Not having enough sleep can have a damaging impact on your health and well being. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an undesirable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So you were aghast when your loss of hearing started to make you lose sleep.
And that’s justifiable. But there’s a little something that can be of assistance, fortunately: a hearing aid. It’s feasible that these little devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Hearing Loss?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, dealing with fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these issues started around the same time you also started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming hard to hear.
It’s not your imagination come to find. There is a well-documented relationship between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t exactly clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus that isn’t there. Your whole cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get the brain to shut off).
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping sounds in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also cause your tinnitus to get worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Hearing loss is linked to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of people with loss of hearing who don’t wear hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not quite. If you don’t have loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can target several issues that could be worsening your insomnia:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively reduce the demand on your brain. And your brain won’t be as likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be an effective treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help you get to sleep by stopping that vicious cycle.
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, hooking up with the people in your social sphere, you’re less likely to feel depressed and isolated. Hearing aids make retaining relationships smoother (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-related sleep cycle issues).
Using Hearing Aids to Get a Better Quality Sleep
In terms of sleep, the number of hours isn’t the only consideration. In order for your sleep to be really rejuvenating, you need to obtain a targeted depth to your z’s. Loss of hearing can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can improve your ability to get restful sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will improve your sleep but it’s important to note that hearing aids are not ordinarily designed to be used while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock better, for instance). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out faster if you use them during the night. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Adequate sleep can keep your immune system in fighting shape, lessen stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Balanced sleep habits have even been linked to lower risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your hearing loss, the problem becomes more than irritating, insomnia can often lead to serious health problems. Thankfully, most surveys report that people who use hearing aids have better quality of sleep.