Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why does my right arm fall asleep all of the time?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy does my right arm fall asleep all of the time?


My right arm falls asleep a lot. Sometimes it is from the way I am laying down but it also seems to happen for no reason too. It gets that pins and needles feeling. Something wrong with my blood flow maybe?


If this is becoming a persistent problem for you, and especially if you notice that your arm is falling asleep even when you are standing up and moving around (that is, not putting pressure directly on top of the arm like you do when you lay on it), then that is something that should be investigated by your doctor. You could start by making an appointment with your primary care doctor, who can perform the initial examination and help determine whether there is something serious going on. There are two primary causes of numbness and tingling in the arm. Probably the more common would be problems with pinched nerves. For example, it is pretty common to have an "ulnar neuropathy" which involves pinching of the ulnar nerve in the elbow, resulting in period numbness, tingling, or pain running down the pinky side of the arm. The other possibility would be an interruption in blood flow to the arm. This does not occur very often, but there are some conditions that can cause it, such as thoracic outlet syndrome, which causes periodic pinching off of blood flow to the arm, especially when lifting the arm over the head. Start by seeing your primary care doctor today!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.