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 happens frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. 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 influence on your overall health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes harder for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the renewing power of a good night’s sleep.

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

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These little hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse 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! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a good 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 at night. It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you start the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great idea.
  • Exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.

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.

Make 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.