Sleep is valuable. There’s a disagreeable feeling to waking 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. But there’s something that can help, luckily: a hearing aid. According to the most recent surveys and research, these little devices can probably help you sleep better.
How is Sleep Affected by Loss of Hearing?
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 started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.
Turns out, you’re not imagining it. There is a well-documented link between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the precise sources aren’t precisely clear. There are, naturally, a couple of theories:
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also cause your tinnitus to get worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get input where there isn’t any. If your brain is in high gear attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your overall cycle could be thrown off (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
- Hearing loss is linked to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disturb your sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison 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 your hearing is totally healthy, using hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can target numerous concerns that might be contributing to your insomnia:
- 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 to sleep.
- Strain: The burden on your brain will effectively lessened by using hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t always straining to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to continue that practice when you’re trying to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, interacting with the people in your social group, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships become less difficult with hearing aids (sleep cycle issues that result in “cabin fever” can also be decreased).
Wearing Hearing Aids to Achieve a Better Night Sleep
In terms of sleep, how many hours isn’t the only thing to consider. Depth of sleep is as relevant as how many hours you sleep. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
It’s worthwhile to note that while they’ll help improve your sleep, most hearing aids are not designated to be worn overnight. 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, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can reduce their performance. You get deeper sleep if you wear them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is valuable. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by sufficient sleep. Proper sleep habits have even been linked to lower risks for heart disease and diabetes.
When your loss of hearing begins to affect your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can frequently lead to serious health concerns. Thankfully, most surveys report that people who use hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.