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You Have Ringing in Your Ears But You Can Still Sleep
Woman who is having trouble sleeping because she has tinnitus.

Ringing in your ears keeping you awake? It’s not necessary. Here are some guidelines for quieting that annoying, persistent sound so you can sleep better.

Your sleep cycles can be dramatically impacted 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.

Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies 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 might seem difficult to impossible, paying attention to the noise actually makes it worse. This is partly because for most people higher blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you dwell on it and your aggravation will increase. Focusing on something else and making use of the techniques below can help make the noise seem quieter.

2. Establish a Nighttime Schedule

Developing healthy sleep habits like winding down at least 30 minutes before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time each night helps condition your body to feel sleepy at the correct time. This will make it easier to fall asleep when you’re ready.

Stress has also been connected to tinnitus. It also helps to build habits to de-stress before bed.

  • Listening to gentle sounds or relaxing music
  • Concentrating on thoughts that make you happy and relaxed
  • Doing a short meditation or deep breathing
  • Taking a bath
  • Avoiding eating a few hours before going to bed
  • reduce the temperature in your bedroom
  • Doing yoga and stretching
  • At least an hour before bed time, dim the lights
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book

Getting into a predictable routine before bed helps you shift from the stresses of the day into night and trains your body to transition into sleep.

3. Watch What You Eat

There are known triggers to tinnitus such as alcohol and artificial sweeteners. If you discover, after tracking 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 have to have 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. You can do several things to help:

  • Go for your annual checkup
  • Protect your ears
  • Don’t use earbuds…use headphones instead and keep the sound level low
  • Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
  • Assess your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
  • If you have underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, get help for it
  • Get treated for depression or anxiety

You may be able to better manage it if you can identify what’s causing the ringing.

5. Make an Appointment to See a Hearing Specialist

A professional hearing test can help you identify what’s causing your tinnitus and indicate possible treatments. There are several ways hearing professionals can help you take care of your tinnitus including:

  • Help you deal with thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse by recommending cognitive behavior therapy
  • Enrolling in treatment to train your brain to not hear the tinnitus
  • Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting

To speed up recovery 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.

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