How to sleep easier with tinnitus

One of the most common complaints from people experiencing tinnitus is the impact it has on sleep, specifically falling asleep.

The quiet environment of the bedroom can make tinnitus sounds seem louder and harder to tune out. It can get frustrating and that stress in turn makes it harder again to relax into sleep, resulting in a vicious cycle that can leave you tired and desperate.

Don’t despair! There is plenty you can do to make a good nights’ sleep a part of your life again.

Practice good ‘sleep hygiene’

Sleep hygiene covers a variety of habits and practices which are conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. To improve your sleep hygiene make sure you:

• Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends)
• Don’t sleep during the day
• Use the bedroom only for sleeping or relaxing (not watching TV)
• An hour before bed, switch off all screens and start to wind down
• Avoid caffeine after lunchtime 
• Exercise during the day
• Don’t eat a large meal just before going to bed

Try white noise

White noise can be very useful in a number of situations for those of us who experience tinnitus. It works to distract the brain from the tinnitus sounds. Try turning a fan or humidifier on in your room.

Take a look at helpful apps

There are many apps available on iOS and Android which can help with the symptoms of tinnitus but here are a couple of our favourites:

• ReSound Relief (free) offers a combination of sound therapy and relaxation exercises to distract you from your tinnitus. 
• Whist ($2.99) uses sound therapy to help the user identify and create sounds that match the pitch and loudness of their tinnitus to provide the best relief.

The Sound Oasis therapy system

The Sound Oasis therapy system uses clinically proven sound therapy to create a relaxing environment that helps with falling asleep and sleep quality. It has 24 different sounds to choose from and also features a backlit alarm clock. Many people with problematic tinnitus have seen excellent results using the system. Sound Oasis is available through Hearing Australia, call us on 131 797.

Try not to worry

It’s easier said than done but the more you can relax the better your chances of falling asleep. If you are finding it difficult to get to sleep try not to dwell on it. Remind yourself that one bad night’s sleep isn’t going to impact on your health, get out of bed and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading before trying again once you are sleepy.