Sleep is critical. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an uncomfortable feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.
Justifiably so. Thankfully, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. It’s feasible 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?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than usual, battling 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 started around the same time you also started 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 link between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t exactly clear. There are, of course, some theories:
- Hearing loss is linked to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can make your tinnitus symptoms worse).
- As you develop loss of hearing, your brain begins straining, it’s looking for stimulus from your ears where there isn’t. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re drifting off to sleep, your overall cycle could be disrupted (It’s the common problem of not being able to get your brain to turn off).
Can Your Sleep be Helped by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid users described feeling content with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So does that mean it’s safe to assume hearing assistance devices are also a type of sleep aid?
Not exactly. If your hearing is perfectly healthy, using hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you have hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids might help in numerous crucial ways:
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids might be a practical treatment for that buzzing or ringing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can assist you to get some sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
- Strain: The damage on your brain will effectively reduced by wearing hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t continuously struggling to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to continue that practice while you’re trying to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, connecting with the people in your social group, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships become easier with hearing aids (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle problems).
Using Hearing Aids to Get a Better Night Sleep
When it comes to sleep, how many hours isn’t the only consideration. In order for your sleep to be actually refreshing, you need to obtain a certain level to your z’s. Hearing aids can increase your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will benefit your sleep but it’s important to note that hearing aids are not generally intended to be used while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help you hear better (for instance, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And, as time passes, using your hearing aids at night can reduce their efficiency. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is precious. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by ample sleep. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been connected to balanced sleep habits.
When your loss of hearing begins to affect your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can frequently become a serious health problem. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.