The Sound of Sleep Deprivation

Workplace-related hearing loss impacts quality of sleep

(RxWiki News) Prolonged exposure to loud workplace noise resulting in hearing loss may also impact the quality of sleep.

The study's findings show that hearing impairment caused by exposure to harmful noise has a negative impact on quality of sleep. These negative impacts include difficulty falling asleep; waking too early; waking during the night; extreme sleepiness during the day; snoring; and excessive movement during sleep.

According to the researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, workers with hearing loss were older and had spent more time exposed to loud noise, compared to workers without hearing impairments.

Hearing loss affects an estimated 36 million adults in the United States. Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.

For the study, researchers gave hearing tests to 298 male volunteers who work in the same environment with harmful levels of noise. They found that 99 of the volunteers had hearing impairments while the other 199 had ordinary hearing.

Study participants reported that tinnitus, a condition that causes sustained ringing in the ears, was the primary cause of sleep deprivation. Over half of participants with hearing loss reported having tinnitus. Only 14 percent of the workers with normal hearing reported having tinnitus.

Appearing in the journal Sleep, the study was conducted by medical student Tsafnat Test - with the help of Dr. Sheiner, Dr. Eyal, Dr. Canfi and Professor Shoham-Vardi - as her B.Sc. thesis in the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences.

Review Date: 
January 25, 2011