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Question:
What makes your arm fall a sleep?



Replies:
Your arm falls asleep when, for example, you drape it over the back of a chair or sleep on it for a long time. This is caused by cutting off the blood supply to the nerves, which then stop working. When the nerves don't work, you can't feel sensations in the arm or move it very well, if at all. When the blood supply is restored, the nerve cells carrying pain information recover first, so you get pain and tingling sensations before you recover fine movement. Very occasionally, paralysis can be permanent if the blood supply is cut off for a long time. This is sometimes called "drunkard's paralysis" because people who are drunk sometimes pass out in such positions for a long time.

--ProfBill



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