Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Particularly when it occurs frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a link there.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a considerable amount of research that suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Anxiety and stress also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

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

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Stop drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. This includes soda too.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily will really be helpful.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test 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.