Ringing in your ears keeping you awake? You don’t have to just live with it. Here are a few guidelines for quieting that irritating, constant sound so you can get some sleep.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can really throw a monkey wrench in your sleep cycle. During the day, tinnitus can be less evident because you’re preoccupied with noise and activity. But during the night, when there’s less noise, tinnitus can get louder and more disturbing.
The good news is, if you want to have an easier time falling asleep, there are some things you can do.
Five tips for falling asleep with tinnitus are shown below.
1. Don’t Resist The Noise
While this may seem difficult to impossible, focusing on the noise actually makes it worse. This is to some extent because for many people a rise in blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you think about it and your aggravation will increase. Paying attention to something else and using the techniques below can help make the noise seem softer.
2. Follow a Nighttime Schedule
Condition your body to get sleepy at the correct time by developing healthy sleep habits such as dimming the lights, winding down at least a half an hour before you go to bed, and going to bed at the same time every night. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be easier.
Tinnitus has also been related to stress. Establishing habits to lessen your stress level before bed can also help, such as:
- Staying away from alcohol
- Stretching or doing yoga
- reduce the heat in your bedroom
- Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
- Listening to mellow music or gentle sounds
- Dimming the lights at least one hour before you go to bed
- At least a few hours before bed, steer clear of eating
- Doing a short meditation or a deep breathing exercise
- Focusing on thoughts that make you relaxed and happy
Getting into a predictable schedule before going to bed helps you shift away from the stresses of the day into night and trains your body to transition into sleep.
3. Pay Attention to What You Eat
Artificial sweeteners and alcohol are known triggers for tinnitus. Stay away from certain foods if you discover, after tracking your diet and symptoms, that they trigger or worsen your tinnitus. Caffeine is also a trigger so at least avoid drinking it in the afternoon and at night.
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. You can do a few things to help:
- Make an appointment for your annual checkup
- Don’t use earbuds…use headphones instead and keep the volume low
- In order to determine whether your exposed to loud noises, and how to limit that exposure, you have to evaluate your lifestyle
- Get help for underlying conditions such as high blood pressure
- Get treated for depression or anxiety
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- Protect your ears
If you can discover what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you might be able to deal with it better.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing examination can help you find potential solutions as well as identify what might be causing your tinnitus. Professionals can help you control your tinnitus in several ways such as:
- Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting
- Suggesting cognitive behavioral treatment to deal with thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse
- Enrolling in treatment to train your brain not to hear the tinnitus
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 specialist.