T Nation

Dead Arms Preventing Muscle Growth

Just wanted to ask a question about people’s sleeping habits. Personally, I always sleep on my side, with my head on top of a pillow, and my arm diectly beneath the pillow.

Because of this, I usually wake up with a dead arm (Pins 'n' needles). Since i'm assuming that the 'dead arm' is caused by a lack of (or blocked) bloodflow to my muscles, does this mean that it has also prohibited muscle growth too? (Since we all know that the 'growing/muscle building phase' is only done while you are slepping. All thoughts are much appreciated!

The deadness in your arm is cause you pinched the nerve and stopped it’s signal, not bloodflow. so the muscle is still getting what it needs from the blood, it just might not know what to do with it if the signal from your nervous system isn’t getting there…not really sure. I have a chronic problem with dead arms at night, and apparently it runs in my family, both my mother and her brother suffer from the same thing. As near as we can tell it’s due to the shoulder joint not allowing enough room for the nerves when you’re in certain positions. I’ve found that heavy back training helps alleviate the problem (pull ups especially) and doing a back arch and holding it for about 60 seconds immediately before hitting the sack also seems to help a bit. My mother and uncle have had success with bracing their elbows against a door frame (Same as the starting position in a Pec Deck)with their upper arms parallel to the floor and their forearms also against the door frame and then leaning forward to stretch out the chest area.

Good luck.

You only grow muscle when you sleep? Wow. you must be a doctoral candidate in exercise physiology.

HB: Thanks for the information. What you wrote was informative, and explains everything I needed to know.

Goldberg: Thanks for the compliment. Within my research, I also discovered that protein is a key ingredient to muscle building. Hope YOU find that useful.