Sleep is valuable. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you wake up groggy and cranky, an uncomfortable feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So when your hearing loss began causing you to have insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s understandable. The good news is, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. Based on the newest surveys and research, these little devices can probably help you sleep sounder.
How Does Hearing Loss Impact Sleep?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, battling fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these problems started about the same time you also started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. There is a well-documented relationship between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t exactly clear. There are, of course, a couple of theories:
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear ringing, thumping, and humming and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can make your tinnitus symptoms worse).
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your entire cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid users reported feeling fulfilled with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If your hearing is totally healthy, using hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage numerous concerns that could be contributing to your insomnia:
- Isolation: Your not so likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can connect with people in your social network when you’re out and about. Hearing aids make building relationships smoother (sleep cycle problems that result in “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be a practical treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
- Strain: The damage on your brain will effectively decreased by using hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t constantly straining to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to continue that practice when you’re attempting to sleep.
Getting Better Quality Sleep With Hearing Aids
It’s not just how many hours you sleep that’s important here. In order for your sleep to be actually rejuvenating, it’s important that you achieve a certain degree to your z’s. Hearing aids can increase your ability to get a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will benefit your sleep but it’s worthwhile to mention that hearing aids are not typically designed to be worn while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (you won’t be capable of hearing your alarm clock better, for instance). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out faster if you use them during the night. It’s using them during the day that helps you achieve better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, lessen stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can frequently cause serious health concerns. Thankfully, most surveys report that people with hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.