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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are little hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the reverse true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? It’s certainly possible. Many individuals favor 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. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

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 every day because you won’t be wearing them while you sleep. It can also be helpful if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain has a tendency to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-associated symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

Schedule an appointment for a hearing test today!

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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.