Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, over time, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a significant amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

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

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

When your circulatory system is not functioning properly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to 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 anxious about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. This includes soda as well.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before you go to bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with some excess energy. Being active every day can help.

Take care of your hearing health

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

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.