No one enjoys having carpal tunnel syndrome — a condition that affects millions of people in the United States and causes tingling, burning and/or numbing sensations in the affected hand, wrist and arm areas. Carpal tunnel is bad enough during the daytime, but when the night falls, it can worsen. This makes falling and staying asleep incredibly difficult for some individuals.
Getting sleep is important for all mind and body functions, but those with carpal tunnel may want to take special measures to ensure a full, uninterrupted evening of rest. It is possible to get good sleep with carpal tunnel. Below are some of the ways sufferers have been able to get and stay asleep without being awakened by the discomforts related to their condition.
Take Pain Medications Before Bedtime
For people whose carpal tunnel hasn’t progressed to a severe stage, taking a pain medication about 30 minutes before going to bed can ease the sensations. While medical professionals recommend NSAIDs, there are natural remedies available. These holistic remedies include ginger, capsaicin, vitamin D, vitamin C and other compounds.
Wear a Wrist Splint
To keep the wrist from moving around at night, a splint can be worn. While this might take some getting used to, it will ensure the wrist doesn’t get lodged in an uncomfortable position that will aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms. Additionally, it may keep the carpal tunnel from getting worse in general and promote healing of the area.
Stretch Before Getting Into Bed
Stretching the hand, wrist and forearm can make a world of difference for some with carpal tunnel syndrome. Just 15 minutes spent engaging in some stretches like the prayer stretch specifically geared for carpal tunnel relief can ward off nighttime distress. These exercises can also be helpful when used throughout the day to keep problems from escalating.
Sleep on Your Other Side or Back
If the carpal tunnel syndrome is on the right side, the sufferer can sleep on the left side to alleviate suffering. This helps to avoid undue pressure on the arm which could lead to poor circulation, inflammation and other issues. Though this will take some adjustment and trial-and-error, it has worked for many people. Try lodging a pillow beside you to prevent yourself from turning over in the night.
Lose Some Weight
This is a long-term solution to carpal tunnel nighttime concerns, but it seems to work for plenty of men and women. As the body becomes lighter, the carpal tunnel symptoms often subside. Consequently, nighttime becomes less anxiety-ridden. Plus, losing weight will be beneficial in other ways, so even shedding a few pounds can lead to many desirable outcomes.
The name of the game when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome is learning how to regulate life to make certain the condition doesn’t take over. By practicing special habits before slipping under the sheets, carpal tunnel sufferers can get the down-time they need without annoying interruptions related to this common, but nagging, concern.
Image: Gustavo Gomes