Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this kind of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general 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 link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a considerable amount of research that suggests insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

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

So how is that related to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning correctly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the worse the damage will be.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For individuals in this group, that amount of quiet can make it really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (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? 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 implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise daily will be really helpful.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.

Take care of 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 controlled.

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.

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