Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Can Hearing Loss be Impacted by Insomnia?

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Loss Articles

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you’re unable to sleep at night. Especially when it occurs regularly. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and worry about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these types of sleepless nights routinely happen, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, after a while, have a negative impact on your general health.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, “your overall health” includes the health of your hearing. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! Though the relationship between hearing loss and insomnia might not be a cause-and-effect scenario, there’s still a connection there.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

How could loss of sleep possibly impact your hearing? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be influenced by insomnia over a long period of time. Without the nightly renewing power of sleep, it’s harder for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Being stressed and anxious aren’t only mental states, they’re physiological states, also.

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 takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then converts 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. And once that takes place, your hearing will be irrevocably damaged. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

If insomnia can impact your hearing health, can hearing loss stop you from getting a good night’s sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some individuals like a little bit of sound when they try to sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Another way that hearing loss might 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? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Following other sleep-health tips can also help.

Some recommendations for a good night’s sleep

  • Find ways to reduce stress: Get away from work and do something soothing before bed.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. For example, don’t work in your bedroom.
  • Quit drinking caffeine after noon: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you up at night if you drink it late enough. Soda also fits into this category.
  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Really, the longer the better.) Your brain tends to be activated by looking at screens.
  • Get some exercise regularly: You might go to bed with some excess energy if you don’t get enough exercise. Getting enough exercise every day will really be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s better to sleep right through the night.
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.

Pay attention to the health of your hearing

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

Make an appointment for a hearing test 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.

Questions? Talk To Us.