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 maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. This isn’t exactly 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?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the reverse true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s definitely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. For individuals in this group, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

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). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 60 minutes before going to bed: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: 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 you go to bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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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