Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, over time, have a negative influence on your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted 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 affected by lack of sleep?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with 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 fragile little hairs called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system is not working properly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s certainly possible. Many people prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment very quiet. For people in this category, that amount of silence can make it very difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Find ways to alleviate stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with some extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom is not a very good plan.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 60 minutes before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing test 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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