Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

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 over and over, and stressing about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this sort of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, maybe not surprisingly, “your general health” includes your hearing health. That’s right, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long period of time. It becomes harder for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the restorative 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 is that connected to hearing loss? There are tiny hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Many people favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

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 reduce stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

Some tips for a quality night’s sleep

  • Try to avoid drinking liquids 2 hours before bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • For at least an hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day can really be helpful.
  • Maintain your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great idea.
  • Before you go to bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

Even if you’ve 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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