Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Ask Buck

Numb Limbs When Sleeping

What can I do to prevent getting numb hands and arms when I'm sleeping in the backcountry?

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Question:

When I’m camping, I frequently wake up during the night with my arms and/or hands feeling numb. Is there something I can do to prevent this?

Submitted by – Chris, Minneapolis, MN

Answer:

My answer is: maybe. Most likely, a nerve or two is getting pinched. Sometimes you can relieve this with a thicker sleeping pad—or two pads. Sometimes packing in a small pillow will do the job—or you can stuff extra clothing layers, like your puffy jacket, into a pillowcase or stuffsack. I’d try both things. Also, is your sleeping bag big enough? A tight bag can put pressure on a few nerves. Finally, you might have an alignment problem that a visit to a healthcare practitioner could possibly alleviate. —Buck