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Can I Sleep With My Hearing Aids In?

Time To Read: 5 minutes

Usually those asking this question have tinnitus and are looking at ways to deal with the persistent noise.

So, let's take a look at this topic in more detail.

  • What Is Tinnitus?
  • Why Is Tinnitus Seem Louder At Bedtime?
  • What Can I Do To Get A Good Night’s Sleep?

Side profile closeup sad young woman with worried stressed face expression and brain melting into lines question marks. Obsessive compulsive, adhd, anxiety disordersAt Value Hearing we encourage our clients to wear their hearing aids as much as possible in a wide range of day-to-day situations. In fact, our clients have a better than a 95% wear rate

But there are two places where we strongly recommend you don’t where your hearing aids - one is in the shower, the other is in bed.

As much as you need to wear hearing aids during the day, you also need to give your ears and your brain a break. Removing your hearing aids before bed reduces the amount of audio stimulation you receive while you’re sleeping.

Your ear canals need to air out and your hearing aids need time to dry out after being in your ears all day.

If you’re enjoying the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids, you’ll know that they require charging overnight. For hearing aids with disposable batteries, opening the battery case at the end of the day will prevent a drain on your batteries.

Wearing hearing aids to bed is not common and the reason why some people might entertain the thought is to help mask tinnitus.

What Is Tinnitus?

In the simplest terms tinnitus is a noise you hear in your head that is not coming from the outside. It can vary from ringing, buzzing, humming, ocean noise, cicadas etc. and even music.

Consider pins and needles in your hand. This is caused by a lack of blood supply to the nerves of your hands. All nerves in the brain, when in rest fires around 100 times a second. When a signal comes through, there is a peak in signal strength before it goes back to the resting state. 

When you experience pins and needles in your hand, you are actually experiencing the random firing in the brain as there is a lack of input from the nerves in your hand. This is then perceived as a feeling of pins and needles (random firing) as the nerves supplying your hand are wired to the parts of your brain that interprets touch.

Evil Men pointing at stressed woman. Desperate young businesswoman sitting at desk in her office isolated on grey wall background. Negative human emotions face expression feelings life perceptionWhy Is Tinnitus Seem Louder At Bedtime? 

A useful analogy about tinnitus is to think of it like a candle in a room. 

During the day when there are other sources of light around, the candle’s brightness is diminished. As it becomes darker, the candle light becomes more noticeable as there is less light to detract attention from it. In fact, when it’s dark, the candle is difficult to miss. 

Tinnitus is objectively the same - a ‘dimmer’ sound during the day when there are more ambient noises around us to detract attention from it, but more noticeable when it’s quiet, especially at night time, when there are lower levels of ambient noises around.

What Can I Do To Get A Good Night’s Sleep?

We have an excellent book on managing tinnitus that you can download for free but here we share some general tips on how to effectively relax and have a good night’s sleep - without your hearing aids.

  • Develop a bedtime routine. We’re creatures of habit, so by going to bed at about the same time each night. That helps train your body and your mind to know that a particular time is a good time to go to sleep.
  • Don’t overstimulate your brain before bed - leave off the coffee, watching the scary movie, put down the thrilling book before going to bed. 
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Some swear by aromatherapy, others by meditation and mindfulness techniques
  • White noise masking. We have an article here on white noise and other ‘colours of noise’ which might help.