Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Particularly when it happens regularly. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t generally 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 suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can impact 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.

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 delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. When waves of sound 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. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? It’s definitely possible. Many individuals favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really quiet. For people in this group, that amount of quiet can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself anxious about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids during the day can help minimize stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you follow some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Find ways to reduce stress: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day will be really helpful.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: 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.
  • For at least 60 minutes, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.

Take care of your hearing health

You can still manage 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.