Sleep and hearing are not often though about together, but their relationship may be more important than you think. It’s safe to assume that hearing loss or a hearing related problem can affect the amount of sleep one gets at night. But can the amount of sleep affect the way you hear?

“Research indicates people who are well rested have active temporal lobes, which is the area of the brain that processes sound and interprets it as language,” says a recent healthy hearing article. In other words, the more rested you are, the better your brain functions. This could have a direct affect on your hearing.

Specific disorders can also cause problems. Take, for example, a disorder like sleep apnea. Some researchers believe that sleep apnea can lead to hearing loss due to reduced blood vessel function. “Auditory hair cells of the inner ear depend upon good blood flow,” says that healthy hearing article. Slow blood flow may damage certain parts of the ear.

Sleep can also affect other hearing related problem, such as tinnitus. A sleepless night (in addition to maybe an overindulgence of alcohol or caffeine) can often temporarily increase tinnitus’s effects. Many sufferers often report more pronounced pulsing or whooshing after a poor rest.

Getting a good night’s rest is important, for both preventative and hearing maintenance reasons. It also never hurts to have a positive outlook.