Sleep is precious. If you don’t get a full, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you wake 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.
Understandably so. But there’s something that can help, thankfully: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these little devices can help you get a sounder night sleep, according to recent surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?
Even though you feel fatigued all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a difficult time falling asleep. All of these issues started around the same time you also began to notice that your mobile phone, radio, and television were becoming difficult to hear.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. It’s well documented that individuals who have hearing loss often have a hard time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well recognized. Some theories have been put forward:
- Hearing loss is connected 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.
- Tinnitus can make you hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which then can cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in overdrive trying to hear while you’re drifting off to sleep, your whole cycle could be disrupted (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to shut off).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
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 from those who did use a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not quite. If you don’t suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can manage several concerns that could be worsening your insomnia:
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social circle when you’re out and about. Relationships get easier with hearing aids (sleep cycle problems that cause “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
- Strain: The strain on your brain will effectively reduced by wearing hearing aids. And your brain won’t be as likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t struggling all of the rest of the time.
- Tinnitus: Depending on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids may provide a practical way of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
Getting Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
It’s not just how many hours you sleep that’s relevant here. In order for your sleep to be actually rejuvenating, it’s important that you achieve a targeted depth to your z’s. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
It’s significant to note that while they’ll help improve your sleep, most hearing aids are not designated to be used at night. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (for example, you won’t hear your alarm clock more clearly). And your hearing aids can actually wear out faster if you use them at night. You get better sleep if you wear them during the day.
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 balanced sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not just a small irritation, insomnia can often cause serious health problems. Luckily, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.