Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. 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 negatives of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact on 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 affect your hearing?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? 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 circulate 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 when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

These little hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some recommendations for a good night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.

Take care of your hearing health

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

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

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.

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