Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Particularly when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

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

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

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs 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 little hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

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? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it really 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? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to activate your brain
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Get some 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 extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.

Care for your hearing health

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-related 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.

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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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