Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative influence on your general health.

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

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These little hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the more significant 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 getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Many people favor a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

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 at night. It can also be helpful if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Stop drinking 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.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom is not a great idea.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Each 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.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to remove every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test 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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