Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. And when it happens frequnetly, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia may not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly recuperative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase when you have insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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 occurs 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 problems. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the consequences, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the reverse true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many people favor a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss could cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

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

Some guidelines for a quality night’s sleep

  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also falls into this category.
  • Get some 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 every day will be really helpful.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disturbed by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before you go to bed: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Care for your hearing health

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam 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.