Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

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

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound occurs and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, 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 worse 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 sleeping? It’s definitely possible. Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a good 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 be helpful if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some excess energy. Getting enough exercise daily will really be helpful.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Avoid drinking a couple of hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda as well.
  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to activate your brain

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

If you’re worried about your hearing, make 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.