Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing health. That’s correct, 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 your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? There’s a considerable amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult 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.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound occurs and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you 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. For people in this group, that amount of quiet can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • 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 initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom is not a great plan.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily will be really helpful.

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 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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