Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, OK

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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 happens frequently. You lie awake tossing and turning, checking the time again and again, and worrying about how tired you will be tomorrow. Medical professionals call this kind of chronic sleeplessness “insomnia”. With insomnia, the negatives of not sleeping will then begin to compound and can, after a while, have a negative affect on your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not surprisingly, is part of your overall health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively affected by insomnia! This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no connection between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the link between hearing loss and sleep be? There’s a significant amount of research that suggests insomnia, over a long enough period, can affect your cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult for your blood to flow into all of the extremities of your body when you aren’t getting the recuperative power of a good night’s sleep.

Stress and anxiety also increase with insomnia. Feeling anxious and stressed will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

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

These little hairs have a difficult time staying healthy when there are circulatory issues. In some circumstances, poor circulation can damage these hairs, permanently. Damage of this type is permanent. This can cause permanent hearing loss, especially the longer it continues.

Is the opposite true?

Is it possible for hearing loss to make you lose sleep? Yes, it can! Hearing loss can make the environment really quiet, and some people like a little bit of sound when they sleep. This means that the quiet of hearing loss can sometimes prevent normal sleeping. Any amount of hearing loss stress (for example, if you’re stressed about losing your hearing) can have a similar effect.

So how can you get a good night’s sleep when you have hearing loss? Wearing your hearing aids every day can help lessen stress on your brain at night (when you aren’t wearing them). Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also help.

Some recommendations for a good night’s sleep

  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to move, and if you aren’t moving, you might end up going to bed with some extra energy. Getting enough exercise every day will really be helpful.
  • For at least 2 hours before you go to bed, try to avoid liquids: Needing to get up and go to the bathroom can begin the “wake up” process in your brain. It’s much better to sleep right through the night.
  • Before bed, avoid drinking alcohol: Your natural sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • For at least 1 hour, avoid looking at screens: (Even longer if you can!) Your brain tends to be stimulated by looking at screens.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to keep you awake at night if you drink it late enough. This includes soda as well.
  • Find ways to alleviate stress: It may not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is crucial. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Try not to use your bedroom for other activities besides sleeping: Try to minimize the amount of things you utilize your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a great plan.

Take care of your hearing health

Even if you’ve experienced some insomnia-related symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be controlled.

If you’re worried about your hearing, make 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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