This is why your legs fall asleep when you’re on the toilet

This is why your legs fall asleep when you’re on the toilet

Written by Caleb Johnson

Pooping can be a demanding task at the best of times. We all have our ceremonial preferences of what reading material to use (63% of us), whether the toilet paper hangs under or over the roll (70% choose over), or whether we like to have our feet on the cushiony bathmat or the cooling bathroom tiles. But in all this kerfuffle, we can get to the end of our digestive rites and realise the worst of our nightmares have come to life– our legs have gone dead.  

When we finally thought our search history couldn’t get any weirder, here we are, wondering why our legs sometimes go dead when we’re on the toilet. Will it get weirder? Most likely. 

Luckily, due to our inquisitive nature and knack for the bum-known, we have scientific answers on hand. Let’s jump into it.  

Why do your legs fall asleep on the toilet? 

When your legs go dead going number 2s, you can blame it on 2 main things! 

You need to work on the perfect poop posture 

Bad posture when we take to the soiling seat can be due to many reasons. The big one? Hunching over to use your phone or read. We’re looking at you, Patty. Level 1,682 in the chocolate forest on Candy Crush ain’t looking so pretty now, is it? 



All jokes aside, when we hunch over on the toilet, the blood flow to our pelvis is constricted. This limits the circulation in our legs, feet and toes. It also kinks your colon, making it more difficult to poop which also adds to the circulation issue. 

Find out the best position to poop in this video tutorial 

You’re pushing too hard on the toilet 

Let’s think of it this way. You’re in a traffic jam, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, do you just go all pedal to the metal, drive into the car in front of you and hope it pushes everyone along? You wouldn’t dream of it! 

It’s no different when you’re trying to poop, and like the above, can only end in disaster. 

When we strain on the toilet by trying to push everything out with all our might, we can end up spiking pressure in the abdomen and spinal column. 

Dr. Karen Bisesi, Doctor of Chiropractic at Indy Sports Chiro says, "Sometimes that rise in pressure will cause the discs in your spine to move against the nerves where they exit the spine and cause numbness, weakness, and a generally weird feeling down the legs.” So, let’s try and keep the tension off our backsides when we hit the pot. 

We don’t only risk tingly legs when we do this, we could even be visited by the ghost of haemorrhoids past, present and future. Ask someone that’s pushed out a hemmy whether they’d recommend straining on the loo. We can almost guarantee we know what their answer will be.  

Want to learn more about haemorrhoids from a colorectal surgeon? Read our blog on the matter! 

Is it bad if your legs go dead on the toilet? 

Getting a little tingle here and there when you’re on the toilet is nothing to worry about. The universe will balance itself if you focus on your poo-sture and relax on the pushing. However, if you’re not wary, the curse of the dead leg can send you crashing to the floor when you try to stand up. 

If you experience persistent numbness, weakness, or burning sensation below the waist, you may have a condition that requires treatment. Don’t worry, just go and have a chat with your GP. 

Bottom line: if your legs and feet only feel weird when you’re on the toilet, you’re probably in the clear. 

How do I stop my legs going numb on the toilet 

Now we know WHY our legs can fall asleep, let’s look into what we can do to stop it from happening. There are a few ways to keep those fuzzy feelings away from your legs, and as with many things, prevention is king! 

Switch up your position! 

If you start to feel even the slightest sensation of pins and needles, you can counteract it by simply jigging your position on the seat and that should prevent the blood flow from being restricted to your legs. Now, we’re not talking about something crazy like toilet yoga here...but maybe we are. 



This could be the start of a journey towards illumination, now don’t say we’re not helping you open your chakras! 

Faff off the toilet! 

Studies show that the average bowel movement takes 10 seconds to 1 minute, but it’s not unusual for it to take longer. So, what do we spend all that time on the loo faffing about with?  

Well, the average social media video is 30-90 seconds, so throw a couple of those in, if you’re a reader, we’re talking about a minute per page. Another thing that can take time is wiping.  


If we’ve not finished our bowel movement properly, or maybe we’ve had little bit of a messy one, wiping can take more time. Making sure we get enough fibre, give ourselves enough time to finish up properly, and use something (like Wype) that effectively cleans, we can stop faffing on the loo and get on with our days! 

To avoid straining, you should aim to spend no longer than 10 minutes on the toilet. This will, in turn, prevent numbness in the legs, haemorrhoids and small tears on the anus. 

If you’re struggling with an episode of constipation, why not try these natural stool softener recipes? 

Make pooping pleasurable again 

Pins and needles on the loo can be a killjoy, but once we’ve fixed the issue by following the above solutions, the cracks can start to show on another toilet time discomfort, dry toilet paper. Afterall, as much as we’d love to believe it keeps us clean, it can just end up smearing the mess around.  

Join the revo-loo-tion and take the cleansing power of your toilet paper to the next level with Wype. A genuinely flushable, soothing and moisturising alternative to wet wipes. 

Try the Starter Kit here! 


  • Patty, Chocolate Forest, Candy Crush

    Very informative and love the humour. Now let me get back to level 1682 ☺️

  • Carol Bell

    I love how you explain all things toilet – y in a fun way. You don’t fight shy of saying it as it is and that makes the information given much more “human” and not scientific. Keep these “down-to-Earth” bits of information coming!

  • Susan Fletcher

    Very helpful thank you

  • June

    Such good public health messages delivered in a fun down to earth way

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