Numbing fingers after waking

For the past year I wake up every 1-2 hours to a tingley or gripping sensation in my body, then an urge to take a deep breath, and then my fingers on my most elevated hand go completely numb. This all takes about a minute and then I usually fall right back to sleep.

On the worse nights it cycles and happens every 7 minutes and I have to force myself to get up (even though I am very sleepy) for about half an hour to break the cycle. I have had disturbed sleeps for years from acid reflux and mild to moderate sleep apnea.

I started using a CPAP machine a year ago and it seems if I use it consistently for at least 2 weeks, these symptoms subside. But I have trouble using it consistently because sometimes the cold air from the machine makes it too uncomfortable to wear.

I have been searching all over the internet and can not find anyone who has experienced this. Wondering if it is related to chemosensitivity. Doctors have said they don’t think this is a sleep disorder… I don’t get why they say that. My oximeter indicates that I usually wake up to this after a drop in O2 of only 1%.

Has anyone experienced anything like this or do you have any suggestions of what might cause this?

I have a C5/6 radiculopathy that causes my fingers to become numb (i.e. a pinched nerve in my neck,) and depending on the position of my head, it is better or worse. For the cold air, get a heated humidifier for your CPAP. I also have a heated hose because I like it warmer.

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Aspenlea, I get numbing in my little fingers occasionally, perhaps once per month upon waking up. Usually extends to my palm under my little finger down to my wrist. Usually goes away within minutes. I always thought it was related to my diabetes (which I don’t take meds for and control with diet), or the way I positioned my hands when sleeping. Don’t really know. Sounds like you have a very severe case, and I feel for you. Your shortness of breath could be related to sleep apnea and shallow breathing at night from not using your machine. I had shallow breathing and shortness of breath for years, and was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea once I developed afib at the age of 65. I used to get it a lot more prior to using my bipap machine.

Thank you Kim, I had considered radiculopathy but it happens to me no matter what position I am in and what goes numb varies as it is the 3 most elevated fingers that go numb. Thank you for your suggestion about the heated hose.

Thanks for replying, This may be the same thing I am experiencing. Sometimes I wake up and my fingers are already numb so I assume I must have taken my deep breath before i was really awake. I wonder if it is some kind of over sensitivity to hypercapnia when sleeping, and then to hypocapnia after I take a deep breath. But my pulmonologist dismissed or didn’t seem to even consider this idea.

My fingers get painful pins and needles, which wake me up at times. One doc told me that is carpal tunnel syndrome. Sleeping in positions during which you curl your hands in can aggravate it.

So this is seriously different from muscle cramps?

Yes, it isn’t an unpleasant feeling at all, unless I have a strong episode that feels like it is gripping my whole body but it is not painful. The unpleasantness is only in the lack of sleep and the headaches and the concern about long term effects on my heart, nerves, brain, etc.

Does sound like carpal tunnel. Wearing a cock-up wrist splint while sleeping should be quite helpful.