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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it happens frequnetly, it’s especially vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, over time, have a negative impact on your overall health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing health. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a substantial amount of research that indicates 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.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only mental states, they’re physiological states, also.

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system is not functioning properly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. These hairs can, in some instances, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It might not be possible to remove every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you start the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.

Take care of your hearing health

You can still control your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

Make an appointment for a hearing test 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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