Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it occurs frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then begin to add up and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long time period. It becomes harder for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the restorative power of a good night’s sleep.

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

So how is that connected to hearing loss? 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 hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the more significant the damage will be.

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 environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they sleep. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed 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 be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great idea.
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also falls into this category.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you start the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can be helpful.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

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.