Is the ringing in your ears stopping you from sleeping? It’s not necessary. Here are some guidelines for quieting that aggravating, constant sound so you can get some sleep.
Your sleep cycles can be dramatically affected by moderate to severe tinnitus. During the day, you’re preoccupied with noise and activity so your tinnitus may seem less noticeable. But tinnitus can seem louder and more disturbing at night when it’s not as loud.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to fall asleep easier.
Below are 5 tips to falling asleep despite your tinnitus.
1. Quit Fighting Against The Noise
While this may seem difficult to impossible, focusing on the noise actually makes it worse. If you begin to become frustrated, your blood pressure rises and this causes tinnitus symptoms to get worse. So the more aggravated you get thinking about it, the worse you are probably going to feel. Paying attention to something else and utilizing the strategies below can help make the noise seem softer.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Condition your body to get sleepy at the correct time by creating good sleep habits such as dimming the lights, winding down at least a 30 minutes before you go to bed, and going to bed at the same time each night. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be easier.
Stress has also been connected to tinnitus. It also helps to create habits to de-stress before bed.
- Going into a bath
- Doing a short meditation or deep breathing
- At least a few hours before you go to bed, steer clear of eating
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Dimming the lights at least one hour before bedtime
- Avoiding alcohol
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you calm and happy
- Stretching or doing yoga
- Listening to soft music or relaxing sounds
- Turn down the heat in your bedroom
Getting into a predictable routine before bed helps you shift away from the stresses of the day into night and trains your body to transition into sleep.
3. Watch What You Eat
There are known triggers to tinnitus such as alcohol and artificial sweeteners. If you discover, after tracking your diet and symptoms, that specific foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a practice to avoid 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 can help avoid tinnitus or make it better. You can do a few things to help:
- Evaluate your lifestyle to determine whether you’re subjected to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Get treated for depression or anxiety
- Make an appointment for your yearly examination
- Safeguard your ears
- If you have inherent conditions such as high blood pressure, get help for it
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- Don’t use earbuds…use headphones instead and keep the sound level low
If you can identify what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you might be able to deal with it better.
5. Get Examined by a Hearing Care Specialist
A professional hearing test can help you discover what’s causing your tinnitus and suggest possible treatments. Professionals can help you handle your tinnitus in several ways such as:
- Fitting you for hearing aids designed to cancel out the noise
- Enrolling in treatment to train your brain to not hear the tinnitus
- Recommending cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse
To speed up healing and sleep better at night, seek professional help. To see if you can get some help with your tinnitus, schedule your appointment with a hearing care expert.