Hearcare  INC., & Associates - Sherman & Gainesville, TX

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Particularly when it happens frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative affect on 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. This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can impact your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative 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 stressed and anxious will affect 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 waves of sound vibrate these little hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • Before you go to bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-associated symptoms before, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, set up an appointment with us 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.
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