Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that indicates insomnia, over a long enough period, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also be helpful if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom is not a great plan.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. This includes soda also.
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-related symptoms before, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

If you’re worried about your hearing, set up an appointment with us today.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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