Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. 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 fatigued you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this sort of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! This isn’t necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

These little hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re worried 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 at night. Following other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • 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 every day will really be helpful.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after noon: 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.
  • Find ways to alleviate 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.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain

Care for your hearing health

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

If you’re concerned about your hearing, schedule an appointment with us 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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