Where What's Best For Each Patient Comes First

Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative impact on your overall health.

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

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes harder for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the regenerative power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. Being stressed and anxious are not only mental states, they’re physiological states, also.

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

When your circulatory system is not functioning properly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the worse the damage will be.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s absolutely possible. Many individuals favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. For individuals in this group, that amount of silence can make it very hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids every 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 quality night’s sleep

  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • For at least a couple of 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. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. This includes soda also.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day will be really helpful.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain

Take care of your hearing health

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-related symptoms before, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test 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.