Tinnitus & Sleep Disturbance
3 min read
Understanding How Tinnitus Affects Your SleepWhen you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the entire day can be thrown into disarray, and it can have a serious impact on your health. Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or din in the ear that either comes and goes or is constant, and it is one of the most common causes of sleep disturbance. Often, insomnia and tinnitus go hand in hand.
Tinnitus can be caused by a buildup of wax in the ear, exposure to loud noise, head injuries, or even whiplash. It is often most prominent when you are in a quiet environment - for instance, in the silence of your bedroom when you go to sleep. Learn how tinnitus can affect the sleep cycle and what you can do about it. For more information, reach out to us here at Elite Hearing Centers of America.
Tinnitus and the Sleep CycleFor most adults, the sleep cycle consists of light sleep that transitions to heavy sleep as the hours pass. However, as we get older, there are more awakenings in between. Sometimes you remember these awakenings and sometimes you don’t. For many people with tinnitus, the sleep cycle is disturbed because they are unable to shut out the sound of ringing in the ears and drift off to sleep in the first place. This can have a huge impact on how much sleep you get, and the quality of sleep you get.
One of the most problematic things about tinnitus is that you can hear it more clearly when you are in a quiet environment. In fact, many people with tinnitus won’t notice it at all during the day, but when things quiet down and they try to sleep, it keeps them up.
It’s important to note that tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying ear issue. It could be a sign of age-related hearing loss, an ear injury, or it could point to a lack of blood circulation in the ear. It's important to have tinnitus checked out by an audiologist as soon as possible.
Tinnitus ReliefThere are things that you can do to get some relief from tinnitus and achieve better sleep. Here are some tips for sleeping better with tinnitus:
- Use a Fan - The white noise of a standing or ceiling fan may mask the drone of tinnitus.
- Read a Book - Reading a book in bed is a great example of a mental relaxation activity that will make it easier for your brain to transition into sleep.
- Limit Blue Light - Blue light from phone, TV, and computer screens can disrupt your circadian rhythms. Limiting your screen time before bed or using blue light-filtering glasses could make it easier to fall asleep.
- See an Audiologist - The best thing you can do is speak to an audiologist about your specific tinnitus issue.