Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it happens frequnetly, it’s especially 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 kind of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the drawbacks of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, over time, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your overall health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. This isn’t generally a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be impacted by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can affect your cardiovascular system. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious are not only states of mind, they’re physiological states, as well.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs called stereocilia. These delicate hairs vibrate when sound happens and the information gets sent to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These tiny hairs have a difficult time remaining healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some situations, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type 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 getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Many individuals favor a little background sound 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 could 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 during the day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you’re not wearing them). Following other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink at night. This includes soda too.
  • Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before bed: (Actually, the longer the better.) Screens tend to activate your brain
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to abstain from liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is much better.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For instance, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some extra energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise daily can really be helpful.

Be aware of the health of your hearing

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-related symptoms before, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

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