Why Our Limbs 'Fall Asleep' And Why It's So Painful

Maybe you've sat on the couch and binged your favorite TV show for six hours, or maybe you slept in a weird position, but when you tried to move your arm or leg, something happened. It felt as if you had a phantom limb; it felt like it was there but it was unresponsive and numb, and within a few seconds, the numbness turned into a combined sensation of heat and pain. 

The medical name for this sensation is paresthesia, but most know it as a limb "falling asleep." It's a common sensation, unlike rare skin diseases or other bodily sensations, but not many know what causes the tingling feeling in limbs when they fall asleep - or why it hurts so much. Though it can be painful and alarming, there's usually no need for concern.