Can Hearing Loss be Affected 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 on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a considerable amount of research that indicates insomnia, over a long enough period, can impact your cardiovascular system. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the renewing power of a good night’s sleep.

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

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

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Following other sleep-health tips can also help.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep

  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: 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.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda also.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with some excess energy. Being active every day can help.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test 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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