Louisville Family Audiology - Louisville, KY

Man with hearing loss sleeping better because he has hearing aids.

Not having enough sleep can have a damaging effect on your health and vitality. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an unpleasant feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.

And that’s justifiable. But there’s something that can be of assistance, luckily: a hearing aid. Based upon the most recent surveys and research, these tiny devices can likely help you sleep sounder.

How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?

Even though you feel fatigued all day and are completely drained by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard time falling asleep. All of these issues started around the same time you also began to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.

Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing frequently have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well recognized. Some theories have been put forward:

  • As you develop loss of hearing, your brain begins straining, it’s searching for stimulus from your ears where none exists. If your brain is in overdrive trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your whole cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
  • Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can cause you to lose sleep. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
  • Hearing loss is related to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?

According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid users noted feeling satisfied with their sleep, in comparison to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So does that mean it’s safe to presume hearing assistance devices are also a kind of sleep aid?

Not really. If you don’t suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.

But if you have hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids could help in numerous important ways:

  • Isolation: Your less likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can hook up with people in your social group when you’re out and about. Hearing aids make building relationships less difficult (this can also decrease “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle problems).
  • Strain: The burden on your brain will effectively diminished by wearing hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t constantly struggling to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to continue that practice while you’re trying to sleep.
  • 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 stopping that vicious cycle.

Achieving a Better Night Sleep Using Hearing Aids

It isn’t just how many hours you sleep that’s relevant here. Depth of sleep is as relevant as how many hours you sleep. Hearing aids can increase your ability to get a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.

It’s worthwhile to note that even though they’ll help better your sleep, most hearing aids are not designated to be used at night. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re sleeping (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock better, for example). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can lessen their efficiency. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.

Go to Bed!

Sleep is valuable. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, lessen stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been connected to balanced sleep habits.

When your loss of hearing begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, the problem becomes more than aggravating, insomnia can often become a real health problem. Fortunately, most surveys document that people who use hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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