Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it happens on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, over time, have a negative affect 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 might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly restorative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. Feeling anxious and stressed 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 called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound happens and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they sleep. For people in this group, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can be really helpful.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. This includes soda too.

Take care of your hearing health

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

If you’re concerned about your hearing, schedule 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.