Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. Particularly when it occurs 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. When these types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. That’s right, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that connected to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some individuals 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. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

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 while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Getting enough exercise daily can really be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking 2 hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda too.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test today!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.