Is getting enough sleep linked to hearing better?

I’m becoming more and more convinced that my ability to hear and understand what people are saying is strongly linked to how much sleep I got the night before.

I’ve written before that I don’t hear the same things every day. Yesterday I was very tired and it was a bad hearing day, I couldn’t really understand anyone in the office, I was constantly straining to hear and often asking people to repeat themselves. Last night I went to bed an hour earlier than I normally do and today I am far more awake and alert – I’m also asking people to repeat themselves a lot less.

This ties in with the theory that we hear with our ears but listen with our brain. It is not that anything is louder today than it was yesterday it’s just that voices are sounding clearer and easier to comprehend – my ears are still picking up the same sounds, hearing aids amplifying the same voices but my wide-awake brain is processing them better.

Anyone know if there has been any published research into sleep deprivation and hearing ability? I’m looking for some science to back up my theory!

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