McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Man with hearing loss sleeping better because he has hearing aids.

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 when your hearing loss began causing insomnia, you were aghast.

And that’s justifiable. But there’s something that can help, luckily: a hearing aid. Based on the most recent surveys and research, these tiny devices can likely help you sleep sounder.

How is Sleep Impacted by Loss of Hearing?

Even though you feel fatigued all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a difficult time falling asleep. All of these issues began about the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.

Come to find out, you’re not imagining things. It’s well documented that people who have hearing loss frequently have a difficult time falling asleep, but precisely why is not well understood. There are, of course, a few theories:

  • Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get input that isn’t there. If your brain is in high gear trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your overall cycle could be thrown off (It’s the common problem of not being able to get your brain to stop).
  • Tinnitus can make you hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
  • Hearing loss is connected to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult.

Can Your Sleep be Improved by Using Hearing Aids?

According to one study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep compared to 59% sleep satisfaction from those who did wear a hearing aid. So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?

well, not really. If your hearing is completely normal, wearing hearing aids isn’t going to cure your insomnia.

But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage several concerns that may be contributing to your insomnia:

  • Tinnitus: Dependent on the nature and cause of your tinnitus, hearing aids could provide an effective means of treating that buzzing and ringing. This can assist you to get to sleep by short circuiting that vicious cycle.
  • Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially diminish the burden on your brain. 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 hook up with people in your social circle when you’re out on the town. Hearing aids make building relationships easier (sleep cycle problems that result in “cabin fever” can also be reduced).

Achieving a Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids

It isn’t just the number of hours that’s relevant here. How deep you sleep is as important as the number of hours. Hearing aids can increase your ability to achieve a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.

Using your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will improve your sleep but it’s worthwhile to mention that hearing aids aren’t generally meant to be worn at night. They don’t help you hear better when you’re sleeping (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock better, for instance). And, as time passes, wearing your hearing aids at night can reduce their performance. It’s wearing them during the day that helps you achieve deeper sleep.

Go to Bed!

Getting a restful night’s sleep is a precious thing. Your stress level, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly will all be helped by sufficient sleep. Proper sleep habits have even been connected to lower risks for diabetes and heart disease.

When your sleep schedule is disturbed by your hearing loss, the problem becomes more than annoying, insomnia can often become a serious health concern. Fortunately, people report having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.