Clenching Fists While Sleeping - Causes & Tips
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Reasons and tips about clenching fists in sleep

Reasons and tips about clenching fists in sleep

Always clenching fists in sleep

The behavior of clenching fists in sleep is very common. Some will find themselves awakened in the morning with nail marks on their palms, and some will notice their partners tightly clenching their fists all through the night.

Although this minor issue won't bring too much danger to health, it can be regarded as a sign of some deeper problems, such as emotional tension, accumulated stress and fatigue, or over-expressions in dreams.

So how can this behavior be effectively addressed? Read on for more details.

*Due to the scientific research are not sufficient to provide some general conclusions, please read the details based on personal circumstances to understand well about clenching fists in sleep.

Various reasons

①Biological reasons

Biological reasons
  • Your brain may be still active during sleep, and some reflexes and instincts may take charge of your action, including clenching fists.
  • In fact, your body is divided into different parts of muscle and if your fingers and hands muscles get a contraction or a twitch, the clenching will happen.
  • Sometimes your body(hands) will keep tight due to the heavy daytime working and the accumulation of fatigue.

②Emotional reasons

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Vladimir Zhivotov, a therapist who has worked in medicine for over 27 years, explained the emotional reasons to his subscribers in VK on 22/9/2021.

"Clenching fists in sleep, just like grinding teeth at night, is a sign of excessive emotional, and as a consequence, physical tension. This can happen when a person does not resolve conflicts on the spot but accumulates anger and aggression in himself, and this goes into the subconscious. In sleep the brain tries to release this tension somehow: to get rid of those hormones that were released at the moment of stress into the blood, to work them off somehow. As a result of such muscle tension, it partially succeeds in doing so. But this is only a temporary relief."

As he explained, an excessive buildup of emotions will let you involuntarily clench fists in sleep - either negative emotions or excessive joy will make clenching fists happen.

③About dreams

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In different dreams, clenching fists will mean different things. Normally interpreting these two common views - fear and anger will help you find out the reasons for clenching fists.

  • Fear: It's easy to realize that you clench your fists due to the fear or the need for protection and it may be related to the dangers and worries in your real life.
  • Anger: Clenching fists in a dream of anger 、upset feeling is very very common and it has a strong relationship with disappointment in reality.


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Stop clenching fists is not a difficult thing. Check the advice from a senior psychiatrist Evgeny Gennadyevich Arshinov.
"In any case, you need to go out sometimes, leave yourself alone, take a walk, in the evening or the morning, breathe the air, pay attention to your breathing, look at the people around you and the reality, pay attention to the range of colors (this is called "grounding"), feel the body, legs, feet (whether your shoes are comfortable, whether your clothes fit comfortably), in this way it will allow you to return to the body, to the here and now."
-in b17 psychological forum, 6/7/2018
Besides, a cozy sleeping environment is also an effective way to relieve stress and relax. Welcome to browse our product list and choose the right mattresses, pillows, and beddings, to create a cozy bedroom, easy to sleep and no more stress and clenching fists.