5 Ways to Help You Sleep with Tinnitus - Attune
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5 Ways to Help You Sleep with Tinnitus

Sleep with Tinnitus

If you have tinnitus, it can be tough to fall asleep. Known as the ‘ringing’ in your ear, tinnitus can interrupt every aspect of your life, including your sleep.

To help you get a good night’s sleep, we’ve gathered the five best ways to help you combat sleep disturbances and insomnia caused by tinnitus. 

How Does Tinnitus Prevent You From Sleeping?

Every tinnitus case is unique, and there are many possible causes. Two of the most common factors leading to tinnitus are hearing loss and noise exposure. However, tinnitus can also be caused by certain medications, ear infections, jaw problems, heart pain and more. In fact, two-thirds of Australians report experiencing tinnitus at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, for some, tinnitus becomes a permanent part of their life, hearing it all day, every day. Tinnitus can have a significant impact on the quality of their life and can lead to

  • Concentration issues
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Sleeplessness

Once sleep starts to be affected by the presence of tinnitus, a vicious cycle begins. Being tired leads to worse tinnitus and worse tinnitus makes it harder to sleep. 

If this sounds like the problem you are experiencing, below, we have outlined five different ways to improve your sleep in the presence of tinnitus.

How to Sleep with Tinnitus 

1. See your audiologist 

Many people are told that nothing can be done to improve their tinnitus, and that they need to learn to live with it. However, this can be detrimental to long-term outcomes, delays in seeking expert help and being referred to an audiologist

An audiologist exam is crucial as tinnitus can sometimes indicate medical problems in the ear, hearing pathways, or brain. Once a medical issue has been ruled out, the degree and type of hearing loss will be considered, as research has shown that tinnitus is associated with hearing loss in 90 per cent of cases

After the examination, your audiologist can provide tinnitus counselling and teach you strategies to help cope with the tinnitus, giving you a sense of relief and hope, knowing you can do something about it.  

2. Protect your hearing 

One of the common causes of tinnitus is loud noise exposure. Therefore, protecting your hearing is crucial to avoid tinnitus; this can include using earmuffs or earplugs. 

It is important to understand ‘how loud is too loud’ and know when to use hearing protection. For example, vacuuming your home is considered safe, but if you are a professional cleaner and are exposed to this noise every day, it can damage your hearing. 

Maintain a good sleep routine

3. Maintain a good sleep routine

The importance of a good sleep routine cannot be brushed aside when it comes to tinnitus management. Keeping in control of your sleep habits helps your body maintain healthy circadian rhythms.

A good sleep routine includes going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and doing so in a comfortable, darkened environment, so ambient light doesn’t interrupt your sleep. 

Studies have also shown that the room’s temperature is vital to good sleep hygiene. While most of us enjoy a warm and cosy room, a cool temperature is more important for sleep. If the room is too warm, you are more likely to wake up during the night and start the tinnitus cycle all over again.

4. Exercise 

Evidence has shown that exercising regularly has a positive effect on your sleep quality. Exercising relaxes your body, provides an outlet for stress release and helps to release feel-good chemicals into the body. 

Studies have proven that regular exercise will result in an overall improvement in your general health and quality of life, therefore increasing the chance of reducing stress and tinnitus severity.

Consider hearing aids

5. Consider hearing aids 

Audiologists have known for a long time that hearing aids can reduce your awareness of tinnitus. The hearing aids can improve your access to sound, making the brain too busy listening to the real noises to focus on the insignificant sounds that tinnitus causes. 

Hearing aids follow a process of ‘masking’, where the ambient noise around you masks or covers up the tinnitus, making it easier for you to forget about it. Using hearing aids can also reduce the stress and strain the brain is under trying to follow speech and can therefore reduce the impact of tinnitus. 

Your audiologist can set up a special masking program tailored to your needs and provide a pleasant, low-level background noise that can drown out tinnitus. The less you hear the tinnitus, the less likely your brain is going to strain to look for the tinnitus. Over time, the tinnitus will fade into the background where you won’t notice it. The less you hear of the tinnitus, the better your sleep will be. 

In Summary

By practicing the right strategies, tinnitus doesn’t have to control your sleep and quality of life. 

If you put the work in, you can get used to the tinnitus and train your brain to not focus on it. Once you do this, the tinnitus will fade into the background and you can finally enjoy a peaceful sleep. 

If you have any questions about tinnitus or would like to book a consultation with one of our audiologists, contact your nearest Attune Hearing clinic. We will be able to perform a comprehensive test and provide you with a tailored management plan to help you get back to peaceful sleeping! 


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