Most people have experienced nightly numbness in their fingers at least once. Unless the problem is permanent, few pay attention to this alarming symptom. However, loss of limb sensitivity often indicates the development of pathological processes in the body. Therefore, it is important to know why fingers become numb during sleep. Ignoring the regularly appearing unpleasant sensations and the lack of timely treatment of the diseases that caused them can lead to serious consequences.
Causes of numbness in fingers
More often than not, fingers become numb from sleeping in an uncomfortable position. If the body is in the wrong position, the vessels are pinched and the normal blood circulation is disturbed. Waking up, a person feels pain in the fingers and loss of sensitivity in the hand.
Many people note that after sleeping in an uncomfortable position in the morning, fingers are difficult to bend. The use of a hard pillow can also affect the movement of the hands. If the cause of the discomfort is physiological, then in the morning the blood flow is restored and the numbness should pass.
Often, tight and uncomfortable clothing provokes swelling of fingers. You can also squeeze the vessels with the strap from the bag. Prolonged carrying of weights also provokes clamping of small capillaries on the hands and disrupt their motor activity. As a result, there may be slight tingling sensations in the pads and tips of the fingers, a feeling of “cottoniness” or “goose bumps”.
Hands, feet, and fingers often become numb and swollen during pregnancy.
Physiological numbness does not require special treatment. With the elimination of these factors, the painful sensations disappear.
However, if a problem bothers a person with enviable regularity, then often the cause of its occurrence lies in the disease. Numbness of the fingers at night can be a symptom of:
- diabetes mellitus;
- cervical osteochondrosis;
- Raynaud’s syndrome;
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- multiple sclerosis;
- ischemia, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases;
- tumor formation of various etiologies;
- vegetative dystonia;
- carpal tunnel syndrome.
Every person is inevitably faced with stressful situations. In response to a shock, the body produces a large dose of adrenaline, which continues to enter the bloodstream even at night. A person feels anxiety and an oppressive state of fear. In this case, there is cold and tingling in the fingers, they can become numb.
Diabetes mellitus and neuropathy
Diabetes mellitus is dangerous for its complication – neuropathy, as a result of the development of which the peripheral nervous system is affected. The result is a deterioration in the condition of the small capillaries that feed the nerves. Pathological changes occur due to an increased level of glucose in the blood. As a result, the permeability of the vessels decreases, and the nerve endings experience a nutritional deficiency and oxygen starvation.
The main symptoms of neuropathy are itching and tingling in the fingers, which can go numb and numb not only at night, but also during the day or evening. Treat the disease by lowering and maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Other treatments are ineffective.
The development of osteochondrosis can be suspected by the numbness of the fingers on both hands, which manifests itself at night. The cause is a pathological process in the 7th spinal root, which is compressed as a result of the disease, which immediately affects the loss of sensitivity in the hands.
Pain in the cervical spine can also block the motor functions of the fingers. X-rays are taken to diagnose pathology. The development of degenerative changes in the spinal column is evidenced by the identification of osteophytes (growths on the bones), provoking numbness of the hand and fingers.
Unstable position of the vertebral vertebrae is another common cause. Treatment in this situation includes acupuncture, manual therapy and a course of exercise therapy. In addition to the main treatment, drugs are prescribed that improve metabolic processes in bone and cartilage tissues.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Often the pathology affects the joints of the hands. At night, the patient may experience:
- burning and pain in the hands and fingers;
- stiffness in the movement of the fingers;
- general weakness of the upper limbs;
- feeling of tightness in the hands, they are “pulled”.
With the further development of the disease, a person feels prolonged and intense morning pain in the fingers, sometimes an increase in body temperature is recorded, the joints are severely deformed. Pathology is treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antirheumatic drugs that reduce the manifestation of symptoms.
Numbness in the fingers may indicate the development of multiple sclerosis in a patient. At the initial stage, pathological changes are insignificant and may vary in intensity, however, as the disease progresses, numbness increases. Discomfort often occurs after exercise, fever, or general fatigue. As a rule, this symptom is observed during sleep, in the morning the numbness of the hands disappears.
Carpal tunnel or elbow canal syndrome
Tunnel syndrome is a common explanation for why individual fingers go numb at night. With damage to the ulnar nerve, the little finger and ring finger are affected, with problems with the carpal tunnel, the thumb, index, middle fingers often go numb. This is a common disease among people professionally associated with monotonous activity of the upper limbs, more often the right hand is affected. Also, the causes of occurrence include:
- the use of hormones;
- renal failure and other kidney pathologies;
- swelling of the canal during the period of gestation.
The listed factors are the causes of impaired blood flow in the vessels and loss of sensitivity in the fingers of the sleeping person. The risk group is made up of people after 45 years, before this age the disease is recorded much less often.
If there is no timely diagnosis and adequate therapy of pathology, a person may feel that the symptoms are intensifying: weakness of the upper extremities appears, burning pain in the hands and severe numbness of the fingers. It becomes very difficult to hold objects with the injured hand. Blanching of the skin of the upper extremities may be observed.
The syndrome is characterized by damage to small capillaries. Periodic disturbance of blood flow provokes discomfort in the digital area. There is cyanosis and numbness of the fingers of the upper extremities. The pain symptom appears in the morning after sleep and disappears closer to lunchtime.
Pathology can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, diabetes mellitus, vibration disease, or general hypothermia.
Ischemia, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
A stroke is a serious pathology in which blood circulation in the brain is impaired.
Important! Numbness and tingling sensation in the fingers, “flies” in front of the eyes, nausea may indicate an impending stroke.
The symptoms of this formidable disease occur abruptly at any time of the day. When the first signs of a stroke appear, the patient needs urgent help from doctors.
If the patient feels numbness of the middle, unnamed or little finger on the left hand, then this may indicate a blockade of cardiac vessels and the development of coronary artery disease or angina pectoris – severe heart diseases. Angina attacks cause pain felt in the left shoulder, neck, or jaw.
A heart attack is characterized by pain in the thoracic region, which radiates to the left hand, while the little finger on the hand grows numb during sleep and while awake. This condition requires immediate response and urgent medical attention.
Vegetovascular dystonia, or VSD syndrome, has a slow development. The disease depends on many factors and manifests itself in the form of panic attacks of fear after stress, emotional fatigue and general overwork. Feelings with VSD are subjective in color, so often doctors cannot diagnose the disease even if there are complaints.
Most patients experience discomfort in the area of the hands, numbness and tingling in the fingers, chill in the upper extremities. With VSDV, patients need to learn to react less to irritating factors, since this can significantly worsen the state of health.
Numbness of the hands and fingers can be triggered by a tumor, regardless of its etiology. The neoplasm increases in size and constricts blood vessels and nerve endings. As a result, the sleeper experiences discomfort in the fingers due to impaired blood flow.
What to do if fingers are numb? The first thing that needs to be done is to seek medical help and prepare for tests and various examinations. Diagnostics will help determine which disease provokes numbness, or confirm the physiological causes of an unpleasant symptom.
To prevent the appearance of sensations of numbness in the fingers during a night’s sleep, the following rules must be followed:
- Do morning exercises after waking up.
- Sleep on special (orthopedic) pillows and mattresses.
- Wear comfortable clothing day and night.
- Monitor blood pressure levels.
- If alarming symptoms occur, do not delay contacting a doctor.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle, quit smoking and alcohol.
- Avoid stressful situations and nervous strain.
- Take a walk before going to bed.
- Provide physical activity.
- Visit massage treatments regularly.
- Do not overcool.
Success in the treatment of numbness of the fingers directly depends on the early diagnosis of the disease and the accuracy of the diagnosis. Despite the fact that numbness during a night’s sleep does not significantly impair the quality of life, this symptom cannot be ignored. The persistence and regularity of the appearance of unpleasant sensations is a reason to urgently make an appointment with a doctor. Traditional methods of treatment can be used only after the diagnosis is made as an adjunct to the therapy prescribed by a specialist.