Are you having a hard time getting enough sleep lately? Probably because you’ve been catching a deadline at work, finishing a project for school, or catching up on your social life. Whatever the cause, we know all too well how damaging this can be to our overall health. But did you know, lack of sleep can also be the cause of an impending hearing loss? Before you get to a point of needing hearing aids just to hear clearly, understand how lack of sleep can cause hearing problem and what you can do about it.
How does lack of sleep affect our hearing?
Research suggests that sleep deprivation can contribute to hearing loss for two reasons. One, because lack of sleep causes mental exhaustion and hamper the mind’s ability to focus. As we all know, the brain plays an essential part in hearing. And so this exhaustion may result to a decline in a person’s hearing.
Second, studies show that there is a link between lack of sleep and poor blood circulation. That even with just 2 days of deprived sleep, the blood vessel function in our body can already be harmed. How does it happen? Our hearing functionality highly depends on the amount of blood circulating in our body in a way that it brings an ample amount of nutrients for the organ to function well. Slowed down blood flow means fewer nutrients, which can lead to the distraction of the auditory hair cell, the ones responsible for detecting sound waves and translating these to the brain.
Furthermore, there are many sleep-related complications such as insomnia, difficulty falling and/or staying asleep, and sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder that causes the person to pause in breathing during sleep. Both of these conditions result to lack of sleep. Insomniacs can have sleep apnea. It has also been studied that there are larger amounts of plaque in the blood vessels of people who have sleep apnea which can cause blood constriction and damaged hearing.
People with Tinnitus should also be cautious in getting enough sleep. It has been studied that insomnia can increase the severity of tinnitus. It decreases their tolerance and worsens its functional and emotional toll. If one would notice, it is a cycle. Tinnitus makes it hard for patients to fall asleep and lack of sleep causes tinnitus to worsen.
What can you do?
Poor sleeping habits can be treated through several ways.
- Develop a routine that would tell your body that it’s time to get some rest.
- Stay away from beverages that have caffeine and alcohol in them, preferably 8 hours before your bedtime. These ingredients can interrupt your sleeping patterns.
- Exercise is a must. It is advised that you get 20-30 minutes daily.
- Try conditioning your body when it’s time to get some rest. Do relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath or reading a book.
- Stay away from your mobile devices because the light emitted by them are linked to being unable to sleep.
- It is suggested that an average adult gets between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. This still depends on the overall health and lifestyle of the person.
If you are wearing hearing aids, here some reasons on why you should remove them before going to sleep:
- Sleep should be done in the most comfortable manner. Wearing hearing aids won’t allow this. It can cause difficulty on you falling asleep or it can wake you up in the middle of the night.
- The entirety of our ear needs rest most especially the ear canal.
Sleep is our body’s way of recharging after a hard day’s work so that when you wake up, you are refreshed and ready to face the day game face on. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Don’t let this bad habit damage your healthy hearing.For quality ear care, contact Listening Lab Malaysia at +603 7725 9334 or visit our branch at Lot 218 A, 2nd Floor, The Curve, 6, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.