Preferences in Sleep Position Correlate With Nighttime Paresthesias in Healthy People Without Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carrie L. Roth Bettlach, Jessica M. Hasak, Emily M. Krauss, Jenny L. Yu, Gary B. Skolnick, Greta N. Bodway, Lorna C. Kahn, Susan E. Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with sleep position preferences. The aim of this study is to assess self-reported nocturnal paresthesias and sleeping position in participants with and without carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis to further clinical knowledge for preventive and therapeutic interventions. Methods: A cross-sectional survey study of 396 participants was performed in young adults, healthy volunteers, and a patient population. Participants were surveyed on risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome, nocturnal paresthesias, and sleep preferences. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed comparing participants with rare and frequent nocturnal paresthesias. Subanalyses for participants without carpal tunnel syndrome under and over 21 years of age were performed on all factors significantly associated with subclinical compression neuropathy in the overall population. Results: Thirty-three percent of the study population experienced nocturnal paresthesias at least weekly. Increased body mass index (P <.001) and sleeping with the wrist flexed (P =.030) were associated with a higher frequency of nocturnal paresthesias. Side sleeping was associated with less frequent nocturnal symptoms (P =.003). In participants without carpal tunnel syndrome, subgroup analysis illustrated a relationship between nocturnal paresthesias and wrist position. In participants with carpal tunnel syndrome, sleeping on the side had a significantly reduced frequency of nocturnal paresthesias. Conclusion: This study illustrates nocturnal paresthesias in people without history of carpal tunnel syndrome including people younger than previously reported. In healthy patients with upper extremity subclinical compression neuropathy, sleep position modification may be a useful intervention to reduce the frequency of nocturnal symptoms prior to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • carpal tunnel
  • nocturnal paresthesias
  • paresthesias
  • sleep
  • sleep position


Dive into the research topics of 'Preferences in Sleep Position Correlate With Nighttime Paresthesias in Healthy People Without Carpal Tunnel Syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this