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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long period of time. 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. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, as well.

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

When your circulatory system is not functioning correctly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues continue, 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 getting a good night’s sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they sleep. For people in this category, that amount of quiet can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how do you get a good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them at night. It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a good night’s sleep

  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with some extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.

Care for your hearing health

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

Schedule 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.
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