Sleep is critical. There’s a disagreeable feeling to getting up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So you were aghast when your loss of hearing started to cause you to lose sleep.
Justifiably so. But there’s something that can help, fortunately: a hearing aid. Based upon recent surveys and research, these small devices can likely help you sleep sounder.
How is Sleep Impacted by Hearing Loss?
Even though you feel fatigued all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard time falling asleep. All of these problems started about 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 it. It’s well documented that people who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well recognized. There are, naturally, a few theories:
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in overdrive attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your entire cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes harder.
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep compared to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did use a hearing aid. So does that mean it’s safe to presume hearing assistance devices are also a kind of sleep aid?
Not really. If your hearing is totally normal, wearing hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids might help in several important ways:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially lessen the burden on your brain. And when your brain isn’t constantly straining to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to keep straining while you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can hook up with people in your social network when you’re out on the town. Hearing aids make retaining relationships smoother (this can also diminish “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle problems).
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide an effective means of managing that buzzing and ringing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
Wearing Hearing Aids to Achieve a Better Night Sleep
It isn’t just how many hours you sleep that’s important here. To be sure that your sleep can be really rejuvenating, you need to reach a targeted level to your z’s. Loss of hearing can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can improve your ability to reach restful sleep.
It’s relevant to note that while they’ll help benefit your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not intended to be used at night. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re in bed (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And your hearing aids can actually wear out faster if you wear them at night. You get deeper sleep if you wear them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be enhanced by sufficient sleep. A decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease have also been connected 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 become a real health problem. Luckily, most surveys report that people with hearing aids have better quality of sleep.