Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative 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? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system is not working correctly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this kind 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 make you lose sleep? It’s certainly possible. Many people favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. For people in this group, that amount of silence can make it really difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also be helpful if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda as well.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

If you’re concerned about your hearing, make 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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