Sleep is important. There’s a disagreeable feeling to waking up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t help. So you were aghast when your loss of hearing started to make you lose sleep.
Understandably so. But there’s a little something that can help, thankfully: a hearing aid. It’s feasible that these small devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to recent surveys.
How is Sleep Affected by Hearing Loss?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than usual, fighting fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these problems began about the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
It’s not your imagination come to find. There is a well-documented link between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the exact sources aren’t completely clear. There are, naturally, a couple of theories:
- Loss of hearing is related to depression, and your sleep cycle can be interrupted by chemical imbalances caused by depression. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult.
- As you develop loss of hearing, your brain starts straining, it’s searching for inputs from your ears where there isn’t. Your entire cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime attempting to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get the brain to stop).
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Using Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid users reported feeling fulfilled with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If your hearing is totally healthy, wearing hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can address a number of problems that may be contributing to your insomnia:
- Strain: The burden on your brain will essentially lessened by wearing hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t always straining to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to keep straining while you’re trying to sleep.
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide a practical way of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can assist you to get to sleep by stopping that vicious cycle.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social group when you’re out on the town. Relationships become less difficult when you use hearing aids (sleep cycle issues that result in “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
Getting Better Quality Sleep With Hearing Aids
It’s not just the number of hours that’s important here. How deep you sleep is as essential as how many hours you sleep. Loss of hearing can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can increase your ability to achieve restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s important to mention that hearing aids are not normally meant to be used while you sleep. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re sleeping (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for example). And, after a while, wearing your hearing aids at night can diminish their performance. You get deeper sleep if you wear them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by sufficient sleep. Proper sleep habits have even been connected to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your hearing loss, the problem becomes more than aggravating, insomnia can frequently become a serious health concern. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.