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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it happens regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these types of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t necessarily 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?

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

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, too.

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

These little hairs have a hard time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? Yes, it can! Many individuals favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for instance, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try to avoid drinking 2 hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.
  • 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.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least 60 minutes before bed: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain has a tendency to be activated by looking at screens.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

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