Is the ringing in your ears keeping you awake? It’s not necessary. Here are a few tips for quieting that aggravating, constant sound so you can get some sleep.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can really throw a monkey wrench in your sleep cycle. During the day, tinnitus is often less evident because you’re distracted by noise and activity. But during the night, when there’s less noise, tinnitus can get louder and more stressful.
Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to fall asleep easier.
Five tricks for falling asleep with tinnitus are presented below.
1. Don’t Resist The Noise
Even though this may sound impossible, if you focus on it, it gets worse. If you begin to become frustrated, your blood pressure rises and this makes tinnitus symptoms worse. So the more irritated you become thinking about it, the worse you are likely to feel. Focusing on something else and utilizing the techniques below can help make the noise seem softer.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Condition your body to get sleepy at the correct time by developing good sleep habits like dimming the lights, winding down at least a half an hour before bed, and going to bed at the same time each night. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be easier.
Tinnitus has also been associated with stress. Establishing habits to lessen your stress level before bed can also help, like:
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you happy and calm
- Avoiding alcohol
- Doing a quick meditation or a deep breathing exercise
- Stretching or doing yoga
- Avoiding eating a few hours before you go to bed
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Turn down the heat in your bedroom
- Dimming the lights at least one hour before bedtime
- Listening to quiet sounds or relaxing music
Getting into a predictable schedule before going to bed helps you shift away from the stresses of the day into night and trains your body to transition into sleep.
3. Pay Attention to What You Eat
Artificial sweeteners and alcohol are known triggers for tinnitus. If you find, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that certain foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a practice to avoid them. You may feel like you still need your morning coffee, but avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
4. Avoid Common Causes of Tinnitus
Ringing or other noises in your ears can be caused by many things. Addressing the cause can help avoid tinnitus or make it better. You can do several things to help:
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- To find out if one of your medications is causing tinnitus symptoms check with your doctor
- Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether you’re subjected to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Use ear protection
- If you have anxiety or depression, get it taken care of
- Make an appointment for your annual exam
- Get help for underlying conditions such as high blood pressure
You may be able to better deal with it if you can identify what’s causing the ringing.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing test can help you find potential solutions as well as identify what might be causing your tinnitus. Professionals can help you control your tinnitus in several ways such as:
- Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting
- Help you handle thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse by suggesting cognitive behavior therapy
- Help you train your brain to not hear tinnitus by signing you up for therapy
Professional help can hasten healing and assist you to sleep better at night. To see if you can get some help with your tinnitus, schedule your appointment with a hearing care specialist.