Sleep is precious. If you don’t get a complete, relaxing seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up groggy and cranky, an undesirable 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, thankfully: a hearing aid. Based upon recent surveys and research, these little devices can likely help you sleep sounder.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
Even though you feel tired all day and are completely drained by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard time falling asleep. All of these issues began 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 come to find. There is a well-documented connection between hearing loss and insomnia, even if the exact sources aren’t completely clear. There are, naturally, a handful of theories:
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get input that isn’t there. Your whole cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get the brain to turn off).
- Hearing loss is linked to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
Can Your Sleep be Helped by Using Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid users reported feeling fulfilled with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If you don’t have loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can target several problems that might be worsening your insomnia:
- Strain: The strain on your brain will essentially lessened 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.
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids might be an effective 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.
- Isolation: If you’re out and about, connecting with the people in your social sphere, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships are easier with hearing aids (this can also decrease “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle troubles).
Getting Better Night Sleep Using Hearing Aids
It isn’t just the number of hours that’s relevant here. Depth of sleep is as relevant as the number of hours. Hearing loss can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can enhance your ability to reach restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will improve your sleep but it’s significant to note that hearing aids are not normally designed to be used while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for example). And, over time, wearing your hearing aids at night can decrease their effectiveness. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you get better sleep.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is valuable. Your immune system, your stress levels, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by ample sleep. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your hearing loss, the issue becomes more than annoying, insomnia can often become a real health issue. Luckily, people report having better quality sleep with hearing aids.