Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it happens on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this type of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, negatively impacting your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes your hearing health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected 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 significant amount of research that indicates insomnia, over time, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to flow 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. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? There are little hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts those vibrations into sounds.

When your circulatory system isn’t working properly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. In some instances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. And once that takes place, your hearing will be permanently damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment very quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For people in this category, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a good night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar impact.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). It can also help if you implement some other sleep-health tips.

How to get a quality night’s sleep

  • Quit drinking caffeine after midday: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you difficulty sleeping. This includes soda too.
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise daily will be really helpful.
  • Before you go to bed, refrain from drinking alcohol: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before going to bed: (Even longer if you can!) Screens tend to stimulate your brain
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • For at least a couple of hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Every time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you begin the wake up process. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

You can still manage your symptoms even if you have hearing loss along with some insomnia.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, schedule an appointment with us 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.