Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. Especially when it happens frequently. 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 happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative affect on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, also.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted 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. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how do you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • For at least 60 minutes, abstain from looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some excess energy. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.

Take care of your hearing health

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

If you’re worried about your hearing, schedule 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.