Sleep is valuable. There’s an unpleasant feeling to waking up groggy because you got less than seven to eight hours sleep that even several cups of coffee can’t help. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started to cause you to lose sleep.
Justifiably so. But there’s something that can help, thankfully: a hearing aid. Based upon recent surveys and research, these small devices can likely help you sleep sounder.
How Does Hearing Loss Impact Sleep?
Even though you feel fatigued all day and are completely drained by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard 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.
It’s not your imagination come to find. It’s well documented that individuals who have hearing loss often have a hard time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. There are, of course, a few theories:
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (It can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep can worsen your tinnitus symptoms).
- Loss of hearing is related to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. Your whole cycle could be thrown off if your brain is working overtime trying to hear (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” problem).
Can Your Sleep be Helped by Using Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 44% of individuals with loss of hearing 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 really. If you don’t have loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from loss of hearing, your hearing aids can address several concerns that could be contributing to your insomnia:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively diminish the strain on your brain. And when your brain isn’t constantly struggling to hear everything around you, it won’t be as likely to continue that practice when you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: Your not so likely to feel isolated and depressed if you can connect with people in your social group when you’re out and about. Hearing aids make retaining relationships less difficult (sleep cycle problems that lead to “cabin fever” can also be reduced).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids could be an effective treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help short circuit that vicious cycle and help you get to sleep.
Getting Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, the amount of hours is not the only thing to consider. How deep you sleep is as relevant as the number of hours. Hearing aids can increase your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s important to note that hearing aids aren’t generally designed to be used at night. When you’re sleeping they won’t help you hear better (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock better, for instance). And your hearing aids can actually wear out faster if you use them during the night. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Getting a good night’s sleep is a precious thing. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. Healthy sleep habits have even been connected to reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease.
When your hearing loss begins to interrupt your sleep schedule, the problem becomes more than aggravating, insomnia can frequently cause serious health concerns. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep with hearing aids.