Are you being kept up by ringing in your ears? It’s not necessary. Here are a few tips for quieting that aggravating, persistent noise so you can sleep better.
Your sleep habits can be drastically impacted by moderate to severe tinnitus. During the daytime, tinnitus is often less noticeable because you’re distracted by noise and activity. But at night, when there’s less noise, tinnitus can seem louder and more stressful.
Luckily, there are a variety of strategies you can use to get to sleep easier.
Five tips for falling asleep when you have tinnitus are shown below.
1. Don’t Fight The Noise
Even though this might sound impossible, if you focus on it, it becomes worse. This is in part because for most people a rise in blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. So the more irritated you get dwelling on it, the worse you are likely to feel. Paying attention to something else and utilizing the techniques below can help make the noise seem quieter.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Establishing healthy sleep habits such as winding down at least a half hour before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time each night helps condition your body to feel sleepy at the right time. This will make it easier to fall asleep when you’re ready.
Stress has also been connected to tinnitus. Creating habits to lower your stress level before you go to bed can also be helpful, such as:
- Avoiding eating a few hours before you go to bed
- Turn down the heat in your bedroom
- Doing a quick meditation or deep breathing
- At least an hour before going to bed, dim the lights
- Doing yoga and stretching
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Staying away from drinking alcohol
- Listening to soft music or relaxing sounds
- Focusing on thoughts that make you relaxed and happy
Getting into a predictable schedule before going to bed helps you shift from the stresses of the day into night and teaches your body to transition into sleep.
3. Watch What You Eat
There are known triggers to tinnitus such as alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Stay away from certain foods if you discover, after tracking your diet and symptoms, that they trigger or worsen your tinnitus. Caffeine is also a trigger so at least avoid having any in the afternoon and at night.
4. The Common Causes of Tinnitus Should be Avoided
Ringing or other noises in your ears can be caused by many things. Dealing with the cause of tinnitus can help it get better or even prevent it altogether. You can do a few things to help:
- Go for your yearly exam
- Get treatment for anxiety or depression
- Use ear protection
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether you’re subjected to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Get help for inherent conditions like high blood pressure
You may be able to better manage it if you can identify what’s causing the ringing.
5. Get Examined by a Hearing Care Specialist
A professional hearing test can help you identify what’s causing your tinnitus and indicate possible treatments. Professionals can help you manage your tinnitus in several ways such as:
- Help you train your brain not to hear tinnitus by signing you up for therapy
- Help you manage thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse by suggesting cognitive behavior treatment
- Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting
Professional help can hasten healing and help you sleep better at night. To see if you can get some help with your tinnitus, schedule your appointment with a hearing care expert.