Regular, quality sleep is vital to our overall physical and mental health. Sleeping well makes it easier to perform at work, handle stressful situations and do fun things like enjoy quality time with your family at Allegro Pizza.
Unfortunately, many things can get in the way of a good night’s sleep, including hearing loss.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Sleep
Some people may think that, if anything, hearing loss could help you to sleep better because you’d be less likely to wake up due to distracting sounds at night. However, several studies have shown that people with hearing loss often sleep worse.
- A study published in May of 2022 looked at data from people who had sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), as well as those with normal hearing, and compared levels of insomnia. SSNHL is a type of hearing loss that comes on rapidly. Results showed that “the overall incidence of insomnia during the 11-year follow-up was 1.4-fold higher in the SSNHL group than in the non-SSNHL group.”
- An additional study from 2011 found that male participants with hearing loss and tinnitus from exposure to loud noise reported experiencing sleep impairment and insomnia.
Why Hearing Loss Can Increase Insomnia
There are several thoughts as to why hearing loss may increase your risk of insomnia:
- Stress. Hearing loss is stressful, whether experiencing it suddenly or having it come on gradually over time. The more stressed and anxious you feel, the less likely it is that you get consistently good sleep. Unfortunately, this can lead to a vicious cycle where less sleep increases your stress levels, which continues to worsen your sleep.
- Tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or other noise in the ear. It’s very common in people with hearing loss. Tinnitus can keep you up at night because the noise it creates can be distracting, especially when it’s quiet, and prevent you from falling asleep.
What to Do
If you experience sudden hearing loss, seek medical attention right away. Prompt treatment is the best way to reduce your chances of your hearing loss becoming permanent.
If you have signs of hearing loss that have come on gradually or are dealing with tinnitus symptoms, make an appointment with a hearing specialist. They can examine your ears, perform a hearing test and help guide you toward treatment options like hearing aids or tinnitus retraining therapy. Hopefully, by treating your hearing issues, you can also help improve your sleep quality.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Decibel Hearing Services today.