Is the ringing in your ears keeping you awake? You don’t need to just live with it. Here are a few guidelines for quieting that irritating, persistent sound so you can get some sleep.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can definitely cause a problem with your sleeping habits. In the middle of the day, you’re preoccupied with noise and activity so your tinnitus may seem less noticeable. But tinnitus can seem louder and more stressful at night when it’s not as loud.
The good news is, if you want to have an easier time falling asleep, there are some techniques you can use.
Below are 5 tips to falling asleep in spite of your tinnitus.
1. Don’t Resist The Noise
Although this may sound difficult, if you focus on it, it becomes worse. This is partly because for many people higher blood pressure can worsen tinnitus symptoms. So the more irritated you become dwelling on it, the worse you are likely to feel. Focusing on something else and utilizing the strategies below can help make the noise seem softer.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Developing 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. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be less difficult.
Stress has also been connected to tinnitus. Developing habits to lessen your stress level before bed can also be helpful, such as:
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you happy and calm
- Taking a bath
- Doing a quick meditation or a deep breathing exercise
- Stretching or doing yoga
- reduce the temperature in your bedroom
- Listening to soft music or gentle sounds
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Staying away from alcohol
- Dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime
- Stay away from eating a few hours before going to bed
Getting into a predictable schedule before going to bed helps you shift away from the stresses of the day into night and teaches your body to transition into sleep.
3. Pay Attention to What You Eat
There are known triggers to tinnitus such as alcohol and artificial sweeteners. If you find, 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 having any 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 get better or even prevent it altogether. You can do a few things to help:
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Protect your ears
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- Get help for inherent conditions such as high blood pressure
- Assess your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- If you suffer from depression or anxiety, get it treated
- Go for your yearly exam
If you can identify what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you might be able to manage it better.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing test can help you determine what’s causing your tinnitus and suggest possible treatments. There are several ways hearing professionals can help you control your tinnitus including:
- Help you train your brain not to hear tinnitus by signing you up for therapy
- Fitting you for hearing aids made to cancel out the noise
- Help you deal with thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse by suggesting cognitive behavior therapy
Expert help can speed up healing and assist you to sleep better at night. To find out if you can get some help with your tinnitus, schedule your appointment with a hearing care specialist.