Cold hands and feet commonly is not a big issue as it can occur due to cold temperature. It can be body’s natural temperature mechanism in some people that may cause temporary coldness in extremities. However, if your hands and feet are constantly cold there can be a medical reason underlying this problem.
If cold hands and feet persist all the time especially at night, it can be a problem related to poor blood circulation or the small blood vessels in hands and feet may be getting unnaturally constricted. The basic cause for persisting coldness is reduced supply of oxygen to the body cells.
If your hands and feet are cold during night or may also persist even in morning, you need to understand the underlying cause so that it may help better to know and treat the condition.
What Causes Cold Hands And Feet At Night?
There are several medical conditions affecting the blood circulation, nervous system, hormonal imbalance besides physiological cause that may lead to cold hands and feet at night.
- One of the most common and benign cause for experiencing coldness in hands and feet at night is atmospheric temperature during winter months. It is a natural process in the body that produces such change. Our extremities have rich blood supply through the tiny blood vessels called the capillaries. The cells and tissues in the hands get oxygen and other nutrients in blood through the capillaries. It also helps to regulate the body temperature. The tiny nerve endings send message regarding the environmental condition to the brain. If there is too much cold, the brain signals the capillaries to contract in order to preserve heat around the vital organs. The capillaries constrict in order to reduce loss of heat, thus you may feel coldness in hands and feet.
- Wearing tight clothing during night can disrupt proper blood circulation to the extremities. This may cause constriction of the capillaries leading to feeling of cold limbs. You must therefore wear lose fitting clothes during sleeping.
- Cold feet and hands may be due to hypotension. It can occur at anytime, during day or night.
- People suffering from diabetes may feel cold sensation at night in their limbs. The peripheral nerves of hands and feet are often affected in diabetic patients.
- People suffering from iron deficiency anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency may experience cold feet and hands. Lack of iron means lack of hemoglobin and low saturation of oxygen with reduced nutrients in the blood. All these factors cause increased sensitivity towards cold.
- Hypothyroidism is another important medical condition in which patient often feels cold extremities at night. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder in which there is imbalance of hormones produced by thyroid gland.
- Cold limbs in women occur due to estrogen fluctuation. Women during their menopausal phase often feel this unusual sensation in their limbs, especially during night.
- Reynaud’s disease cause reduced blood flow to hands and feet. Cold temperature and stress often trigger this symptom in people suffering from this condition. Besides coldness, other characteristic symptoms are discoloration of fingers and toes. The discoloration is momentary and it is caused due to spasm of the vessels. Hence there is decrease in blood supply to the extremities.