Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. Especially when it happens regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, 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 link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a substantial 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 anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These little hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s absolutely possible. Many individuals prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. For individuals in this category, that amount of quiet can make it really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some tips for a quality night’s sleep

  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to remove every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Screens have a tendency to activate your brain
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

If you’re worried about your hearing, schedule an appointment with us 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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