What Exactly Happens When My Leg/Arm Falls Asleep ?

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Offline neilep

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We've all experienced it yes ?

You sit on your leg for a while or you've been resting your head on your arm when asleep and then you lose a lot of sensation in that appendage and it's uncomfortable !

Now, I gather it's because blood circulation has been severely restricted but why does this desensitize the area to sensation ?

Would prolonged desensitization be bad ?
....the reason I ask is because I gather some people must rest their heads on their arms for a good few hours at night !

It won't cost you an ' arm and a leg' to tell me will it ?
« Last Edit: 20/02/2008 23:38:56 by neilep »
Men are the same as women, just inside out !


Offline Karen W.

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Re: What Exactly Happens When My Leg/Arm Falls Asleep ?
« Reply #1 on: 20/02/2008 19:16:33 »
That happens to me every night with my left arm as I pull it up under my chest with my right over it for support as it allows my shoulder to not hurt so much in left sided sleeping. I look like king tut with my arms crossed over my chest, except I am on my left side instead of my back!

 I thought I had heard that prolonged cutting off of the circulation could very well damage your limb.. but that has been years ago.. and I know not if there is any truth to it!

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Offline JnA

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What Exactly Happens When My Leg/Arm Falls Asleep ?
« Reply #2 on: 21/02/2008 00:32:17 »
"why does this desensitize the area to sensation ?"

my guess is that the constriction also puts pressure on some nerves as well.

yes, if you keep a limb constricted for a long period of time it will open up a new world of problems. Without oxygen the muscle and tissue will start to die (necrosis)
With a long term constriction there is also the danger of introducing Bywaters' syndrome, where the release of the constriction releases built up toxins to now run freely in the body... poor kidneys.