Sleep is important. If you don’t get a complete, relaxing seven to eight hours of sleep, you wake up groggy and cranky, an uncomfortable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started to cause you to lose sleep.
And that’s understandable. Thankfully, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these small devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, battling fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these issues began around the same time you also started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming hard to hear.
Turns out, you’re not imagining things. There is a well-documented link between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t exactly clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input that isn’t there. Your entire cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get your brain to stop).
- Loss of hearing is linked to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that disturb your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Tinnitus can make you hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not really. If you don’t have loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can address a number of issues that might be worsening your insomnia:
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide an effective method of managing that buzzing and ringing. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
- Strain: The strain on your brain will essentially decreased by wearing hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t constantly straining to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to keep straining while you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social group when you’re out and about. Relationships get easier with hearing aids (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle issues).
Achieving a Better Quality Sleep With Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, the number of hours isn’t the only factor to consider. To be sure that your sleep can be actually rejuvenating, it’s important that you achieve a certain level to your z’s. Loss of hearing can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can enhance your ability to reach restful sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s important to mention that hearing aids are not ordinarily meant to be worn at night. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re sleeping (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for instance). And, after a while, wearing your hearing aids at night can decrease their effectiveness. You get deeper sleep if you wear them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Adequate sleep can keep your immune system in fighting shape, lessen stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Proper sleep habits have even been linked to reduced risks for heart disease and diabetes.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, the problem becomes more than irritating, insomnia can frequently result in serious health problems. Thankfully, people document having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.