A range of medical conditions can cause numbness in your fingers at night. Carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves and arthritis are the most common culprits. While exercise can help relieve night numbness, medications, splints and day treatments also play a role in treating the symptoms while you sleep.
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When the ulnar nerve becomes pinched or trapped underneath your elbow, it can cause your little finger and ring finger to go numb. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, keeping your arm straight when you sleep keeps the flow of blood moving and prevents the numbness. Bending exercises during the day also relieve the symptoms. You should hold your arm out straight with your palm facing the ceiling and curl your fingers up towards your arm. Hold for a few seconds and then release, stretching your fingers down toward the floor as you bend your elbow towards your body.
The nerves that affect your fingers extend up your arms. You can extend your stretches that open up the tunnel through which your nerves pass to get to your fingers by stretching against your neck. Begin by holding your arm out to your side with your palm facing forward. Curl up your fingers and then twist your arm so that your palm is facing out. With your arm still extended, stretch your neck away from your arm and hold the stretch for a count of 10, release and repeat three times.
Strengthening exercises can relieve the numbness by building the muscles that support your arms and hands. Relieve the pressure on your ulnar nerves and carpal tunnels by lifting free weights. You don’t have to lift great amounts of weights to strengthen your upper arms and biceps to notice a difference. Using 1- or 2-lb. dumbbells for three sets of 10 repetitions each day can give your arms enough support that you can type for hours without resting your arms on your chair armrests for example. Do sit-ups and pushups to strengthen your core to support your upper body. Weak core strength can lead to poor posture, which can cause nerves to become pinched and make your fingers go numb.
During the day, you should stop the repetitive activity that causes the symptoms, such as typing or other small finger motions. Take regular breaks to do the stretching and curling exercises. According to MedlinePlus, the most effective time to do your exercises is after a warm bath or shower when your nerves and muscles are warmed-up and loose. Refrain from doing the exercises if you are experiencing any inflammation, as they can exacerbate symptoms and cause additional injury.