Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Particularly when it happens frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t exactly 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 impact your hearing? There’s a substantial amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact 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 called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system is not working correctly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

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 really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? 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

  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Getting enough exercise daily can really be helpful.

Take care of your hearing health

You can still control 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.