February 8, 2024

Sleeping With Tinnitus: How to Get a Good Night’s Rest

Graphic of woman plugging her ears with sound waves in the background

Tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears, is common, affecting over 25 million adults across the U.S.1 For some, it is an occasional nuisance. But for those less fortunate, the impact of tinnitus can interfere with many aspects of their daily lives—including getting a good night’s sleep.

Tinnitus can prevent you from falling asleep or getting enough quality restorative sleep, leading to daytime grogginess, anxiety, stress and reduced mental alertness, impacting your health and relationships.

You can take the following steps to help lessen the impact of tinnitus and ensure a good night’s sleep:

  1. Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick with it. Going to bed at the same time every night will help “train” your body that it’s time to shut down and get some sleep.
  2. Use meditation or relaxation exercises. Popular techniques include autogenic training (focusing on creating sensations of warmth and heaviness in your body); deep breathing exercises; guided imagery, where you visualize appealing experiences; and progressive relaxation, tensing and relaxing different muscle groups.
  3. Sleep in a darkened room. If your bedroom window faces a bright external light source, try room-darkening shades.
  4. Keep your bedroom cool. Turning down the thermostat will help promote a good night’s sleep.
  5. Use white noise. White noise is very effective at masking distracting background sounds. You can buy a white noise machine, but an air conditioner, fan or humidifier is just as effective.
  6. Exercise regularly. Exercise helps tire your body, which leads to better sleep. But don’t exercise too closely to bedtime, as this can potentially leave you wired.

These techniques should help you sleep better with tinnitus. If you’re still having difficulty, call Fort HealthCare Audiology at 920.563.6667 in Fort Atkinson or 262.473.8920 in Whitewater to explore your options and schedule a hearing/tinnitus evaluation or complimentary hearing screening.

1 American Tinnitus Association. (n.d.). Why are my ears ringing? https://www.ata.org/about-tinnitus/why-are-my-ears-ringing/