Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative affect on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t exactly 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?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes harder for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the renewing power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the worse the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality 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 at night. It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. This includes soda too.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great plan.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before going to bed: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: 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.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Schedule 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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