Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it happens regularly. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how tired you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted 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 lack of sleep impact your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the regenerative power of a good night’s sleep.

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

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are little hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. These delicate 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 hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? Yes, it can! Many individuals 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 anxiety (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep when you have 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 implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • 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 extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Care for your hearing health

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

If you’re concerned about your hearing, set up 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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