Sleep is important. There’s an unpleasant feeling to getting up groggy because you slept less than seven to eight hours that even several cups of coffee can’t change. So you were aghast when your hearing loss started to cause you to lose sleep.
Understandably so. But there’s a little something that can be of assistance, thankfully: a hearing aid. Based upon recent surveys and research, these little devices can probably help you sleep better.
How is Sleep Affected by Loss of Hearing?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself counting sheep more than usual, battling fatigue all day no matter how much sleep you get, and then having a hard time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these issues started about the same time you also started 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 loss of hearing frequently have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well recognized. Some theories have been put forward:
- Your brain, when you have hearing loss, strains to get stimulus where there isn’t any. If your brain is in overdrive attempting to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your whole cycle could be disrupted (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to shut off).
- 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 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.
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Using Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 59% of individuals who were hearing aid users reported feeling content with their sleep, in comparison 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 you don’t have hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you suffer from hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids could help in several crucial ways:
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids may be a practical treatment for that ringing or buzzing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help you get some sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
- Strain: The strain on your brain will effectively diminished by wearing hearing aids. And your brain will be less likely to strain while sleeping if it isn’t straining all of the rest of the time.
- Isolation: Your not so likely to feel depressed and isolated if you can connect with people in your social group when you’re out and about. Relationships become less difficult when you use hearing aids (this can also reduce “cabin fever”-related sleep cycle problems).
Achieving a Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, how many hours is not the only thing to consider. How deep you sleep is as relevant as the number of hours. Hearing loss can reduce that deep sleep, and hearing aids, therefore, can improve your ability to enjoy restful sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but it’s significant to mention that hearing aids are not ordinarily intended to be worn while you sleep. When you’re sleeping they won’t help you hear better (for instance, you won’t hear your alarm clock better). And, after a while, wearing your hearing aids at night can diminish their performance. It’s using them during the day that helps you achieve deeper sleep.
Go to Bed!
Getting a restful night’s sleep is a valuable thing. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in good condition, lessen stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to disrupt your sleep schedule, the issue becomes more than irritating, insomnia can frequently lead to serious health concerns. Thankfully, most surveys document that people who use hearing aids have better quality of sleep.