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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Especially when it occurs regularly. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your general health.

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

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly restorative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, as well.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs called 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 working correctly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can result in permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, 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? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • 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.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink at night. Soda also fits into this category.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam 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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