Sleep is important. If you don’t get a complete, relaxing seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up cranky and groggy, an uncomfortable feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started making you lose sleep.
Understandably so. Luckily, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. Based upon the latest surveys and research, these little devices can likely help you sleep better.
How is Sleep Affected by Loss of Hearing?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than usual, dealing with fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (despite your exhaustion). All of these issues started 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 as it turns out. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing frequently have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. Some theories have been put forward:
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (It can become a vicious cycle because loss of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
- Hearing loss is connected to depression, and depression can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain that interrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in high gear trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your overall cycle could be disrupted (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid users described feeling fulfilled with their sleep, in comparison to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So does that guarantee it’s safe to assume hearing assistance devices are also a type of sleep aid?
well, not quite. If your hearing is perfectly normal, wearing hearing aids won’t cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can address numerous issues that may be contributing to your insomnia:
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, connecting with the people in your social group, you’re not so likely to feel depressed and isolated. Relationships are less difficult with hearing aids (sleep cycle issues that lead to “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be a practical treatment for that buzzing or ringing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help you get some sleep by stopping that vicious cycle.
- Strain: The strain on your brain will effectively lessened by using hearing aids. And when your brain isn’t continuously straining to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to continue that practice when you’re attempting to sleep.
Achieving a Better Night Sleep Using Hearing Aids
When it comes to sleep, the number of hours isn’t the only factor to consider. Depth of sleep is as important as how many hours you sleep. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to achieve a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
It’s significant to note that while they’ll help improve your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not meant to be worn overnight. They aren’t going to help you hear better when you’re sleeping (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for instance). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can decrease 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 benefited by ample sleep. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been connected to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can frequently result in serious health concerns. Luckily, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.