For many people with tinnitus, the worst time of day for their symptoms is when they are trying to go to sleep. Why tinnitus gets worse around bedtime can be due to a mix of things, from the increased silence to a racing, anxious mind aggravating your tinnitus.
The main problem with tinnitus becoming worse as you try to sleep is that without proper sleep, you can struggle with a host of issues, ranging from mental health deterioration to impacting your physical health.
So, to help you get the sleep you need, our hearing health care professionals here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas are here to help.
Try Sound Masking
While covering your ears won’t do anything to help alleviate the ringing in your ears due to tinnitus, using something to mask the sound of your tinnitus can help. In general, tinnitus becomes worse when you are in near or complete silence.
To help combat nighttime tinnitus, you can use a sound masker. A sound masker can be a separate machine designed to generate white noise or other soothing sounds or something simple, like a running fan.
Practice Mindfulness Before Bed
Mindfulness, both before bed and during tinnitus symptom flare-ups, can be an important part of managing your tinnitus. With mindfulness, you don’t try to reject or ignore your tinnitus—instead, you accept it. Along with acknowledging your tinnitus, you assess how you are currently feeling. Are you stressed after a long day? Is your body achy, and you need to stretch a bit?
As your physical condition and stress levels can have a direct impact on your tinnitus, it is important to be aware of how you are feeling. Practicing mindfulness before bed can help get you into the right headspace to enjoy a good night’s rest.
Use The Levo System
For those with moderate-to-severe tinnitus, stronger intervention may be needed to help you sleep at night. One such tinnitus treatment tool is the Levo System.
The Levo System is a custom tinnitus treatment program where your specific tinnitus—the volume, pitch, and frequency—are matched in a sound program by one of our hearing instrument specialists. After your tinnitus program has been created, you will listen to the program at night as you sleep, which helps to train your brain to become accustomed to your tinnitus.
With the Levo System, your brain will get used to how your tinnitus sounds in your sleep and will no longer have it as a sound in the forefront of your attention.
Stick To A Sleep Routine
Prolonged struggles with tinnitus interrupting your sleep can make it difficult to fall asleep. To break the cycle of tossing and turning—which often increases stress and triggers tinnitus—you need to create a sleep routine.
A simple sleep routine would be to have set times you wake up and go to bed. While you can have some flexibility, it is best that you stick to this routine even on days where you might not have to get up, as it can help keep you on track. You can add to your sleep routine, such as always having a cup of tea before bed or other relaxing rituals.
Turn Off Screens
Humans naturally produce melatonin as night falls to help us fall asleep, but the blue light that comes from smartphones, TVs, computer screens, and other tech interferes with that production. If you are already struggling to fall asleep due to tinnitus, it is important to reduce your screen time before bed.
Try to give yourself at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed, though 90 minutes would be best.
Utilize Hearing Aids During The Day
For those with hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids are an ideal solution. With hearing aids, you will receive more regular sound input, which helps prevent tinnitus flare-ups, and there are tinnitus management tools built into many digital hearing aids. Using these tools during the day to keep your tinnitus in check can help prevent symptoms at night.
Also, even if you don’t have hearing loss, you can use hearing aids to manage your tinnitus. A number of our patients have found success in using the hearing aids our hearing instrument specialists have programmed for them to specifically combat their tinnitus.
Cool Down Your Room
Cooler rooms help promote deeper sleep. That doesn’t mean that you have to sleep cold, but having a lower ambient room temperature—somewhere between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit—can help make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Personalize Your Tinnitus Treatment
Many of the strategies we outlined above can be combined to help you sleep better while living with tinnitus. However, accessing some of the tools to help you treat and manage your tinnitus will require the oversight of hearing health care professionals.
If you would like our hearing health care professionals’ assistance in managing and treating your tinnitus, feel free to contact us today to arrange for a consultation.