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. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s particularly vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how fatigued you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the downsides of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, after a while, have a negative influence on your general health.

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

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the relationship between hearing loss and sleep be? According to considerable research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long period of time. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, as well.

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

When your circulatory system is not working properly, these hairs have a hard time remaining healthy. These hairs can, in some cases, be irreversibly damaged. Damage of this kind is permanent. This can lead to permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it persists.

Does it also work the other way around?

If insomnia can affect your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s absolutely possible. Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of noise when they try to sleep. For people in this category, that amount of quiet can make it very hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

So how can you get a quality night’s sleep with hearing loss? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Avoid using alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be disrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Stop 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 a couple of hours before bed, try to avoid liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed: (Even longer if possible!) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: It may not be possible to eliminate every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to unwind is critical. Do something relaxing before you go to bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with a bit of extra energy. Being active every day can be helpful.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

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

If you’re worried about your hearing, make 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.