Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Particularly when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only states of mind, they’re physiological states, too.

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

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

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some tips for a quality night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Being active every day can help.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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.