Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

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, checking the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. That’s right, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that indicates insomnia, over a long enough period, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly renewing 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 does hearing loss play into that? 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 sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning correctly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues persist, 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. Many individuals prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. For individuals in this group, that amount of quiet can make it very hard to get a good night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how do you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda too.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with some extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

If you’re concerned 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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