Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it happens on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how fatigued you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact on your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! This isn’t necessarily 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?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly regenerative 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 impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning properly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse 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? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes 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? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get 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
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.

Care for your hearing health

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-related symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

If you’re worried about your hearing, schedule 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.

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