Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Particularly when it occurs frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a substantial amount of research that indicates insomnia, over a long enough period, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound occurs and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system is not functioning properly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s certainly possible. Many people prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some recommendations for a quality night’s sleep

  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is essential. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day will really be helpful.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda also.
  • Try to avoid drinking 2 hours before bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam today!

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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.