T Nation


I’ve noticed as I’ve acquired more muscle and less fat on my arms, that they fall asleep easier in bed or on the couch or at my desk. Anybody else notice this too?

My unscientific guess is that with less cellulite/padding your veins are more exposed, so pressing on your arm/vein would lead to the blood stopping in the blood vessels more easily, leading to numbness…

The numbness comes from compressing nerves not veins, so it would make sense that the leaner you are, the more likely it is that you’ll do so.

And, yes, it happens to me a lot more when I’m leaner.

I don’t notice it in relation to leanness, but I noticed it happened a lot more as I put on muscle weight and increased arm size. I think my problem is more related to a lack of flexibility in the whole shoulder area.

Wow, great timing on this post. I’ve been having this exact problem lately and I was wondering what in the heck is going on.


Same here and it’s the most annoying thing in the world to wake up with a numb shoulder, because if you were on it long enough it can take a couple days to come back. Ruins lifting…grrrr

Art if available and the condition is serious. You have to stretch daily. The pecs, traps scalenes(side neck muscles) can all impinge nerves. If I don’t stretch the pecs and traps, numarms at night.

Irondoc, with all due respect, I think it’s more of a matter of direct compression of nerves when sleeping in a bad position. Well, at least in my case.

That’s true, that why I said if it’s serious. Simple cases can be helped by diligent stretching. If I neglect treatment and stretching, my numbness increases. It decreases with treatment. Sometimes these things can have multiple causes. The stretching won’t hurt. I’d look for ART if it was serious and persisted during the day. Also keep in mind that breaking down myofacial adhesions before they get bad can help prevent injuries. You would need a skilled provider who understands weights though.
I found it hard for most to change sleep . I would have most hit the stretching evry day. That always helped me.

Arm numbness. Invest in a good mattress also try sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides.

I’ve tried the whole sleeping on my back thing, and I always end up on my stomach during the night. That’s my main problem. I’m just not comfortable on my back for some reason.

And no ART guys are located in this area unfortunately. I may just have to stretch and tie myself down at night.

My hand occasionally gets numb when I raise my hand resting on my elbow during the day as opposed to during sleep. Is this the same thing?

Rowers sometimes get something similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the elbow from inflamed nerves & tendons I think. I have this problem and It hasn’t gone away for 2.5 years. I got it from too much too soon chinese pushups (hands together) When I lean on my lebow I get numbness.

I think I’ve given myself Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from doing over 100 pushups per day. I’ll knock it off and see if it gets better.

Dude sounds like u got a little Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Get some hand splints to sleep in. Take vitamin Q10, Lecthin, B50. These should help with circulation. you will always have it, and it sucks, but you can def. manage it pretty easily. Good luck, keep hitin the Iron.

It’s not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Even if it was, supplements to “increase circulation” wouldn’t do a thing, as it’s a restrictive problem, not a circulatory problem.

There are a few different activities that make me go numb

-Talking on the cell phone. (arms)
-riding a bike. (hands)
-having a good article or magazine in the shitter which in turn makes me sit there too long. (legs)

The sleepy feeling occurs after a prolonged period of time, not initially.

It’s new to me that lean tissue causes these symptoms, I always thought it was from having poor circulation. Glad I’m not the only one.


You say it’s not CTS, but you said earlier that it’s nerve compression. Isn’t that what CTS is? If not, please enlighten me!

Sure thing. CTS is an entrapment syndrome of the carpal tunnel, which is for lack of a better word, on the wrist. If any part of a person’s arm is getting numb, then it can’t be CTS causing it, as you only get symptoms distal to the compression.

My personal problem is compression of my ulnar nerve at the elbow (right at the spot people call the funny bone) when I sleep at night.