HEARING TIPS

You Have Ringing in Your Ears But You Can Still Sleep

Woman who is having trouble sleeping because she has tinnitus.

Are you being kept up by ringing in your ears? You don’t have to just live with it. Here are some tricks for quieting that annoying, constant noise so you can get some sleep.

Your sleep habits can be dramatically affected by moderate to severe tinnitus. 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.

Luckily, there are a variety of strategies you can use to fall asleep easier.

Below are 5 techniques to falling asleep in spite of your tinnitus.

1. Don’t Fight The Noise

Though this might sound difficult, if you focus on it, it becomes worse. This is partly because for most people higher blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. So the more frustrated you get dwelling on it, the worse you are probably going to feel. Focusing on something else and using the strategies below can help make the noise seem quieter.

2. Establish a Nighttime Schedule

Condition your body to get sleepy at the right time by creating good sleep habits like dimming the lights, winding down at least a 30 minutes 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 less difficult.

Tinnitus has also been associated with stress. It also helps to create habits to lessen stress before bed.

  • Doing a short meditation or deep breathing
  • Taking a bath
  • Stay away from eating a few hours before going to bed
  • Making your bedroom slightly cooler
  • Dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime
  • Avoiding drinking alcohol
  • Concentrating on thoughts that make you happy and relaxed
  • Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
  • Doing yoga and stretching
  • Listening to quiet sounds or relaxing music

Training your body to transition into sleep by getting into a predictable routine before bed helps you transition away from the stresses of the day.

3. Pay Attention to What You Eat

Artificial sweeteners and alcohol are well-known triggers for tinnitus. If you find, after tracking your diet and symptoms, that certain foods trigger or worsen your tinnitus, make it a practice to avoid them. You may feel that you still need your morning coffee, but avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening.

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 improve or even stop it altogether. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • If you have inherent conditions such as high blood pressure, get help for it
  • Go over your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
  • Safeguard your ears
  • Go for your annual checkup
  • Get treated for anxiety or depression
  • Use headphones at a lower volume instead of earbuds
  • Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)

You might 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 identify what’s causing your tinnitus and indicate possible solutions. Professionals can help you take care of your tinnitus in many ways such as:

  • Help you handle thought patterns shown to make tinnitus worse by recommending cognitive behavior treatment
  • Fitting you for hearing aids made to cancel out the noise
  • Help you train your brain to not hear tinnitus by signing you up for therapy

Professional help can speed up recovery and help you sleep better at night. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to find out if you can get some help with your tinnitus.

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