Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected 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 lack of sleep impact your hearing?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant 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.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Feeling stressed and anxious 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. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning properly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they sleep. For people in this group, that amount of quiet can make it very difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

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 recommendations for a good night’s sleep

  • Find ways to relieve stress: 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 bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.

Care for your hearing health

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

If you’re worried about your hearing, schedule 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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