Is the ringing in your ears keeping you awake? It’s not necessary. If you would like to sleep better, consider these guidelines to tone down this aggravating persistent sound.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can definitely cause a problem with your sleep cycle. During the day, tinnitus is often less evident because you’re distracted by noise and activity. But tinnitus can seem louder and more stressful at night when it’s quiet.
Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques you can use to fall asleep more easily.
Below are 5 tips to falling asleep in spite of your tinnitus.
1. Don’t Fight The Noise
While this may seem overwhelming, focusing on the noise really makes it worse. This is to some extent because for many people higher blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you dwell on it and your irritation will get worse. You can make the sound quieter by thinking about something else and employing the following techniques.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Formulating good sleep habits such as winding down at least 30 minutes before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time each night helps condition your body to feel sleepy at the correct time. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be easier.
Tinnitus has also been related to stress. Creating habits to lower your stress level before you go to bed can also help, like:
- Focusing on thoughts that make you happy and relaxed
- Staying away from alcohol
- Stretching or doing yoga
- Making your bedroom slightly cooler
- Listening to mellow music or gentle sounds
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Doing a quick meditation or a deep breathing exercise
- Dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime
- Avoiding eating a few hours before going to bed
Teaching your body to transition into sleep by getting into a predictable regimen before bed helps you transition away from the stresses of the day.
3. Watch What You Eat
There are known triggers to tinnitus like alcohol and artificial sweeteners. If you discover, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that certain foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a practice to stay away from them. Caffeine is also a trigger so at least avoid drinking it in the afternoon and at night.
4. Avoid Common Causes of Tinnitus
Ringing or other noises in your ears can be caused by many things. Dealing with the cause of tinnitus can help it improve or even prevent it altogether. You can do a few things to help:
- Protect your ears
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Make an appointment for your yearly exam
- If you have inherent conditions like high blood pressure, get help for it
- Get treatment for anxiety or depression
- To determine whether one of your medications is triggering tinnitus symptoms check with your doctor
If you can discover what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you may be able to manage it better.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing exam can help you discover what’s causing your tinnitus and suggest possible solutions. There are several ways hearing professionals can help you manage your tinnitus including:
- Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting
- Help you handle thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse by recommending cognitive behavior therapy
- Help you train your brain to not hear tinnitus by enrolling you in therapy
Professional help can hasten recovery 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.