Sleep is precious. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an undesirable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started to cause you to lose sleep.
And that’s understandable. But there’s a little something that can be of assistance, luckily: a hearing aid. Based upon the latest surveys and research, these little devices can probably help you sleep better.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, battling fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these problems began around the same time you also started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming hard to hear.
It’s not your imagination come to find. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing frequently have a hard time falling asleep, but precisely why is not really understood. There are, of course, a handful of theories:
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get input where there isn’t any. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your entire cycle could be disrupted (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and your sleep cycle can be interrupted by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can make your tinnitus symptoms worse).
Can Your Sleep be Helped by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not exactly. If your hearing is totally normal, using hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can target numerous problems that could be worsening your insomnia:
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social circle when you’re out on the town. Hearing aids make building relationships less difficult (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle problems).
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively reduce the strain on your brain. And when your brain isn’t always struggling to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to keep straining when you’re trying to sleep.
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide a reliable means of managing that ringing and buzzing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
Wearing Hearing Aids to Achieve a Better Night Sleep
It’s not just how many hours you sleep that’s relevant here. In order for your sleep to be really refreshing, it’s important that you reach a certain degree to your z’s. Hearing loss can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can increase your ability to get restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will improve your sleep but it’s worthwhile to note that hearing aids are not ordinarily designed to be worn while you sleep. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re in bed (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for example). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can diminish their performance. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your immune system, your stress levels, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by sufficient sleep. Healthy sleep habits have even been connected to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your loss of hearing begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can frequently result in serious health concerns. Fortunately, most surveys document that people who use hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.