Swollen hands upon waking up can occur when a person stays in one position for a long time or sleeps in an odd position cutting off circulation to the hands, says WebMD; however, swollen hands upon waking can also be indicative of a more serious problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Arthritis Foundation. Body swelling is something that most people experience at some point in their lives whether it is in the hands, the feet, the legs or the ankles, as they are the most common areas for swelling, states WebMD.
Swelling is characterized by "an increase in the size or a change in the shape of an area of the body," writes WebMD. Swelling can often occur with bruising, burns, infections and inflammation within the body. Insect bites and swollen glands can also lead to swelling in the body.
Carpal tunnel syndrome involves swelling of the fingers and hands, but also involves tingling, itching and burning sensations throughout the fingers, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is most commonly found among people who perform manual tasks with the hands, such as excessive typing at work.
Arthritis is typically caused by old age and involves swelling due to the inflamed joints and the synovial fluid increasing in the body's cells and tissues, says the Arthritis Foundation.