5 Tips to Improve Your Sleep with Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a symptom of another condition such as an ear injury or age-related hearing loss. The symptoms you'll experience include hearing phantom sounds such as ringing or buzzing. Although it doesn't usually signify something serious, tinnitus can be quite bothersome. The most significant annoyance is interference with sleep. We recommend the following five tips for hearing care and improving your sleep with tinnitus.
1. Regulate Your Bedtime
Did you know that going to bed and waking up at different times each day causes a physiological response similar to jet lag? Sleep consistency is important for restorative sleep. Establish a pattern of physical and mental relaxation to wind down. Turn off the TV and other stimulating devices. Take a warm bath or read a book instead. Then go to bed and set your alarm at the same time each day.
2. Turn Off Backlit Screens
During daylight hours, sunlight helps your body secrete daytime hormones while at night, a hormone called melatonin takes over to induce sleep. This cycle is called the circadian rhythm. The blue light spectrum devices with screens emit interfere with the production of melatonin. You'll get a better night's sleep if you stop using devices with screens at least 90 minutes before bedtime.
3. Sleep in a Cooler and Darker Room
A cooler, pitch-black bedroom makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Cut down on any ambient light sources whether or not you have a hearing loss. We suggest covering lights on alarm clocks and similar sources with easily-removed black electrical tape. Another option is simply using a sleep mask. Set your thermostat for between 60 and 68 degrees. Studies show that's the temperature range for optimal sleep.
4. Use a Sound Masking Strategy
Another easy-to-implement strategy is to play background noise like soft music at a volume just under that of your tinnitus. This practice may help you to ignore the ringing and buzzing. Your sound strategy doesn't have to include music. For some, white noise like a running desk fan or a nature soundtrack may be less distracting.
5. Don't Toss and Turn
Whether you've been unsuccessful at initially falling asleep or can't fall asleep, tossing and turning almost never works. Instead, get up and have a small snack. Digestion requires physiological energy that can help tire you. Get cozy in another room and read a book. Avoid the blue light spectrum of an ebook. Go back to bed when you feel sleepy and try again.
Finally, don't give up. No matter what anyone else has told you, there is help available. Our specialists can offer several hearing care strategies to help you dismiss tinnitus sounds as meaningless background noise. Call us at Chicago Beltone today!