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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. Especially when it happens regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your overall health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

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

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious 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 delicate little hairs called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t working correctly, 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. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s certainly possible. 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 in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

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

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Avoid screens for at least 60 minutes before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Screens have a tendency to activate your brain
  • Get some exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily will be really helpful.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda also.

Care for 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 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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