Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it happens regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, after a while, have a negative impact on your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly restorative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this kind is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Many people prefer a little background noise 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. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (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 good night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens have a tendency to activate your brain
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great plan.
  • Before you go to bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda as well.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Make 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.

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