Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of chronic sleeplessness “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 impacted by insomnia! This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

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

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, also.

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 sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system is not working properly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many people prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how do you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • 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 better to sleep right through the night.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda also.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It may not be possible to remove every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain

Take care of your hearing health

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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.