Hearing Services of Nashville

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Especially when it happens frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how fatigued you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, over time, have a negative influence on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! 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 relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a substantial amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the regenerative power of a good night’s sleep.

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

So how is that related to hearing loss? There are little hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. In some cases, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can cause 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 prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make your environment very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can in some cases prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • For at least 2 hours before bed, try to abstain from liquids: Every 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 not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. Working in your bedroom is not a great plan.
  • Exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.
  • Before you go to bed, avoid drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

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.
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