Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the restorative power of a good night’s sleep.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that connected to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s certainly possible. Many people favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world 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.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda too.
  • Avoid screens for at least 60 minutes before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • Avoid drinking 2 hours before you go to bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. 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. Working in your bedroom is not a great plan.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can be really helpful.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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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