Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it occurs frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how tired you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this sort of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, after a while, have a negative impact on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a considerable amount of research that suggests insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

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

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are tiny 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.

When your circulatory system isn’t working correctly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. In some circumstances, 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 problems continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals 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 stress (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Try to avoid drinking a couple of hours before you go to bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It may not be possible to remove every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day will be really helpful.

Care for 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.

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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