Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Especially when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact 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 connection there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes more difficult for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the regenerative 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, as well.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the worse the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the environment 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 very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Try to avoid drinking a couple of hours before you go to bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. This includes soda also.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-associated symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, schedule 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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