Why Do My Hands Swell When I Sleep?

A possible reason a person’s hands swell during sleeping hours is carpal tunnel syndrome, according to E-Hand.com. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically occur while sleeping, because regular use of the hand while awake sends excess fluid outside the carpal tunnel, thus relieving swelling.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs in people with a tendency to develop swollen or inflamed hands, says E-Hand.com. It results from the application of pressure on the median nerve, which is one of the hand’s primary nerves. Symptoms include swelling, pain, tingling, numbness and clumsiness of the fingers. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically occur during daytime in severe cases.

Fluid usually accumulates when resting the hand, particularly during sleeping hours, notes E-Hand.com. Fluid buildup around tendons and joints may lead to tendon swelling, or tendinitis, which worsens due to repeated or strenuous actions.

People with carpal tunnel syndrome tend to awaken at night due to its symptoms, states the Harvard Health Publications. Some feel that their hands are swollen and immobile, even though there is no visible swelling. It may be necessary to shake the hand upon waking to recover normal hand sensation. It often becomes difficult to hold small objects as the condition becomes worse.