Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t necessarily 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 connection between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the regenerative power of a good night’s sleep.

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, also.

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound happens and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Many people prefer 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 difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed 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 reduced by wearing your hearing aids during the 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

  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great plan.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some excess energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Quit 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 as well.

Pay attention to 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 controlled.

If you’re worried 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.