Not having enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your health and well being. There’s an unpleasant feeling to getting up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s understandable. But there’s a little something that can help, fortunately: a hearing aid. According to recent surveys and research, these tiny devices can most likely help you sleep better.
How Does Loss of Hearing Affect Sleep?
Despite the fact that you feel fatigued all day and are completely drained by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a difficult time falling asleep. All of these issues started around the same time you also began to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming hard to hear.
Turns out, you’re not imagining things. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing often have a hard time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. There are, of course, some theories:
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear ringing, thumping, and humming and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can make your tinnitus symptoms worse).
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- As you develop loss of hearing, your brain begins straining, it’s searching for inputs from your ears where there isn’t. Your whole cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid users reported feeling satisfied with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So does that imply it’s safe to presume hearing assistance devices are also a kind of sleep aid?
Not exactly. If you don’t suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids may help in several important ways:
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, hooking up with the people in your social sphere, you’re not so likely to feel depressed and isolated. Hearing aids make building relationships smoother (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle troubles).
- Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially reduce the demand on your brain. And your brain will be less likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
- Tinnitus: Dependent on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide an effective means of managing that ringing and buzzing. This can help you get to sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
Getting Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
It isn’t just how many hours you sleep that’s important here. Depth of sleep is as relevant as the number of hours. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to achieve a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
It’s significant to note that even though they’ll help benefit your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not intended to be used overnight. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help you hear better (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock better). And, after a while, wearing your hearing aids at night can lessen their efficiency. It’s using them during the day that helps you get deeper sleep.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is valuable. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be benefited by ample sleep. Balanced sleep habits have even been connected to lower risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disturbed by your loss of hearing, the issue becomes more than annoying, insomnia can often become a real health problem. Luckily, most surveys document that people who use hearing aids have better quality of sleep.