Sleep is precious. If you don’t get a complete, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you wake up groggy and cranky, an undesirable feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started making you lose sleep.
Justifiably so. But there’s a little something that can help, thankfully: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these little devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
In recent days, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than usual, dealing with fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these problems began around the same time you also started to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. There is a well-documented link between loss of hearing and insomnia, even if the exact sources aren’t exactly clear. Some theories have been put forward:
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in overdrive 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” issue).
- Loss of hearing is related to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it more difficult 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).
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid wearers noted 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 exactly. If your hearing is completely healthy, wearing hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can address numerous issues that might be worsening your insomnia:
- Strain: The strain on your brain will essentially reduced by using hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t continuously straining to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to keep straining while you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, connecting with the people in your social group, you’re not so likely to feel isolated and depressed. Relationships are less difficult with hearing aids (this can also diminish “cabin fever”-related sleep cycle issues).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids may be an effective treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
Achieving a Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids
With regards to sleep, the number of hours is not the only thing to consider. To be sure that your sleep can be really rejuvenating, it’s important that you reach a certain degree to your z’s. Hearing loss can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can increase your ability to achieve restful sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will improve your sleep but it’s worthwhile to note that hearing aids are not normally designed to be used while you sleep. 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, over time, using your hearing aids at night can reduce their performance. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be enhanced by ample sleep. A reduced 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 aggravating, insomnia can frequently become a serious health problem. Luckily, most surveys report that people with hearing aids have improved quality of sleep.