Sleep is critical. There’s a disagreeable feeling to getting up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t help. So when your hearing loss began causing you to have insomnia, you were aghast.
Understandably so. Luckily, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these small devices can help you get a better night sleep, according to recent surveys.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
In recent days, 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 problems began about 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 as it turns out. It’s well documented that people who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but precisely why is not well understood. Some theories have been put forward:
- Loss of hearing is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances caused by depression. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus that isn’t there. Your whole cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime attempting to hear (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to stop).
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
Can Hearing Aids Help Your Sleep?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid wearers described feeling content with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t wear hearing aids. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Not really. If your hearing is completely healthy, using hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage numerous problems that could be contributing to your insomnia:
- Tinnitus: Dependent on the cause and nature of your tinnitus, hearing aids might provide a practical means of treating that buzzing and ringing. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can connect with people in your social network when you’re out on the town. Hearing aids make retaining relationships smoother (sleep cycle problems that lead to “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- 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 struggling all of the rest of the time.
Achieving a Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, how many hours is not the only factor to consider. In order for your sleep to be really rejuvenating, you need to achieve a certain depth to your z’s. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to get a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
It’s relevant to note that even though they’ll help improve your sleep, most hearing aids are not supposed to be worn at night. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (you won’t be capable of hearing your alarm clock better, for example). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can decrease their performance. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Your immune system, your stress levels, and your ability to think clearly will all be enhanced by sufficient sleep. Balanced sleep habits have even been linked to lower risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your sleep schedule is disrupted by your hearing loss, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can often become a real health problem. Luckily, most surveys document that people with hearing aids have better quality of sleep.