Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it happens frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

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. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the restorative power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. 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 called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning correctly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many people prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. For individuals in this category, that amount of quiet can make it very hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a quality 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. Following other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda as well.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.

Care for your hearing health

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-associated symptoms in the past, 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.

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.