Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it occurs frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact 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 affect on your ability to hear. 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 impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only states of mind, they’re physiological states, as well.

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

These tiny hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s definitely possible. Many people prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. For people in this category, that amount of quiet can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss could 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 decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also be helpful if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda as well.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Being active every day can help.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.

Take care of your hearing health

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

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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