Sleep despite Tinnitus
Hey my fellow Sleepy Cats,
this Blogpost is about something we all know is difficult- Tinnitus and Sleeping. It is especially hard as we are all, more or less, used to quietness at night. Most of us require some form of quietness plus usually darkness around us to fall- and to stay asleep. With Tinnitus, unfortunately one of these circumstances changes. We hear the soun all the time. And more than the sound itself, what is keeping us awake, is the reaction we tend to repeat when we focus and give Tinnitus attention.Here’s a video I made on Tinnitus and sleeping:
This negative reaction to Tinnitus triggers a number of things that follow.
1. We lose our sleepiness – When we react to Tinnitus with grief, annoyance or anger, our (usual) relaxed pre-sleep state, turns into a state of agony dominated by stress hormones such as cortisone, cortisol and adrenaline.
The production of such stress hormones leads to an instant decrease in melatonin levels in your system. As melatonin is known as the sleep-hormone, this instantly reduces your sleepiness. The negative reaction to Tinnitus is repetitive. Once you wake up at night and remember that the Tinnitus is there, the same reaction is then triggered, and you will have a hard time to fall back asleep.
So what can you do then?
The most important thing, which I tackle also within my coachings, is to change your reaction towards Tinnitus. Tinnitus is almost always not dangerous (please always see your GP to make sure it’s not). So why should you let this sound that so many other people hear let you deprive yourself of the sleep you so desperately need in order to conquer your daily tasks?
Here are a few tips that you can follow to make sleeping at night easier for you:
I. Avoid blue light already in the later stages of the afternoon. You can find Apps on Android or iOS that will allow you to filter the blue light in your screen. Some phones even have this in their native settings. Also, it does not matter whether the blue light comes from. Whether your phone or your TV or the computer etc. Avoid the blue light in the evening as, same as with angry thoughts about tinnitus, it inhibits your melatonin production.
II. Try to avoid caffeine after 2 pm (or completely if you feel very anxious); Similarly to stress hormones, the caffeine kicks us up and allows us to draw some extra energy. However, too late in the day, it can inhibit your melatonin production, and therefore make it harder for you to fall asleep.
III. Take natural remedies such as valerian before sleep to calm you down. Valerian is a great natural remedy to make you feel more relaxed. Take one three hours before going to bed and another one just one hour before sleeping. You can find Valerian pretty much in any drugstore, pharmacy and even in some supermarkets.
IV. Take additional Melatonin. If you feel like you are in a bad state and sleeping is really difficult for you, adding some of the sleep hormones is a good way to get better rest. In most countries, you find melatonin in pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription. By the way, pistachio nuts are a great source of natural Melatonin. A handful of them should have you sleep better in no time 🙂
V. Use St. Jon’s Wort for light depressions. If you feel under the weather because of thinking about tinnitus and having a negative reaction towards it over a prolonged period of time, chances are that you fall into a slight depression. Life has taught me that falling into depression is easy, getting out of there can be a very hard task to accomplish. St. John’s Wort is a great natural anti-depressant, that can help you to improve the chemistry in your brain in your favour.
VI. Practice recurring evening rituals (like reading, or writing a diary). It is very important that we signal our body in the evening when it is actual time to sleep. We humans are creatures of habit and so is our sleeping rhythm about the habits we form. After brushing your teeth and going to bed, sit down for a minute and write things down, or read another page in an easy going book. This way your brain will know that it’s time to fall asleep and stay asleep until the next morning.
VII. Exercise, spend time with people you love, and have a more or less fulfilling day. I find that exercising is still of the most effective ways for me to get a good night sleep. When my body is very drained I also feel that my mind can calm down much more easily. Spending time with people you love and care about will give you the opportunity to create a positive balance of happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
Well friends, I hope this little article about how you can sleep better despite tinnitus was helpful for you.
If you have any other questions, or if you are looking to have someone help you with practicing these habits, I am happy to be your tinnitus coach.
You can always contact me under firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next time 🙂
Much love for all of you out there,