Not having enough sleep can have a negative effect on your health and well being. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an unpleasant feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s justifiable. Luckily, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these little devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, dealing with fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these problems began around the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming hard to hear.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. There is a well-documented relationship between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t completely clear. There are, naturally, a couple of theories:
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input where there isn’t any. If your brain is in overdrive trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your overall cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that interrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping noises in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also cause your tinnitus to get worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not really. 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 concerns that might be worsening your insomnia:
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, interacting with the people in your social sphere, you’re less likely to feel depressed and isolated. Relationships are less difficult when you use hearing aids (sleep cycle problems that result in “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
- Tinnitus: Dependent on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide a reliable means of treating that buzzing and ringing. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively lessen the burden on your brain. And your brain will be less likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
Getting Better Quality Sleep With Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, how many hours isn’t the only thing to consider. To be sure that your sleep can be truly refreshing, it’s important that you reach a certain depth to your z’s. Loss of hearing can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can improve your ability to reach restful sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s important to mention that hearing aids aren’t typically intended to be worn while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And, over time, using your hearing aids at night can reduce their efficiency. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be enhanced by sufficient sleep. Balanced sleep habits have even been connected to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your loss of hearing, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can frequently cause serious health concerns. Fortunately, most surveys document that people who use hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.