Is the ringing in your ears stopping you from sleeping? You don’t need to just live with it. Here are some guidelines for quieting that aggravating, constant noise so you can sleep better.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can really throw a monkey wrench in your sleeping habits. In the middle of the day, you’re preoccupied with noise and activity so your tinnitus might seem less noticeable. But tinnitus can seem louder and more disturbing at night when it’s not as loud.
Luckily, there are a few techniques you can use to get to sleep easier.
Below are 5 techniques to falling asleep despite your tinnitus.
1. Quit Resisting The Noise
While this may appear overwhelming, focusing on the noise actually makes it worse. This is in part because for many people higher blood pressure can worsen tinnitus symptoms. So the more aggravated you become dwelling on it, the worse you are probably going to feel. You can make the sound quieter by thinking about something else and using the following techniques.
2. Follow a Nighttime Routine
Condition your body to feel sleepy at the right 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. This will make it easier to fall asleep when you’re ready.
Stress has also been associated with tinnitus. It’s also helpful to create habits to de-stress before bed.
- Making your bedroom a little cooler
- Stretching or doing yoga
- At least a few hours before bed, steer clear of eating
- Doing a quick meditation or deep breathing
- Avoiding alcohol
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Listening to gentle sounds or relaxing music
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you calm and happy
- Dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime
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. Pay Attention to What You Eat
Artificial sweeteners and alcohol are known triggers for tinnitus. If you find, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that specific foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a practice to avoid them. You might feel like you still need your morning coffee, but avoid caffeine in the afternoon or at nights.
4. Avoid Common Causes of Tinnitus
Ringing or other noises in your ears can be caused by many things. Addressing the cause can help avoid tinnitus or make it better. Here are several things you can do to help:
- To determine whether one of your medications is triggering tinnitus symptoms check with your doctor
- If you have inherent conditions like high blood pressure, get help for it
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Get treated for anxiety or depression
- Schedule an appointment for your annual exam
- Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Use ear protection
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 exam can help you find potential solutions as well as identify what might be causing your tinnitus. There are several ways hearing professionals can help you manage your tinnitus including:
- Fitting you for hearing aids made to cancel out the noise
- Enrolling in therapy to train your brain to not hear the tinnitus
- Recommending cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse
To speed up healing and sleep better at night, seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to find out if you can get some help with your tinnitus.