Not getting enough sleep can have a damaging effect on your health and well being. There’s an unpleasant feeling to getting up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t help. So you were aghast when your loss of hearing started making you lose sleep.
Understandably so. The good news is, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. It’s feasible that these little devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How Does Hearing Loss Impact 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 problems started about the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
It’s not your imagination as it turns out. There is a well-documented connection between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t completely clear. There are, of course, a handful of theories:
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear ringing, thumping, and humming and that noise can keep you awake at night. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. Your whole cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with loss of hearing who don’t wear hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep compared to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did wear a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not quite. If you don’t have hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can manage a number of problems that might be contributing to your insomnia:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively lessen the burden on your brain. 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.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social network when you’re out and about. Hearing aids make building relationships smoother (sleep cycle issues that result in “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids might be a practical treatment for that buzzing or ringing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help you get some sleep by stopping that vicious cycle.
Achieving a Better Night Sleep Using Hearing Aids
With regards to sleep, the amount of hours is not the only consideration. How deep you sleep is as essential as how many hours you sleep. Hearing loss can prevent that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can improve your ability to achieve restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will benefit your sleep but it’s significant to note that hearing aids aren’t generally intended to be used at night. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help your hearing (for instance, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can diminish their efficiency. It’s using them during the day that helps you get better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your immune system, your stress levels, and your ability to think clearly will all be benefited by ample sleep. Healthy sleep habits have even been linked to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can often become a serious health concern. Thankfully, most surveys document that people with hearing aids have better quality of sleep.