Body parts can fall asleep, even when you are wide awake. The strange feeling of getting out of your seat to find that your foot iss on pins and needles or the mild panic that strikes when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot move your arm at all- losing feeling in your body parts can be quite uncomfortable. While the feeling is strange and uncomfortable, limbs fall asleep often in many people.
This strange sensation is due to an abundance of pressure being put on that part of the body. Communication is cut from your brain when this pressure is put on your body for too long because the pressure interferes with nerve pathways that allow your brain to tell the sleeping body part what to do.
Although having body parts fall asleep probably cannot be completely eliminated, PhysioDC (Washington, DC’s premier physical therapy office) has provided the following tips that can help you reduce the likelihood of this uncomfortable phenomenon:
When a body part falls asleep, you’ll want to wake it up fast. The best way to do that is to relieve pressure on the area of your body that is being squished or compressed. When a body part is asleep, avoid sitting, crossing your legs or arms, or putting dead weight on your legs or arms, as this can compress your nerves and cause that body part to stay asleep.
Change positions frequently to prevent nerves from being compressed and body parts from falling asleep. And at the first sign of tingling, numbness, or discomfort, be sure to take steps to reduce pressure in order to restore feeling to the body part.
Get up and move.
Along with changing positions, it is important to get up and move around in order to prevent body parts from falling asleep. By moving around, your blood starts flowing and your circulations improves; this keeps your body awake and prevents any part of it from falling asleep. If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, be sure to get up and take a quick stroll around the office. Whether it is just a walk to the restroom or to see what someone is having for lunch in the kitchen, the movement will help to keep your body parts from falling asleep.
If any body part starts to feel a little tingly or cramped, massage it immediately. Your body is trying to warn you that that area is lacking blood flow. A simple massage will increase the blood flow and help to prevent the body part from falling asleep.
If your feet fall asleep frequently, it may be due to your shoes. Try loosening your laces or taking the shoes off while you sit, as tight or ill-fitting shoes can easily cause compression on the nerves in your feet and cause them to fall asleep.
Sleeping body parts can be an uncomfortable and undesirable feeling. In order to make them go away quickly, you must relieve pressure, get up and move, and massage yourself. If you have questions about numbness or tingling that doesn’t seem normal, contact your doctor or physical therapist today. To learn more about physical therapy for your body or to schedule a visit if you’re in the DC area, visit PhysioDC’s website today. And for expert health tips provided by Dr. Daniel Baumstark, PhysioDC staff member, check out the blog links below: