Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Particularly when it occurs frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system is not functioning correctly, these hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, 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?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Many individuals prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be reduced by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Try to avoid drinking 2 hours before bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily will be really helpful.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Before bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your existing sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.

Care for your hearing health

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-related symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

Make 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.

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