutes, and in extreme cases, even till the next morning. Although this numbing sensation is not indicative of some life-threatening disorder, it can occur due to various causes ranging from severe to mild.
Possible Causes
  • Nerve Compression: One of the most common causes of numbness in the left arm is compression of the nerve running from our central nervous system to the arm. Sudden pressure or trauma can interrupts the blood circulation to the left arm due to which the left arm goes numb. Besides sudden pressure or trauma, other possible causes for nerve compression are peripheral neuropathy, infections, injuries, metabolic disorders, etc.
  • Ganglion Cysts: A 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 left arm numbness felt 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 the fingers to go numb. The attack may last anywhere between a few minutes to hours, causing severe numbness 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 numbness in the left arm is one of the prominent symptoms of this heart disorder.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist, causing paresthesia, numbness 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: Incorrect sleeping posture, alcoholism, vitamin deficiency, poor eating habits, etc., are some other causes for left arm numbness and pain at night.
Accompanying Symptoms
  • Loss of sensation in hands and fingers
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling in the arms and hands
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
The treatment 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. Try to sleep with your arms in a relaxed state by your sides will enable uninterrupted blood flow in the arms, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, etc., are some simple yet effective ways of treating left arm numbness.