Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Particularly when it happens regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

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

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a substantial amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly restorative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

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

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs known as stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system is not working correctly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For people in this group, that amount of silence can make it really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before bed: Every 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: Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • 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. This includes soda as well.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.

Care for your hearing health

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

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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