Stop Pins and Needles!

Normally, I sleep like a rock. I don’t have breathing issues or leg cramps, and my kids sleep through the night. However, when I do wake myself up, it’s because my hand(s) have fallen asleep and now I have to figure out how to stop pins and needles.

Pins and needles are what many people call the intense tingling that spreads like wildfire from your fingertips up to a mystery point on your arm. It is caused by the reduced circulation from having your limb elevated higher than your heart.

At some point in the night, my body decides to fling one arm, sometimes both arms, above my head. If you have held your arm above your head for a long time, you know that your hand will fall asleep. When your hand is asleep, you start to wake up when it won’t do what you want.

For example, last night, I was sleeping nicely but got to the point where my body wanted to roll over. This is no big deal normally, but I was pinned down! My upper body would not move! My lower body twisted and pried, but to no avail. I was stuck. My arms were above my head and both had fallen asleep.

Now, anyone who has had this happen knows what a predicament this truly is. You must decide Am I going to move them and face the wrath that follows? On the one hand, you’re uncomfortable enough that you decided to make a change in your body. However, on the other hand, if you move your arms, you will certainly have to face pins and needles. In the middle of the night, it’s hard to decide which is the short-term pain for the long-term gain.

However, I have great news. You don’t have to worry about pins and needles anymore because I found a way to stop them before they begin!

While I was pregnant with my second child, I really loved to sleep with my arms above my head. Needless to say, I dealt with pins and needles several times a week. One night I discovered this simple trick.

Stop Pins and Needles

You are asleep and so are your arms.

  1. Fling your arms by your sides if both arms are asleep. If only one arm is asleep, you can use your good hand to move it. But, if that’s not really do-able for you, flinging it is fine.
  2. hands in a triangleTake your hands and make a triangle. Connect your pointer fingers and thumbs.
  3. Lift your hips so that you can place your triangle right under your sacrum (tailbone).
  4. Lower your hips so that you are sitting on your hands.
  5. While you’re here, make sure that your shoulders are relaxed away from your ears and that you don’t feel any stress on your bent elbows.
  6. Just hold here until you can feel that the feeling has been restored to your hand(s). It doesn’t take long.
  7. Remove your hands and move into your desired position.

I know, this advice is tricky because it’s not something that you can really check out during the day since many people only experience tingling in their hands at night. However, read over the instructions and think about what you will do when your hands fall asleep when you’re sleeping. Hopefully, this trick will work as well for you as it has for me and my friends.

What do you think? Did it work? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.


  1. Thanks for this info Sarah, I have been experiencing this and will give it a try, probably tonight 🙂 and will let you know how it goes.

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