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Woman who is having trouble sleeping because she has tinnitus.

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

Moderate to severe tinnitus can really cause a problem with your sleeping habits. During the day, tinnitus can be less obvious because you’re preoccupied with noise and activity. But during the night, when there’s less noise, tinnitus can get louder and more stressful.

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

Five tricks for falling asleep with tinnitus are shown below.

1. Don’t Resist The Noise

Though this might sound impossible, if you pay attention to it, it gets worse. This is partly because for many people a rise in blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you dwell on it and your frustration will get worse. You can make the sound quieter by thinking about something else and using the following techniques.

2. Establish a Nighttime Routine

Formulating healthy sleep habits such as winding down at least a half hour before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time each 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.

Stress has also been related to tinnitus. Creating habits to lower your stress level before you go to bed can also help, such as:

  • Taking a bath
  • Focusing on thoughts that make you feel happy and relaxed
  • Listening to gentle sounds or relaxing music
  • Stay away from eating a few hours before going to bed
  • At least an hour before bed time, dim the lights
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Sitting in a quiet room and reading a book
  • Stretching or doing yoga
  • Doing a short meditation or a deep breathing exercise
  • Turn down the temperature in your bedroom

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

3. Pay Attention to What You Eat

There are known triggers to tinnitus like alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Steer clear of certain foods if you discover, after monitoring your diet and symptoms, that they trigger or worsen your tinnitus. 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 prevent tinnitus or make it better. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Schedule an appointment for your annual checkup
  • Get help for underlying conditions like high blood pressure
  • Don’t use earbuds…use headphones instead and keep the sound level low
  • Use ear protection
  • To determine whether one of your medications is triggering tinnitus symptoms ask your doctor
  • Assess your lifestyle to identify whether you’re exposed to loud noises (and how to limit exposure)
  • If you have anxiety or depression, get it taken care of

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 examination can help you find possible solutions as well as identify what might be causing your tinnitus. There are several ways hearing professionals can help you manage your tinnitus including:

  • Help you train your brain not to hear tinnitus by signing you up for therapy
  • Help you manage thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse by suggesting cognitive behavior treatment
  • Scheduling a noise canceling hearing aid fitting

Professional help can speed up healing 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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