Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general 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 may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

When your circulatory system is not working correctly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many individuals prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

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

Some tips for a quality night’s sleep

  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Before you go to bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-related symptoms before, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

If you’re worried about your hearing, set up an appointment with us 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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