Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not 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 worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative impact on your general health.

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

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a significant amount of research that indicates 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 recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. Feeling stressed and anxious will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with fragile little hairs known as stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound happens and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t functioning correctly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation issues persist, the worse 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 sleeping? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For individuals in this group, that amount of quiet can make it very hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. Following other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Try to avoid drinking 2 hours before you go to bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to limit the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with some excess energy. Being active every day can help.

Take care of your hearing health

You can still manage your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, make an appointment with us 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.