Man with hearing loss sleeping better because he has hearing aids.

Sleep is critical. If you don’t get a full, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up cranky and groggy, an uncomfortable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So when your loss of hearing began causing insomnia, you were aghast.

And that’s understandable. The good news is, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. Based on recent surveys and research, these small devices can most likely help you sleep better.

How is Sleep Affected by Loss of Hearing?

Recently, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, battling fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these issues started about the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming hard to hear.

It’s not your imagination as it turns out. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing frequently have a hard time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. Some theories have been put forward:

  • Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
  • As you develop hearing loss, your brain begins straining, it’s looking for stimulus from your ears where there isn’t. Your entire cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime attempting to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
  • Loss of hearing is linked to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances caused by depression. As a result of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult.

Can Your Sleep be Improved by Wearing Hearing Aids?

According to one study, 44% of people with loss of hearing who don’t wear hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?

well, not really. If you don’t suffer from loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.

But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids could help in multiple critical ways:

  • Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide a reliable method of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can assist you to get some sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
  • Isolation: If you’re out and about, hooking up with the people in your social sphere, you’re not so likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships are easier when you use hearing aids (this can also diminish “cabin fever”-related sleep cycle issues).
  • Strain: The damage on your brain will effectively decreased by wearing hearing aids. And your brain won’t be as likely to strain while falling asleep if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.

Achieving a Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids

When it comes to sleep, the number of hours isn’t the only consideration. How deep you sleep is as essential as the number of hours. Hearing loss can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can improve your ability to achieve restful sleep.

Wearing your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s significant to mention that hearing aids are not normally designed to be worn at night. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help you hear better (for instance, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And, over time, using your hearing aids at night can lessen their performance. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you get better sleep.

Go to Bed!

Getting a good night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Adequate sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Balanced sleep habits have even been linked to reduced risks for heart disease and diabetes.

When your hearing loss begins to affect your sleep schedule, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can often become a real health issue. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep with hearing aids.

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