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.

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

  1. 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.

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  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.

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  3. 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.

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  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.

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  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!

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  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.

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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