Are you being kept awake by ringing in your ears? It’s not necessary. Here are a few guidelines for quieting that aggravating, constant noise so you can sleep better.
Moderate to severe tinnitus can definitely cause a problem with your sleep cycle. In the middle of the day, you’re distracted by noise and activity so your tinnitus may seem less noticeable. But tinnitus can seem louder and more disturbing at night when it’s quiet.
The good news is, if you would like to fall asleep easier, there are some things you can do.
Below are 5 tips to falling asleep in spite of your tinnitus.
1. Don’t Fight The Noise
Although this might sound impossible, if you focus on it, it becomes 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. Paying attention to something else and utilizing the techniques below can help make the noise seem softer.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Formulating good sleep habits like winding down at least 30 minutes before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time every night helps condition your body to feel sleepy at the right time. This will make it much easier to fall asleep when you’re ready.
Tinnitus has also been related to stress. Establishing habits to lower your stress level before bed can also be helpful, like:
- Avoiding drinking alcohol
- Taking a bath
- Doing deep breathing or a short meditation
- Stay away from eating a few hours before going to bed
- Reading a book in a quiet room
- Doing yoga and stretching
- Listening to gentle sounds or relaxing music
- Concentrating on thoughts that make you relaxed and happy
- Dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime
- reduce the heat in your bedroom
Getting into a predictable schedule before bed helps you shift 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 discover, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that specific foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a habit to steer clear of them. You may feel that 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. Dealing with the cause of tinnitus can help it get better or even prevent it altogether. Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Schedule an appointment for your annual checkup
- Get help for inherent conditions such as high blood pressure
- Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
- Evaluate your lifestyle to determine whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
- Use ear protection
- If you suffer from anxiety or depression, get it taken care of
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
If you can determine what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you may be able to deal with it better.
5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist
A professional hearing exam can help you discover what’s causing your tinnitus and indicate possible solutions. There are many ways hearing professionals can help you manage your tinnitus including:
- Recommending cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse
- Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting
- Enrolling in treatment to train your brain not to hear the tinnitus
Expert help can hasten 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.