Does Insomnia Affect Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s no fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Particularly when it occurs regularly. You lie awake tossing and turning, looking at the time again and again, and stressing about how exhausted you will be tomorrow. When these kinds of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the label “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will add up, 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 link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can lack of sleep impact 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. It becomes more difficult for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you don’t get the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Insomnia also means an increase in anxiety and stress. Being stressed and anxious are not only states of mind, they’re physiological states, also.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are little hairs inside of your ears known as stereocilia. When sound waves vibrate these tiny hairs, signals are transmitted to your brain which translates these signals into sound.

These tiny hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. These hairs can, in some cases, be permanently damaged. And once that happens, your hearing will be permanently damaged. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation issues continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from sleeping? It’s certainly possible. Many people prefer a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world very quiet. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss may 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 quality night’s sleep? Wearing your hearing aids every 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 quality night’s sleep

  • Try not to utilize your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Your bedroom is for sleeping in, so try to maintain that habit. For example, don’t do work in your bedroom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you trouble sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before you go to bed: This will simply disrupt your existing sleep cycle.
  • For at least 1 hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you may end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Getting enough exercise daily can be really helpful.
  • For at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can initiate the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Care for your hearing health

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

Make an appointment for a hearing exam 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.