Here at Hidden Hearing, we work with people with all types of hearing loss, and we know that tinnitus can be one of the most frustrating. People with tinnitus hear sounds in their ears constantly or in episodes, and these may include buzzing, ringing, hissing or other noises.
Many people experience tinnitus temporarily, after being exposed to very loud music or power tools, for example, and this sensation can indicate the sort of noises experienced by people with tinnitus throughout their daily lives.
How Tinnitus Affects Sleep
Tinnitus can affect sleep in many ways, making it harder for people with the condition to get to sleep and worsening the quality of the sleep. This can lead to tiredness and fatigue during the day, and makes sleep disorders more likely.
The sounds of tinnitus are often more obvious at night, sounding louder when the rest of the world is quiet. People with tinnitus also often experience pain or stiffness in their heads, necks and jaws, which can also make it harder to fall asleep comfortably.
People with tinnitus are frequently affected by anxiety and depression, and both of these conditions can cause sleep disruption as well. This often leads to irregular sleep patterns, increased drinking and increased screen time in an effort to distract the mind from sleep.
So what can be done to help?
Experts advise the following tips to help people with tinnitus to sleep better and enjoy a better quality of life.
- Try mindfulness. Mindfulness is recommended as a technique to manage tinnitus during the day as well as at night time, and it can be very effective in training the mind and break the cycle of anxiety that often accompanies the condition.
- Assess sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common condition that people are often unaware that they have, and it is also linked with hearing loss. If you think you may have sleep apnea, you should talk to a medical professional to find out how you can proceed with a diagnosis.
- Use sound. White noise and other background noises can help to distract people with tinnitus and enable them to get a better night of rest. Positive sleep strategies can be very useful in settling the mind and maintaining a calm and relaxed outlook.
- Use CBT. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be very effective in managing several conditions, including insomnia, stress and tinnitus. Seek out expert help or read more about this option to see if it might suit you.
- Get pain checked out. Do not ignore pain in your ears, as this can be an indication of an underlying problem, which could be serious. Get any pain checked out before you explore other options, to ensure that there is no physical reason for the discomfort and sleeplessness you are experiencing.
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