Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing 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 connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So how is that connected to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound occurs and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the worse the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

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

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • 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 also.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: 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.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

You can still manage your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

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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