Hearing Health Blog

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, over time, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s right, insomnia can have an impact 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 lack of sleep affect your hearing?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, also.

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are little hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these little hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the worse the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids every 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

  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • 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. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • For at least 60 minutes, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Screens have a tendency to activate your brain
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. Soda also falls into this category.

Care for your hearing health

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-related symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

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

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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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