Not getting enough sleep can have a negative effect on your health and well being. There’s a disagreeable feeling to getting 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 you to have insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s justifiable. Thankfully, there’s a little something that can be of assistance: a hearing aid. According to the most recent surveys and research, these tiny devices can probably help you sleep better.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than normal, fighting fatigue all day no matter 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 come to find. It’s well documented that individuals who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but precisely why is not really understood. There are, naturally, some theories:
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input that isn’t there. If your brain is in overdrive trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your whole cycle could be thrown off (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to turn off).
- Loss of hearing is linked to depression, and your sleep cycle can be interrupted by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. As a result of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes harder.
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause humming, ringing, or thumping sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can make your tinnitus symptoms worse).
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of people with loss of hearing who don’t wear hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did use 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 suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids could help in multiple important ways:
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can connect with people in your social network when you’re out on the town. Hearing aids make retaining relationships smoother (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-related sleep cycle troubles).
- Tinnitus: Dependent on the nature and cause of your tinnitus, hearing aids could provide an effective way of managing that buzzing and ringing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
- Strain: The strain on your brain will essentially diminished by wearing hearing aids. And your brain will be less likely to strain while falling asleep if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
Wearing Hearing Aids to Achieve a Better Night Sleep
It’s not just how many hours you sleep that’s relevant here. In order for your sleep to be actually rejuvenating, you need to achieve a targeted depth to your z’s. Hearing loss can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can improve your ability to reach restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will benefit your sleep but it’s worthwhile to mention that hearing aids are not generally intended to be worn at night. They don’t help you hear better when you’re sleeping (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock better). And your hearing aids can definitely wear out quicker if you wear them during the night. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you get deeper sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Proper sleep habits have even been connected to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your loss of hearing, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can often become a serious health problem. Fortunately, people document having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.