Is the ringing in your ears keeping you awake? You don’t have to just live with it. Here are a few tricks for quieting that irritating, constant sound so you can get some sleep.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can really cause a problem with your sleeping habits. During the daytime, tinnitus is often less noticeable because you’re distracted by noise and activity. But during the night, when there’s less noise, tinnitus can get louder and more disturbing.
Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies you can use to get to sleep easier.
Below are 5 tips to falling asleep in spite of your tinnitus.
1. Don’t Fight The Noise
While this might seem overwhelming, paying attention to the noise really makes it worse. If you start to get aggravated, your blood pressure increases and this makes tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you think about it and your frustration will get worse. You can make the sound quieter by thinking about something else and using the following techniques.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Condition your body to feel sleepy at the correct time by creating good sleep habits such as 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. Developing habits to lower your stress level before you go to bed can also help, such as:
- Doing deep breathing or a quick meditation
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you calm and happy
- Dimming the lights at least one hour before you go to bed
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- At least a few hours before you go to bed, steer clear of eating
- Doing yoga and stretching
- Staying away from drinking alcohol
- Making your bedroom a little cooler
- Listening to quiet sounds or soft music
Getting into a predictable routine 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 like alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Avoid certain foods if you find, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that they trigger or worsen your tinnitus. You may feel like you still need your morning coffee, but avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
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 improve or even stop it altogether. Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Make an appointment for your annual exam
- Assess your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- If you have underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, get help for it
- If you have depression or anxiety, get it taken care of
- Protect your ears
You may be able to better deal with it if you can determine what’s causing the ringing.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing exam can help you determine what’s causing your tinnitus and suggest possible solutions. Professionals can help you take care of your tinnitus in many ways such as:
- Fitting you for hearing aids created to cancel out the noise
- Recommending cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse
- Help you train your brain to not hear tinnitus by enrolling you in therapy
To speed up healing and sleep better at night, seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to see if you can get some help with your tinnitus.