Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs frequently. You toss and turn and maybe stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of persistent insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall 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 connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a considerable amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can impact your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to circulate into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the regenerative power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in stress and anxiety. Feeling anxious and stressed will affect you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a hard time thriving. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s absolutely possible. Many people favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world really 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.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help reduce stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Exercise regularly: You could go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day will really be helpful.
  • Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom is not a very good idea.
  • Try to de-stress as much as you can: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is essential. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you initiate the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.

Pay attention to 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.

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.