Plenty of people will experience tinnitus, even if only temporarily. Whether it manifests as a ringing in the ears or buzzing, roaring, clicking, or other irritating sounds, most people can simply brush off their tinnitus. However, for a fraction of those individuals who experience tinnitus, their hearing condition can be debilitating and impact several facets of their lives.
One such facet is how tinnitus can trigger sleep disorders like insomnia. According to The Hearing Journal, there is a strong link between those who suffer from tinnitus developing insomnia. Part of this development is due to the negative psychological feedback—i.e., “I’ll never be able to sleep with tinnitus,” etc.—while some of the problems are due to how tinnitus can disrupt the sleep cycle.
Tinnitus Can Disrupt Sleep At Several Stages
Individuals struggling with tinnitus—even the more moderate levels of tinnitus intensity—can struggle to fall asleep. Part of this difficulty is due to the fact that tinnitus often becomes worse when you are in complete silence, which is how many of us try to fall asleep.
For those with more severe tinnitus, you may not even get to the light sleep stage as your tinnitus interrupts. One of our tinnitus patients was only able to sleep for about two hours a night at the height of his tinnitus struggles. Without the refreshing and needed REM sleep, tinnitus sufferers can start to struggle with other mental and physical health deterioration.
Tinnitus can also impact those who have pre-existing sleep conditions. For instance, for those who suffer from untreated sleep apnea, sleep disruptions are common as airways close and fail to deliver oxygen. When you wake up from a sleep apnea event, your tinnitus can be worsened by the lack of oxygen and make it impossible to go back to sleep.
Ways To Manage Tinnitus For Better Sleep
A significant part of the tinnitus management we offer here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas involves comprehensive tinnitus education. We want you to know all of your options, from the lifestyle changes that can help to what equipment can assist in addressing your tinnitus. Below are some of the things we cover with tinnitus patients on how they can manage their tinnitus for better sleep.
Make Lifestyle Adjustments
There is a variety of lifestyle adjustments that you can make to help manage tinnitus as well as insomnia, such as:
- Daily exercise
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
- Establish a set wake up/go to bed routine
- Stop screen time before bed
- Engage in daily meditation
Seek Professional Tinnitus Treatment
Along with lifestyle adjustments, there are a variety of tinnitus treatment options that we offer. For those who have the most tinnitus disruptions at night, a sound masker may be the right option. Those with more severe tinnitus can benefit from something like the Levo System, which helps habituate you to your tinnitus in your sleep.
Also, as part of your tinnitus treatment evaluation, you will receive a diagnostic hearing exam. With this exam, our hearing instrument specialists will be able to determine if hearing loss plays a part in your tinnitus issues, and help you address both hearing problems.
Lower Bedroom Temperature
While sleeping in a toasty room sounds great, it can actually contribute to your difficulty to fall asleep on top of your tinnitus. There is research that shows that by lowering the ambient temperature of your bedroom, you can help your body slip into deeper sleep quicker. That way, your tinnitus won’t be able to disrupt your sleep as easily.
Keep your room temperature between 60-67 degrees for the best results. Also, while the room should be cold, you can still bundle up under the blankets!
Establish A Sleep Routine
Practicing a good sleep routine can also help you work through sleep disorders like insomnia and manage your tinnitus. If you work on going to bed and waking up at the same time, you can get your body used to falling asleep at the right time with less struggle.
Also, you may want to do things like turning off all screens an hour before bed, and setting up a routine—i.e., brush teeth and floss, wash face, change into pjs, etc.—to help you give yourself time to relax and prepare for bed.
If you would like to consult with our hearing health care professionals about your tinnitus, you can contact us today to schedule an appointment. We are happy to schedule a tinnitus evaluation and help you find the tinnitus management and treatment options that work best for your needs.