Do you experience a tingling sensation or numbness in the hands, every once in a while when you wake up? In some cases, the cause is minor such as bad circulation. However, if the numbness is accompanied by soreness, it could be something more serious. 

Numb hands in the morning may be accompanied by an array of symptoms, such as a tingling or a burning sensation. Additionally, the fingers, hands or the arms may also feel weak and clumsy. This condition may manifest along a single nerve in one hand or occur in a symmetrical pattern in both hands.

Numb Hands in the Morning, What Could It Be?



Owing to their poor dietary habits, it is very common for alcoholics to suffer from vitamin deficiencies, such as thiamine deficiency. Such deficiencies can cause peripheral neuropathy. 

Again, alcoholism can also lead to breakdown of the nervous system, a condition referred to as alcoholic neuropathy. These will then cause the patient to have numb hands in the morning.


Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that is associated with the wearing of the neck vertebrae and is predominant in adults above 40. This wearing causes the cartilage and bone around the neck region to deteriorate. As a result, bone spurs or growths start to grow in the vertebrae. It is these bone spurs that compress the nerves, leading to stiffness, muscle spasms as well as pain in the shoulder, neck, chest and arms. In addition to tingling and numbness of the hands, other symptoms of this condition include abnormal reflexes, lack of coordination and difficulty in walking.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This condition is mainly caused by increased pressure in the carpal tunnel. The increased pressure may be a result of inflammation of the wrist due to an injury, fluid retention because of a pregnancy or various medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hormonal disorders and hypothyroidism. 

This increased pressure impairs the functioning of the median nerve to regulate the sensory and motor functions of the middle, index, thumb and ring fingers. The condition causes a tingling sensation and numbness which may spread from the wrist to the arm or to the hand. With time, the condition can lead to weakening of the hand and loss of grip strength.


Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamins, especially vitamins B12, B1, B6, and E, are essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency of any of these vitamins will result in certain complications. 

For instance, vitamin B12 deficiency may cause pernicious anemia, which may result in peripheral neuropathy. Tingling sensation and numbness of the hands in the morning is specifically caused by excess vitamin B6 in the body.


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

This condition is mostly caused by tight neck or chest muscles or the presence of an extra cervical rib. These will lead to the compression of the thoracic outlet, through which nerves and blood vessels to the hands pass. The condition can lead to an array of symptoms, such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the ring, middle and little fingers, as well as in the inner forearm. Carrying heavy objects while suffering from this condition can also trigger other symptoms, such as pin-prick sensations.



Some of the toxins that are commonly associated with numbness in the hands include mercury, lead, thallium and lead. Additionally, environmental and industrial chemicals may also lead to this condition. There are certain medications that may also cause you to experience numbness in the hands in the morning. Such medications include antibiotic and antiviral drugs as well as the chemotherapy drugs used to remedy lung cancer.


Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that is mainly caused by infections in the nervous system. Additionally, this condition may be caused by other things such as mercury and lead poisoning, tumors and nutritional deficiency. The condition mainly affects the peripheral nervous system, leading to nerve damage. 

As such, the symptoms of the condition will depend on the specific nerves affected. For instance, if the damage is on the sensory nerves, the symptoms will be numbness, a tingling sensation, a burning sensations and pain. If the damage is on the motor nerves, it will affect muscle control, leading to weakness and cramps.


Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This condition is mainly caused by impact on the elbow. Pressure on the funny bone also affects the ulnar nerve, a nerve that passes through the cubital tunnel. This instantaneous pressure on the ulnar nerve can lead to numbness and a tingling sensation on the palm as well as on the last two fingers. This numbness is a reflex action by the body to keep the arm bent for a longer period, following an impact on the elbow. 

In most cases, cubital tunnel syndrome results from an injury to the elbow, such as dislocation, twisting or fractures. The condition may also be caused by repetitive flexion of the elbow.


Systemic Diseases

Currently, there are various systemic diseases that can make you wake up with numb hands. Therefore waking up with numb hands should not be a surprise if you are suffering from a systemic disease, like peroneal nerve palsy, radial nerve palsy or ulnar nerve palsy.



Injuries resulting from trauma can easily damage, compress or crush the nerves. This will not only cause you to experience numbness in the hands, but will also lead to nerve pain. Such injuries include dislocated bones and herniated discs.


Other Possible Causes

In addition to the above mentioned causes, there are other things that may make one to experience numb hands in the morning. Some of those causes include:

  • Animal bites

  • Poor sleeping posture

  • Herpes zoster or shingles infection

  • Radiation therapy

  • Certain medications

  • Inadequate or excesses sodium, potassium or calcium levels in the body

When to See a Doctor

While some of the causes of numb hands in the morning are minute, it is essential to ascertain the real cause of the condition. If the condition starts suddenly and is accompanied by paralysis, difficulty in talking, severe headache, confusion, and dizziness, you should see a doctor immediately. Other cases of this condition that call for urgent medical attention are:

  • If the numbness persists and worsens gradually

  • If it affects both sides of the body

  • When the numbness appears to be related to certain conditions, such as the repetitive motions

  • The numbness affects only one part of your hand, such as one figure


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