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Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

Sleepless nights are no fun. Especially when it occurs regularly. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how exhausted you’ll be the next day. Medical professionals call this kind of persistent sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then start to compound and can, after a while, have a negative impact on your general health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your general health. That’s correct, insomnia can have an affect on your ability to hear. Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect situation, there’s still a connection there.

Can lack of sleep affect your hearing?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? According to significant research, your cardiovascular system can be impacted by insomnia over a long time period. 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 stress and anxiety. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only states of mind, they’re physiological states, too.

So how is that relevant to hearing loss? Your ears work because they’re filled with delicate little hairs known as stereocilia. When waves of sound vibrate these little hairs, signals are sent to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

When your circulatory system is not functioning correctly, these hairs have a difficult time thriving. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. This can result in 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? It’s absolutely possible. Many individuals prefer a little background sound when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world very quiet. For individuals in this category, that amount of quiet can make it really hard to get a quality night’s sleep. Any kind of hearing loss anxiety (for instance, if you’re worried about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a quality night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be reduced 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 quality night’s sleep

  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities other than sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to keep it that way. For instance, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Find ways to relieve stress: Get away from work and do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try to avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before bed: Each time you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you start the wake up process. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Avoid screens for at least 60 minutes before going to bed: (Really, the longer the better.) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Get some exercise regularly: You may go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Being active every day can help.

Take care of your hearing health

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

Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam 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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