Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it happens on a regular basis, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your overall health.

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

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a considerable amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly renewing 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 stressed and anxious will affect 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 known as 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 isn’t working properly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the reverse true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Many individuals prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased 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 tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Being active every day can help.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. This includes soda too.
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.

Care for your hearing health

You can still control your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test 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.