Sleep is valuable. There’s a disagreeable feeling to waking up groggy because you slept less than seven to eight hours that even several cups of coffee can’t help. So when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s understandable. But there’s a little something that can be of assistance, luckily: a hearing aid. It’s feasible that these small devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to recent surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, fighting fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these issues began around the same time you also began to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming hard to hear.
It’s not your imagination as it turns out. There is a well-documented link between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t completely clear. There are, naturally, a couple of theories:
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be interrupted by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping noises in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
- As you develop loss of hearing, your brain begins straining, it’s looking for inputs from your ears where there isn’t. Your entire cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime attempting to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get the brain to turn off).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of people with loss of hearing who don’t wear hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did wear a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If your hearing is totally normal, using hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids may help in multiple important ways:
- Strain: The burden on your brain will effectively diminished by using hearing aids. And your brain will be less likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can connect with people in your social group when you’re out and about. Relationships become easier when you use hearing aids (sleep cycle issues that cause “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids might be a practical treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
Wearing Hearing Aids to Achieve a Better Night Sleep
It isn’t just the number of hours that’s important here. How deep you sleep is as important 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 relevant to note that even though they’ll help improve your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not supposed to be used at night. They don’t help you hear better when you’re sleeping (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out quicker if you wear them at night. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you achieve better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Adequate sleep can keep your immune system in fighting shape, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to balanced sleep habits.
When your sleep schedule is disturbed by your loss of hearing, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can often become a real health issue. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep with hearing aids.