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 stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to add up and can, over time, have a negative affect on your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a link there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly affect your hearing? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long time period. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the renewing power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Feeling anxious and stressed 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. When waves of sound vibrate these little 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 instances, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently 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! Hearing loss can make the world very quiet, and some people like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For people in this category, that amount of silence can make it really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Any amount of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

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 every day because you won’t be wearing them at night. It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • Avoid drinking 2 hours before bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to limit the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great idea.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing test 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.