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 especially vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how fatigued you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, over time, have a negative impact on your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing 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 situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a considerable amount of research that suggests insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly renewing power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. When waves of sound 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 problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s certainly possible. Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For individuals in this group, that amount of silence can make it very difficult to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great idea.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily will really be helpful.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 60 minutes before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. Soda also fits into this category.

Be aware of 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 controlled.

If you’re worried about your hearing, set up 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.