Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights aren’t any fun. Especially when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time over and over, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your general health” includes the health of your hearing. That’s correct, insomnia can have an impact on your ability to hear. This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. It becomes harder for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the renewing power of a good night’s sleep.

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

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

These little hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the outcome, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the worse the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? Yes, it can! Many people prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment really quiet. For individuals in this group, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss may cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a quality 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. Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. This includes soda also.
  • Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bed: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can be really helpful.
  • Maintain 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.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.

Be aware of 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.

If you’re worried about your hearing, schedule 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.

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