Can Hearing Loss be Affected by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Particularly when it occurs frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s right, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will impact 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 known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these little hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These little hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they sleep. For people in this category, that amount of silence can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Any kind 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 good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you start the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.

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!

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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