Not having enough sleep can have a damaging effect on your health and vitality. There’s an unpleasant feeling to waking up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started making you lose sleep.
And that’s justifiable. But there’s a little something that can be of assistance, fortunately: a hearing aid. According to recent surveys and research, these small devices can probably help you sleep better.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, fighting fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these issues started around the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming hard to hear.
Turns out, you’re not imagining it. There is a well-documented connection between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t completely clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- As you develop hearing loss, your brain starts straining, it’s searching for stimulus from your ears where there isn’t. Your whole cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime attempting to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Loss of hearing is linked to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Tinnitus can make you hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid wearers reported feeling fulfilled with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not really. If you don’t suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage numerous concerns that could be contributing to your insomnia:
- Strain: The damage on your brain will essentially reduced by using hearing aids. And your brain won’t be as likely to strain while falling asleep if it isn’t struggling all of the rest of the time.
- Tinnitus: Depending on the nature and cause of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide a reliable way of treating that buzzing and ringing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, hooking up with the people in your social group, you’re less likely to feel depressed and isolated. Hearing aids make maintaining relationships smoother (sleep cycle problems that cause “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
Using Hearing Aids to Get a Better Night Sleep
It isn’t just how many hours you sleep that’s significant here. Depth of sleep is as essential as the number of hours. Loss of hearing can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can improve your ability to achieve restful sleep.
it should be pointed out that even though they’ll help better your sleep, most hearing aids are not meant to be used overnight. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help your hearing (you won’t be capable of hearing your alarm clock more clearly, for instance). And, as time passes, using your hearing aids at night can decrease their effectiveness. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you get better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be benefited by sufficient sleep. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, the problem becomes more than annoying, insomnia can frequently result in serious health concerns. Fortunately, most surveys report that people with hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.