woman sitting in bed with tinnitus

5 Ways to Help You Sleep With Tinnitus

How Do You Sleep With Tinnitus

Have you laid in bed at night where all you can hear is the ringing and chirping sound in your head? 

You try to ignore it, but the room is dead silent and all your mind can do is focus in on those sounds…

If this sounds familiar, we want to let you know that you’re not alone and this is something that individuals with tinnitus experience on a regular basis.

In fact, there are millions of Americans who live with tinnitus, making it one of the most common health issues in the United States according to the American Tinnitus Association. It is estimated that 15% of the population (around 50 million people) has some form of tinnitus.


What is Tinnitus?

Contrary to popular belief, tinnitus is a symptom rather than a condition and is most commonly caused by hearing loss. It is characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external stimulus and is an indicator of issues in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve, and the parts of the brain that process sound.

Tinnitus can be perceived differently from individual to individual, making it different for everyone. It can come on as a variety of noisy and bothersome sounds depending on your unique situation. The most common sounds are likened to: whistling, hissing, wooshing, buzzing, electrical currents, a swarm of bees, running water, dial-up internet, sound of the ocean in a seashell, pulsing, roaring, musical triangles, rain, and gushing. 

You’re now probably wondering, “how do you sleep with tinnitus”? In this article, we’ll go over multiple ways on how to sleep with tinnitus and hopefully allow you to get a restful night of sleep.


1. Use a white noise machine or soundscape app to mask the tinnitus

If you’re dealing with tinnitus, sleeping in a very quiet room could be very detrimental to your sleep. That is why we recommend that you consider using a white noise machine or soundscape app that can help to mask the sound of your tinnitus. You would ideally want to set the volume of the device or app right above the level of your tinnitus to mask the sound.  Dormi Sleep Headphones are another useful tool to help with masking tinnitus. These headphones allows individuals to sleep comfortably while also being able to listen to their favorite white noise sounds and relaxation music. 

The nice thing about these products is that a lot of them are able to play sounds beyond a simple white or pink noise. Most of them are able to play soothing sounds like the wind, rain, forest sounds, and flowing water. 

If you don’t have the financial means to afford these products, a great and inexpensive solution is using a portable fan in your room to mask the sound.

Hatch Sleep Device
Hatch Sleep Device

2. Create an evening sleep routine

By creating an evening sleep routine, it could help you relax the body and mind into sleep. Another reason why you’d want to create a daily routine is to help create triggers or cues to let your body know that it is time to go to sleep. For example, dimming the lights an hour before going to sleep could be a great way to signal to your brain that it’s time to prepare for sleep.

Other activities that you could add to your evening sleep routine are guided meditations, reading a physical book (no tablets), light stretching, breathing exercises, and some forms of yoga.

However, not all activities are ideal when it comes to falling asleep. As hard as it sounds, avoid using devices that emit blue lights (mobile phones, tablets, computer monitors, TVs) before going to sleep. It’s been shown to suppress melatonin production, which is the hormone that affects our sleep and circadian rhythms. 


3. Incorporating breathing exercises into your sleep routine

Breathing exercises are a simple but overlooked solution in easing people to sleep. One of the most popular and effective methods is the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

It was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil to help individuals gain control of their breathing. Before starting, you’ll want to place the tip of your tongue at the roof of your mouth just behind your upper front teeth. You’ll want to keep your tongue there throughout the entire exercise.

  1. Open your mouth slightly and exhale completely through it so that you can make a whooshing sound.

  2. Then you’ll close your mouth and inhale quietly as you count up to four in your head.

  3. Then hold your breath for seven seconds.

  4. Exhale through your mouth and make a whooshing sound for eight seconds.

This whole process is one breath cycle. Repeat this process three more times for a total four breath cycles. 

There are also many apps out there that provide breathing exercises to help you relax. Please check out this list here.


4. Try natural sleep aids or supplements for better sleep

There are many supplements that may help you sleep better and feel calmer. We’ve shared a list of those supplements below:

  1. Melatonin: The hormone is produced naturally in the body and helps to moderate when you go to sleep and wake up. 

  2. Magnesium: It’s an important mineral that is involved with many important bodily functions. It’s also been shown to help with the production of melatonin. 

  3. Valerian Root: This plant has been used as a sleep aid for hundreds of years. It’s been shown to raise the levels of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and as a result, causes the brain to relax.


5. Try not to use ear plugs

For some individuals, using ear plugs actually makes the perceived sound caused by tinnitus louder. The reason for this is because enclosing the ear canal with ear plugs may mean that you can hear the perceived sound more loudly since other sounds are blocked out. 

If external or ambient noises affect your sleep, try using a white noise masker or soundscape to see if it could mask these external noises.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our post titled “How Do You Sleep With Tinnitus” and found these different methods useful. We encourage you to try out different methods to see what works best for your unique situation. However, please keep in mind everybody’s body is different and that these methods may require some testing on your part. Now, go and get some of that deep sleep!

AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.