Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it happens frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long period of time. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will impact 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. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many people prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really 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 stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some recommendations for a good night’s sleep

  • Find ways to alleviate stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda as well.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before you go to bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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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