Study on Dreams in People with Hearing Impairments

Study on Dreams in People with Hearing Impairments

Do you remember your dreams? Some people can recount their vivid dreams while others don’t remember what they dreamt about at all. Everyone dreams throughout their sleep but the majority of people (an estimated 95%) do not remember their dreams when they wake. Though much about dreams remains mysterious, experts suggest that various factors can impact what we dream about including information we gathered during the day, unconscious desires, past experiences and much more. Recent studies show that hearing loss can also shape dreams. 

Do people with hearing impairments dream differently?

Exploring trends and patterns in dreams has always been the subject of substantial research. Research questions that investigate if people who are blind have visual dreams and if people with hearing loss have dreams with sound inform various studies. A few recent studies have shown that hearing loss can impact dreams. This includes: 

    • Study in Consciousness and Cognition: researchers interviewed 14 people with imapired hearing about their dreams. Participants reported being able to hear in their dreams despite experiencing hearing challenges during waking hours. 
    • Study Published in Dreaming: to investigate the relationships between hearing loss and reaming, researchers assessed over 400 high school students – 86 students had hearing loss and 344 did not. Students completed a questionnaire that assessed dream content and recall frequency. Researchers found the following:
      • Students with hearing loss: had more vivid dreams, dreams involving various senses like smell/taste/temperature changes etcThey experienced a range of emotions during sleep like anger/hope/ surprise, were able to remember their dreams more easily, and experienced lucid dreaming more often. 
      • Students without hearing loss:  reported dreaming with various sensations and feelings with much less frequency, dreams were less vivid, had a harder time remembering dreams, and reported hearing in dreams much less than students with hearing loss. 

These studies highlight that people with hearing impairments may experience dreams differently. Research shows that people with hearing loss can experience dreams that are more vivid and are able to recall these dreams. 

Impact of Hearing loss on Dreams

Experts suggest that people with hearing impairments can experience more vivid dreams that they recall due to sensory compensation. This describes one sense being compromised, in this case hearing, which then strengthens other senses. Other senses may become stronger and more active to compensate for the sense that is impaired. So if you experience hearing loss, you may notice ways that your other senses are impacted by this. Maybe they become more sensitive or heightened. 

Studies suggest that sensory compensation can occur while awake and while asleep. This means that sensory compensation could be occurring while dreaming which illuminates how people with hearing impairments are able to have dreams that are more vivid and engage more of the senses. Though sensory compensation can be useful – for example, a sense of vision being heightened while driving which contributes to road safety – it is important to have hearing assessed so that any hearing loss present is treated. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health

If you experience hearing challenges and vivid dreams, it is important to have your hearing assessed. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing capacity in both ears. This diagnoses any hearing loss and the degree of impairment you could be experiencing. Once your hearing needs are identified, your hearing healthcare provider is able to establish a treatment plan that meets your specific hearing needs. 

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These are electronic devices that are prescribed by a hearing healthcare specialist. Similar to most electronic devices today, hearing aids have experienced significant innovation over recent years. There is an array of styles, features, and technologies designed to easily integrate into daily life while supporting hearing health. Features include wireless connectivity, digital noise reduction, tinnitus management features and much more. Hearing aids alleviate hearing loss symptoms and maximize hearing capacity. This allows people to engage in conversation and social interactions with ease. Treating hearing loss improves communication, relationships, as well as overall health. 

Contact us today to learn more about hearing loss and dreams as well as to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health and wellness.