Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it happens on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how fatigued you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as 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 correctly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

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

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some extra energy. Being active every day can help.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before going to bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.

Care for your hearing health

You can still control your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

Make an appointment for a hearing test 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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