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Arms falling asleep
Old 03-12-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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Arms falling asleep

I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but I wonder if those of you who work out have encountered this problem. I've been taking up golf, and doing a lot of upper body workouts at the gym. My upper body is getting much stronger, but for the last couple of weeks my arms have been falling asleep at night and it's getting worse.

I sleep on my side and I realize it's a bad position but I've never had any problem. Now I wake up every couple of hours with one or the other arm asleep, either the one under me or the one above me. If I move it a bit the feeling comes back.

I don't know if I could change my life-long sleeping position to be on my back. Anyone have that problem after upper body work? Should I change my routine, stretch more, or what?
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #2
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I don't have that problem, and don't know much about it. But... I would suggest that you do more stretches, both before and after your workouts and golf. Couldn't do any harm, right?
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:52 AM   #3
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Have to ask the docs, but it sure sounds like you have a pinched nerve somewhere.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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If this problem started with the weight lifting; that might be cause - poor form, too much weight, too fast can cause a lot of problems.
If you are a beginner weight lifter - and it sounds as if you are - "doing a lot of upper body workouts" - I'd suggest you either find a good book on it or find a very good personal trainer to teach you.

Bodybuilding.com Forums - Bodybuilding And Fitness Board
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by FinallyRetired View Post
My upper body is getting much stronger, but for the last couple of weeks my arms have been falling asleep at night and it's getting worse.
Is this like a "cut off" in the blood supply? Placing the arm below the heart cures the problem? If so... not having any basis (training or knowledge) for suggesting this but would it be possible that the new muscle mass is putting pressure on vein/artery in certain positions cutting off the blood supply? (Not a cure -- sorry -- but more of a diagnostic step.)
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
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Here's a checklist for you - it covers all types of numbness and tingling.
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Numbness and tingling
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the link.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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Have to ask the docs, but it sure sounds like you have a pinched nerve somewhere.
I agree. Years ago I had a back injury.

To this day if I twist or move wrong, even lay wrong, my right side will get that pins & needles feeling.

The other morning this occured. Lasted till noon then went away.

Get it checked out by doc just to be sure.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas. I realize this forum is not for personal medical advice, and I'll go see my doctor etc etc. Just thought someone else may have had the same problem after taking up or changing their exercise routine, and these are good ideas.

I'm guessing it's a combination of starting a new exercise regime at my age, not stretching before and after, and sleeping in a terrible position. It happens to both arms though not at the same time, and can be either the arm below me or above me as I'm sleeping on my side. As I said, I'll see the doc but in the meantime I'll try stretching more, reading the items posted, and maybe even sleeping on my back.

I wonder if Tiger Woods had this problem at the start?
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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I've also had no tingling problems despite weightlifting, etc.

Quote:
I don't know if I could change my life-long sleeping position
When I went to college, I forgot to take a pillow. I was too cheap to buy a pillow, so I started sleeping without one (on my stomach).

Around age 45 this caused problems and I decided to change to sleeping on my side. It turned out to be an unimaginably difficult thing to change, but I finally managed. It was worth it.

You might do some Internet research on the best position (side seems to be best). I use two pillows.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by FinallyRetired View Post
I've been taking up golf, and doing a lot of upper body workouts at the gym. My upper body is getting much stronger, but for the last couple of weeks my arms have been falling asleep at night and it's getting worse.
I have been having the EXACT same problem, only my upper body is
getting stronger for different reasons - lots of climbing and wood cutting.

My doctor basically blew me off, saying as long as it goes way when you
move your arms around, it's nothing to worry about.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with those tighter/bigger muscles pinching
nerves. Stretching and massage therapy are the answer. Acupuncture
might help too.

Quote:
I sleep on my side and I realize it's a bad position but I've never had any problem. Now I wake up every couple of hours with one or the other arm asleep, either the one under me or the one above me. If I move it a bit the feeling comes back.
I'm not sure I'd try to stop side sleeping. I went to a good bit of trouble
to train myself to sleep on my side, due to sleep apneas that were
occuring when sleeping on my back; sleep clinic wasn't worried that I
had full-blown sleep apnea, but did notice I had way less apneic episodes
when sleeping on side - and of course it lessens snoring a lot too.

One thing that I find helps a lot (with the arm/hand numbness) is to have
a "huggy pillow" (ain't that cute) that I hug against my chest and rest
my upper (the arm farther from the bed) arm upon.

Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:06 PM   #12
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...
One thing that I find helps a lot (with the arm/hand numbness) is to have
a "huggy pillow" (ain't that cute) that I hug against my chest and rest
my upper (the arm farther from the bed) arm upon.
Good luck.
I used to use a standard body pillow to keep my wrists and shoulders straight (carpal tunnel, RSI, blah blah blah).
That worked OK, but...and please try not to cringe...I saw some of those really huge stuffed animals (5' long type) on sale for $10 at Aldi's a few years ago. I picked each type up and held it like I was sleeping on my side. A couple saw me hugging the toys in the store and just lost it, cracking up.
The dog shape worked better than the brown teddy bear or yellow ducky. <snicker>
His name is Patch and he is by far the best body pillow solution I have ever used. He is not overstuffed and I can shape him any way I need to.
Just say it's for the grandkids if anyone asks.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:08 PM   #13
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His name is Patch and he is by far the best body pillow solution I have ever used. He is not overstuffed and I can shape him any way I need to.
I have a friend with something similar... except he has to blow his up.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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I have a friend with something similar... except he has to blow his up.
And your friend's name is.....?
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #15
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And your friend's name is.....?
Uhhhh...
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:37 PM   #16
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I have been having the EXACT same problem, only my upper body is
getting stronger for different reasons - lots of climbing and wood cutting.
That's a relief... I guess. Thanks, that's what I was looking for, if anyone else had this. I'll still talk to my doc but I agree with you, it's probably the bigger muscles pinching nerves.

Quote:
The dog shape worked better than the brown teddy bear or yellow ducky. <snicker>
Quote:
I have a friend with something similar... except he has to blow his up.
You guys crack me up
OTOH...
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:45 PM   #17
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You guys crack me up
OTOH...
Um...I'm a 50 yo woman who just admitting to sleeping with a 5' stuffed dog named Patch
to prevent numbness in my arms etc.
But I will understand completely if the guys don't 'fess up. It's cool.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinallyRetired View Post
I don't know if this is an appropriate question for this forum but I wonder if those of you who work out have encountered this problem. I've been taking up golf, and doing a lot of upper body workouts at the gym. My upper body is getting much stronger, but for the last couple of weeks my arms have been falling asleep at night and it's getting worse.

I sleep on my side and I realize it's a bad position but I've never had any problem. Now I wake up every couple of hours with one or the other arm asleep, either the one under me or the one above me. If I move it a bit the feeling comes back.

I don't know if I could change my life-long sleeping position to be on my back. Anyone have that problem after upper body work? Should I change my routine, stretch more, or what?
I have problems with hands going numb/tingling. Ulnar nerve entrapment. I have managed to reprogram sleeping positions.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:09 PM   #19
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Um...I'm a 50 yo woman who just admitting to sleeping with a 5' stuffed dog named Patch
to prevent numbness in my arms etc.
But I will understand completely if the guys don't 'fess up. It's cool.
Was that a dropped pin I just heard?
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #20
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Was that a dropped pin I just heard?
Sounded more like a roomful of clearing throats and rapidly bobbing Adams apples to me...
I confessed first so everyone would feel comfy. It backfired.
OK, everyone, it's safe to come out.
We won't ask any personal questions about your fuzzy body pillows anymore.
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