Not having enough sleep can have a negative effect on your health and well being. If you don’t get a full, relaxing seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up cranky and groggy, an undesirable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So when your loss of hearing began causing you to have insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s justifiable. But there’s something that can help, fortunately: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these small devices can help you get a sounder night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than usual, fighting fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these issues began around the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining it. There is a well-documented link between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the exact sources aren’t precisely clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Loss of hearing is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming noises in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- As you develop loss of hearing, your brain starts straining, it’s looking for inputs from your ears where there isn’t. Your entire cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
Can Your Sleep be Helped by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep compared to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not exactly. If your hearing is completely normal, using hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can address several problems that may be contributing to your insomnia:
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be an effective treatment for that buzzing or ringing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, hooking up with the people in your social group, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships get easier when you use hearing aids (sleep cycle problems that lead to “cabin fever” can also be decreased).
- Strain: The burden on your brain will effectively decreased by using hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t constantly struggling to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to keep straining while you’re trying to sleep.
Achieving a Better Quality Sleep With Hearing Aids
When it comes to sleep, the number of hours is not the only thing to consider. How deep you sleep is as important as the number of hours. Hearing aids can improve your ability to achieve a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
It’s important to note that even though they’ll help better your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not intended to be worn at night. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help you hear better (you won’t be capable of hearing your alarm clock better, for example). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out quicker if you wear them at night. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is valuable. Your immune system, your stress levels, and your ability to think clearly will all be benefited by sufficient sleep. A reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your loss of hearing begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can often lead to serious health concerns. Fortunately, people document having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.