Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. And when it happens frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your overall health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. That’s correct, 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 link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

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

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These little hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s definitely possible. Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • Try to avoid drinking a couple of hours before bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

If you’re concerned about your hearing, set up an appointment with us 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.