Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. Particularly when it happens frequently. 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 types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

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

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

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are little hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound occurs and the information gets sent to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation problems persist, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they sleep. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit 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: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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.


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