Why Your Legs Fall Asleep on the Toilet and What to Do About It

When you are busy with your phone while relaxing your body over the toilet, have you ever noticed your legs falling asleep on the toilet? Here’s why it happens:

Being on a toilet requires a specific position that increases the pressure applied on your abdomen and spinal column during a bowel movement. This phenomenon constricts the blood flow to your leg and further on to your toes, causing your legs to fall asleep. This needle-like feeling is termed medically as “Feet Paresthesia.” 

There are multiple reasons for this condition. Uncomfortable or wrong posture on the toilet is one of them.

In this article, I’ll dive deep into the phenomena and discover how things work. I’ll also discuss what you can do to avoid sleeping legs every time on the toilet and make such situations easy for later times. 

Why Do Your Legs Fall Asleep on the Toilet?

There are multiple reasons. They range from the uncomfortable design of the toilet to the wrong position in general. Let’s go over each cause in-depth so that you can have a better experience the next time.

a man with constipation sitting on a toilet

#1 Pushing Too Hard

Sometimes, you’re experiencing hard pushes during bowel movements, resulting in extra pressure on your spinal column.

You feel weakness, numbness, and a tingling sensation as a result.

If you’re struggling with constipation, you’ll be forced to move out the poop. In such a condition, you might be sitting for an extended period in the toilet, causing unnecessary nerve compression.

#2 Poor Posture 

The common mistake that everyone makes in a restroom is the way they sit on the toilet.

The body is usually crouching forward, and your legs are hanging or resting on the floor. 

In this hunched posture, the body is in a forward-like position, which constricts the pelvis nerves.

The lack of blood gives you this feeling extending to your legs. As a result, once you’re over your business, you lose your balance when you try to get up. 

#3 An Inappropriate Toilet Design

Inappropriate toilet design forces you to sit with your knees below your hip level.

This elevation gives you no benefit but instead disturbs your bowel movement – this position completely blocks the colon and prevents you from relaxing.

fat woman using the toilet

#4 More Body Fat

If you’re struggling with your excess body weight, your legs would be more prone to falling asleep while sitting on the toilet.

What Causes the “Pin and Needles Sensation” in Your Feet?

The toilet position compresses your nerves and cuts off their blood supply temporarily. In response to the stimulus, the cells either become numb or produce a needle-like sensation in order to alert the brain. These pin and needle-like sensations are because of the neurological connection of the brain with all the cells around the body.

Cells are responsible for sending transmissions to your brain and are the reason why you feel pain when something is wrong within your body. The flow of blood constricts because of a specific position of the pelvic bone; the cells are then unable to continue their job. 

As a response, the cells give you an intense numbness and tingling feeling that makes you give up on your position and forcefully change it.

When the blood flow is back to normal in the blood vessels, the feeling gets intense, but moving your feet and changing the position helps you regain your balance. 

a man's legs fall asleep on the toilet
Image from DjCorey Dee

Is It a Dangerous Sign if Your Legs Fall Asleep on the Toilet?

It is normal to feel your legs asleep in the toilet and not a dangerous sign unless the sensation does not go away after a few minutes. If persistent numbness continues over a considerable time, you should consult your physician to stay on the safe side.

Temporary numbness is something that you can easily make through, and this wears off after a few minutes when you change your position or give space to your muscles to move. 

But if you don’t regain your balance or still experience the same sensations for a period, there are a few things you might have to worry about to maintain your health.

There are certain disorders connected to such symptoms. This list includes pinched nerves, neuropathy, and other such medical conditions. If this only lasts while you are on the toilet, you are good to go!

How to Avoid Your Legs Falling Asleep?

A healthy lifestyle and proper posture during your relaxing time on the toilet are crucial to a better overall experience. You can even try additional helping accessories like a toilet seat or cushion and step stool to ease yourself and enjoy your time!

a man using the toilet

#1 Changing Positions

It is common for cells and nerves to sleep in your lower extremities whenever you are sitting continuously in a specific place for a long time.

Try changing posture or only move your legs after every 4-5 minutes to avoid such numbness. 

#2 Avoid Hunched Position

Doctors recommend people sit upright and keep their knees higher than their hips.

This position will take you less time on the toilet as now you will be able to relax comfortably and pass stool without any effort. 

The logic behind this is the longer you will sit, the intenser sensation you will experience.

To avoid it, limit your time on the toilet in the correct position for a better experience next time. 

toilet cushions with different colors
Image from Top Star Gadget

#3 Use Toilet Cushions

Using cushioned seats provides elevation. At times the hard material of the toilet causes movement pressure onto the pelvis bone and nerves. 

This toilet seat can help solve the problem by improving blood circulation and reducing strain on the spinal column.

#4 Use Step Stool in Your Daily Toilet Routine

A better position can solve the problem of rectal and colon tissues and muscles.

Even when people know the correct way, they can’t keep up and maintain it. For such people, a step stool will be helpful. 


Summarizing the whole thing, you all would now know the exact reason for the numbness that you might feel in your legs while on the toilet. This sensation is normal, and there is no need to worry about it. 

You can even improve your time while resting through different means and toilet accessories that are easily accessible. 

But if you continue feeling the tingling and numbness even after changing your posture several times, you should consult your doctor for a safer end. 

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