Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Particularly when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a link there.

Can lack of sleep impact your hearing?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long time period. 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 affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the more significant the damage will be.

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 absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the world really quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For people in this group, that amount of quiet can make it very hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (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 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 at night. It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with some excess energy. Being active every day can help.
  • Stop 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.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • For at least a couple of 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 much better.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam 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.