Sleep is valuable. There’s a disagreeable feeling to getting up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s justifiable. Luckily, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. Based upon the most recent surveys and research, these small devices can most likely help you sleep sounder.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than usual, battling fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these problems started around the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
It’s not your imagination come to find. It’s well documented that people who have loss of hearing frequently have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. There are, of course, some theories:
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can cause you to lose sleep. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Loss of hearing is related to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that disturb your sleep cycle. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult.
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get input that isn’t there. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your whole cycle could be disrupted (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to stop).
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Using Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not quite. If your hearing is totally normal, wearing hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can address numerous problems that may be worsening your insomnia:
- Tinnitus: Dependent on the nature and cause of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide an effective method of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
- Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially lessen the demand on your brain. And when your brain isn’t constantly struggling to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to keep straining while you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, interacting with the people in your social sphere, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Hearing aids make maintaining relationships easier (sleep cycle problems that cause “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
Getting Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
With regards to sleep, the amount of hours isn’t the only thing to consider. Depth of sleep is as relevant as how many hours you sleep. Hearing aids can improve your ability to get a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s worthwhile to mention that hearing aids are not normally designed to be worn while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help your hearing (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock better). And, over time, using your hearing aids at night can decrease their effectiveness. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be enhanced by ample sleep. Proper sleep habits have even been linked to lower risks for heart disease and diabetes.
When your loss of hearing begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can frequently cause serious health concerns. Luckily, people report having better quality sleep with hearing aids.