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Why is it that my leg/hand will become really “jelly”-like, unable to move my peripheral limb, when I wake up from my sleep on a few occasions.

It occurs for probably 7-10 seconds. But once I put my leg/hand below my body level, i get back my peripheral sensations. It occurred on numerous occasions. Initially I thought it could be caused by poor blood circulation. However, I’m not sure if it could be due to some other conditions such as vascular or neuropathy problems. 

Last night, I elevated my legs while sleeping. When I woke up, I couldn’t move my right feet until I placed it on the ground. There was another incident where I slept on my right hand and I couldn’t move it when I woke up.
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Dr. Ken J T
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Hi Celestine,

You are correct in that there could be multiple causes for hand or foot numbness after waking up from sleep. One of the more common causes would be nerve compression which can be exacerbated by certain sleeping positions. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of hand numbness which can be worse during sleep. Would suggest if it’s troublesome to get a consultation to reach a diagnosis.


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@Celestine
Dear Dr Ken,

Thank you for your reply. Here’s a more thorough description of two episodes which occurred within a few months. 

Last night, I elevated my legs while sleeping. When I woke up, I couldn’t move my right feet until I placed it on the ground. There was another incident where I slept on my right hand and I couldn’t move it when I woke up. Not sure if it would help. Thank you very much



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Dr. Ken J T
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Hi again Celestine,

Based on your description might still be difficult to know if the two incidents are connected. It might indeed be due to a nerve compression which could occur either at the spinal level, or at the upper or lower limb. Once again, a diagnosis is crucial so you would benefit from getting it checked out at a medical clinic. 
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