Not having enough sleep can have a damaging impact on your health and vitality. There’s a disagreeable feeling to getting up groggy because you slept less than seven to eight hours that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started making you lose sleep.
Understandably so. But there’s something that can help, thankfully: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these small devices can help you get a sounder night sleep, according to recent surveys.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, fighting fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these issues started around the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
It’s not your imagination as it turns out. There is a well-documented link between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the exact sources aren’t exactly clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input that isn’t there. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re drifting off to sleep, your entire cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Tinnitus can make you hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid users noted feeling content with their sleep, in comparison to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If your hearing is totally normal, wearing hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids might help in numerous important ways:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially lessen the demand on your brain. And your brain will be less likely to strain while falling asleep if it isn’t struggling all of the rest of the time.
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide an effective way of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can assist you to get to sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can hook up with people in your social circle when you’re out on the town. Relationships become easier when you use hearing aids (sleep cycle problems that result in “cabin fever” can also be decreased).
Getting Better Night Sleep Using Hearing Aids
It’s not just the number of hours that’s important here. In order for your sleep to be actually rejuvenating, you need to achieve a certain degree to your z’s. Hearing loss can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can increase your ability to enjoy restful sleep.
it should be pointed out that while they’ll help improve your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not supposed to be worn overnight. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help your hearing (for instance, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out faster if you use them at night. You get better sleep if you wear them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a precious thing. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Proper sleep habits have even been linked to lower risks for heart disease and diabetes.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your loss of hearing, the problem becomes more than irritating, insomnia can often become a serious health concern. Fortunately, people document having better quality sleep with hearing aids.