Do You Hear Better In The Morning?

Do you hear better in the morning? I think I do. Perhaps it is because everything is quieter in the morning so there is less background noise, or that everyone is rested so they speak more clearly. It sometimes amazes me if I turn the TV on in the morning, how loud the volume is set from the night before. I wonder if my hearing actually improved overnight. But that is not likely to be the case. I am simply more alert after a full night’s sleep.

My mother-in-law tells me the same thing about her brother. He lost much of his hearing in a construction accident many years ago and has worn hearing aids ever since. If his wife needs to talk to him about something important, she always does it in the morning when his hearing seems to be at its best — even before he puts in his hearing aids.

This made me wonder, is there something scientific to this? A quick Google search did not uncover anything definitive. In fact, there were as many articles talking about why we hear better at night as there were talking about why we hear better in the morning.

I think it comes down to hearing loss exhaustion. As the day progresses, someone with hearing loss has to work much harder to make sense of the noises around them. Which sounds are words? What are these words? I heard them say “–ay,” but did that mean say, bay or ray? The mental gymnastics that we go through each day take a toll on the brain, and make us weary. This weariness makes it tougher to concentrate, and therefore, harder to “hear.”

The truth is that we are hearing equally well (or poorly!) at all times of the day, but we are understanding better in the morning, when our brains are fresher. Perhaps the term “hearing loss” is a misnomer and we should be calling it “understanding loss” instead. I know for myself, I can often hear the sounds around me, I just don’t understand what they are or what they mean. Unfortunately, that is the most important part.

Armed with this awareness, here are my tips for taking advantage of this “better hearing in the morning” phenomenon.

1. Schedule important meetings and doctor appointments for earlier in the day. You want to be at your best when critical information is being conveyed. Bring paper and pen to take notes, which can help you stay focused.

2. Set aside time to rest before important events later in the day. Simply sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed could provide the recharge that you need. This is particularly important ahead of cocktail parties and other evening events where communication is already set up to be difficult.

3.  Take breaks when you need them. Even short 5 to 10 minute breaks give your brain the opportunity to rest. Head to the restroom or take a short walk around the block or find a spot in another room to sit quietly. Keeping your stamina up will help you participate more fully and enjoy yourself more.

Readers, do you hear better in the morning?

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42 thoughts on “Do You Hear Better In The Morning?

  1. Katherine Bouton – New York – Katherine Bouton is the author of "Smart Hearing: Strategies, Skills and Resources for Living Better with Hearing Loss." (2018) available at Amazon.com or B&N.com in paperback or ebook. It updates and amplifies the now-out-of-print "Living Better with Hearing Loss." Her first book, "Shouting Won't Help," tells the story of her hearing loss and her bumpy and sometimes hilarious journey to acceptance. She is a former editor at The New York Times, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America. She is President of the New York City Chapter of HLAA. Her blog can be found at katherinebouton.com. She has had progressive bilateral hearing loss since she was 30.
    Katherine Bouton says:

    Interesting question.
    I don’t think that’s true for me, though fatigue after a long day is definitely a factor. If I’m involved in something really interesting at the end of the day, I find I “hear” — understand — as well as I do earlier in the day. If it’s boring, that’s another story. Airplane flights definitely affect my hearing — not just comprehension but actual hearing — as does being in a noisy place for a prolonged period.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Airplane flights are a big deal for me too. I now always wear noise-cancelling headphones which seem to help. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  2. I agree with you 100%. Hearing loss exhaustion is definitely why I do not hear as well in the later half of the day. The 3 suggestions you offer are key to hearing success. Thank you for your post.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry says:

    This is an interesting observation Shari. I have never thought about it. It makes a lot of sense that a rested brain should perform to a higher level of efficiency. It also brings up thoughts about my lifestyle, which is, by choice, predominantly quiet. I used to listen to music constantly. That doesn’t work for me anymore – just noise that tires, me out quickly. As a day progresses it would seem that if I am with others or out in the community interacting with others the same fatigue occurs. So I’ll be paying more attention to the daily rhythm of he acuity of my hearing. It’s one more tool in my living-with-hearing-loss kit. Thanks.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Thanks Jerry. Let me know what you discover.

  4. I agree with you, I think it could be as you stated when everything is very quiet and still. I can even hear the clock/timer clicking in the hall when the everything else in the house is still. No TV or outside noise to hamper our hearing or lack thereof.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I definitely hear better in the mornings, and really appreciate the tips you provide to try and help maintain hearing energy throughout the day. I find that my worst hearing happens in stressful situations — when I’m panicked, when I’m low on sleep, or when I’m cognizant of the fact that I’m not hearing something important (e.g. an airplane announcement from the pilot that visibly stresses out all the other passengers). As an aside, I just discovered your blog and can’t tell you how thankful I am you’re writing about these things. Thank you!

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Yes, good points. Stress always adds to hearing difficulties. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thanks for reading!

  6. It makes sense that we are probably more rested in the morning all the way around and are probably not in as big a rush. I know I prefer morning meetings and tend to get more thought processing done. It could also be my big cup of coffee adding to the heightened alertness.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Interesting idea. I do find that my TV is set higher at night than in the morning. But I have also found that different channels broadcast at different levels.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      That is strange but true about the different volume levels on different channels. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. livebysurprise – Liv is the pseudonym reformed divorcee and single mom - now married, coparenting and working mother of three. She's been featured on ScaryMommy, HuffPost Divorce, The Mid and DivorcedMoms.com. More at http://www.livebysurprise.com.
    livebysurprise says:

    I don’t have hearing loss (that I’m aware of – although hubs would suggest I have selective hearing). I do have vision issues – and my vision is always better in the morning, so I can see this being true.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing your observation.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Living With Hearing Loss says:

      I am sorry that he is having trouble. I hope his audiologist can get to the bottom of it. Perhaps updated settings for his hearing aids are needed? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  9. Wow, this makes so much sense! I thought it was just me going mad in the mornings, but it makes a lot of sense how you have put it and I’m glad I’m not the only one! Funny how hearing loss affects us in ways we wouldn’t have imagined.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good to know we are not alone! Thanks for your comment.

  10. That always happens to me I notice when I have the tv on in the morning I can put the volume up to 5 but when it’s like night time 7-8pm I have to put the tv up to 20-30 volume to hear steady talking

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  11. I most definitely hear better earlier in the day and worse in the evening. I am fairly new to hearing aids and am still getting used to them after several months. I was wondering if the batteries were losing the potency by the end of the day and recovered during the night when I took them outl.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Interesting idea. I think it has to do with the brain and how tired we get at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi As I read through these posts, I discovered experiences which men mirror…That is getting up in the morning and finding the TV Volume set way too high….I wondered if it was the tv itself, wondered if it had to do with my glass of wine….then wondered if it was ME…Im so glad I checked this out; it will help me to go forward. It has been five months of high stress at our house. Whether that p;lays a big part of it or if its just me and my age. Time will tel. Thanks.

      • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Shari, very interesting article. Hearing loss often is accompanied by vision problems. To read your article in comfort, I had to enlarge the type, and this forced me to move the page right and left alternatively. Reducing the column width to one half in your future articles would solve this.

    Arturo

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for the comment. I will look into that.

  13. There is no reason to “feel” or “think” or have an opinion on this question. You can test your hearing at different times and compare test results. There are multiple free apps you can download to do this.
    This way, I found out that I have a significant drop in hearing ability over the course of the day.
    By significant, I mean an obvious, non-random change. I’m 25 with normal hearing

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Interesting. Thanks for the idea.

  14. I’m glad I came across this article to know I’m not the only one who is shocked how loud the TV is in the morning. At this moment (9:30 am) the volume is quite comfortable at 15. By tonight I will have to raise the volume to 26-28.

    • Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Glad you found it helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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