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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Woman who is having trouble sleeping because she has tinnitus.

Ringing in your ears keeping you awake? You don’t have to just live with it. If you would like to get a better nights sleep, think about these guidelines to tone down this irritating unrelenting sound.

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 quiet.

The good news is, if you want to have an easier time falling asleep, there are some techniques you can use.

Five tips for falling asleep with tinnitus are shown below.

1. Stop Fighting Against The Noise

Although this may sound impossible, if you focus on it, it gets worse. If you start to become irritated, your blood pressure increases and this makes tinnitus symptoms worse. So the more frustrated you become thinking about it, the worse you are probably going to feel. Focusing on something else and making use of the strategies below can help make the noise seem quieter.

2. Establish a Nighttime Routine

Condition your body to get sleepy at the right time by creating healthy sleep habits like dimming the lights, winding down at least a half an hour before you go to bed, and going to bed at the same time each night. When you’re ready to fall asleep it will be less difficult.

Tinnitus has also been related to stress. Developing habits to lower your stress level before bed can also be helpful, such as:

  • Doing yoga and stretching
  • Listening to mellow music or relaxing sounds
  • Dimming the lights at least an hour before you go to bed
  • Reading a book in a peaceful room
  • Concentrating on thoughts that make you feel happy and relaxed
  • Staying away from drinking alcohol
  • Making your bedroom a little cooler
  • At least a few hours before bed, steer clear of eating
  • Doing deep breathing or a quick meditation
  • Bathing

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

3. Watch What You Eat

There are known triggers to tinnitus such as alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Avoid certain foods if you find, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that they trigger or worsen your tinnitus. Caffeine is also a trigger so at least avoid having any in the afternoon and at night.

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 several things you can do to help:

  • Get help for inherent conditions like high blood pressure
  • so that you can identify whether your subjected to loud noises, and how to limit that exposure, you need to evaluate your lifestyle
  • If you suffer from anxiety or depression, get it taken care of
  • Go for your yearly exam
  • Don’t use earbuds…use headphones instead and keep the sound level low
  • To find out if one of your medications is triggering tinnitus symptoms ask your doctor
  • Protect your ears

If you can determine what’s causing the ringing in your ears, you might be able to deal with it better.

5. Get Examined by a Hearing Care Specialist

A professional hearing exam can help you determine what’s causing your tinnitus and indicate possible solutions. Professionals can help you handle your tinnitus in many ways such as:

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

Expert help can hasten healing and help you sleep better at night. To see if you can get some help with your tinnitus, schedule your appointment with a hearing care expert.