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We’ve all had that funny feeling in our arms or legs, especially when sitting in the same position for a long time. But have you ever felt a tingling sensation all over your body, especially when trying to sleep? If yes, then you’re probably well aware of paresthesia. If not, don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll discuss everything related to paresthesia so you’re all caught up with this peculiar feeling.

Why Do I Feel Tingling All Over My Body When Trying to Sleep?

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as that sudden tingling sensation in your body when all you want to do is sleep. No matter how sleepy you are, you’re stuck in that odd position because moving even in the slightest is enough to send pins and needles down your body. The reason this happens is because, most times, your sleeping position is so bad that it pinches a nerve. This effectively constricts the blood flow to your body.

That tingly feeling, then, is known as Paraesthesia. However, the good thing is that it doesn’t last for long. At most, it’ll stick around for only a few minutes before disappearing.

What is Paraesthesia?

People often describe paresthesia as a foot or arm ‘falling asleep’ with ‘static’ buzzing. There’s even the belief that it happens due to poor blood circulation. When in reality, most of it depends entirely on irritated nerves. Paraesthesia, then, is a sensation that occurs as a result of compressed nerves.

Plus, as common as it is, paraesthesia can be pretty harmless. By simply changing your position, you can get rid of the pins and needles as your nerve slides back into place.

In rare cases, paraesthesia could turn out to be a chronic medical condition fuelled by an injury or illness.

What Causes Paraesthesia?

Paraesthesia is mainly caused by an accidental shift in your nervous system. This can either be your nerve slipping away from its position or other serious causes for concern, such as:

  • Altered Nerve Function
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Herniated Disc
  • Compressed Spinal Nerve
  • Nerve Pulling
  • Brain Tumor
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Vitamin Deficiency

Treatment Options

In most cases, paresthesia doesn’t last for long. The tingling feeling vanishes when you change your position and move around a bit. However, if the condition looks a bit more severe and the tingling sensation leads to intense burning, itchiness, or pain, it’s time to contact a medical professional.
Your doctor will help you get the proper treatment. Some of these could include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Strength-based Exercises
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Medication
  • Full-body Massage
  • Cold compress
  • Topical Ointments

Could It Also Be Peripheral Neuropathy?

Sometimes, the tingling all over your body isn’t just paresthesia. It could also be due to peripheral neuropathy. This only occurs in rare, extreme cases. Moreover, what sets peripheral neuropathy apart from paraesthesia is the intensity.

Unlike the pins and needles feeling that only lasts for a few minutes, peripheral neuropathy can go on for a very long time. What’s worse is that the feeling strikes you out of nowhere. It doesn’t occur because of an awkward position. So it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been sitting in the same position or sleeping; the pain that overtakes you can last way longer than a few minutes. So much so that it can render you incapable of doing anything.


Long story short, experiencing a tingling all over your body when trying to sleep isn’t fun. If it feels like static or needles poking through, maybe changing your sleeping position can help. If you start to feel your body burn instead, contact a medical professional immediately. You can also reach out to our experts at Sleep & Headache Solutions by calling (832) 688-8886

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