Sleep is precious. If you don’t get a full, restful 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 loss of hearing started to cause you to lose sleep.
And that’s understandable. Thankfully, there’s a little something that can help: a hearing aid. It’s possible that these little devices can help you get a sounder night sleep, according to the latest surveys.
How is Sleep Impacted by Hearing Loss?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, dealing with fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). 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.
Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. It’s well documented that individuals who have loss of hearing frequently have a hard time falling asleep, but exactly why is not really understood. Some theories have been put forward:
- Tinnitus can make you 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).
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input that isn’t there. Your entire cycle could be disrupted if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (It’s the common issue of not being able to get your brain to stop).
- Hearing loss is linked to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disturb your sleep cycle. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep?
According to one study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids reported being satisfied with their sleep in comparison to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did wear a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
well, not really. 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 numerous issues that might be contributing to your insomnia:
- Tinnitus: Depending on the nature and cause of your tinnitus, hearing aids could provide an effective method of treating that ringing and buzzing. This can help you get some sleep by stopping that vicious cycle.
- Isolation: Your less likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can hook up with people in your social network when you’re out and about. Hearing aids make retaining relationships less difficult (this can also diminish “cabin fever”-associated sleep cycle issues).
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively diminish the demand on your brain. And when your brain isn’t continuously straining to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to keep straining when you’re trying to sleep.
Achieving a Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
It’s not just how many hours you sleep that’s important here. To be sure that your sleep can be really rejuvenating, you need to obtain a certain degree to your z’s. Loss of hearing can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can increase your ability to enjoy restful sleep.
It’s significant to note that while they’ll help benefit your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not meant to be used overnight. When you’re sleeping they won’t help your hearing (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for instance). And, after a while, using your hearing aids at night can decrease their effectiveness. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Adequate sleep can keep your immune system in fighting shape, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, it’s not only a small irritation, insomnia can often become a serious health problem. Luckily, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.