Sleep disturbance affects most of us at some stage of our lives. Tiredness can exacerbate tinnitus, and some tinnitus sufferers find they have difficulty getting off to sleep. Here are some techniques to improve your ability to fall asleep.
Try and do the stages in order. If you have spent 5-10 minutes on a stage and you are still struggling to sleep move onto the next stage. The more they become routine, the less likely you will have to do all stages to help you sleep.
Changing your thoughts to a more positive state will help you react in a gentler way to your tinnitus, decreasing your muscles ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
Breathing in for a count and then breathing out for double that amount can help slower your heartbeat and decreasing your muscles ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Making sure you are breathing from your diaphragm is important too.
When people are stressed, tired, anxious etc. they keep tension in different parts of their bodies. Using relaxation techniques can help relieve the tension. The common places for stress are in the knees, hands, shoulders, neck and jaw. Tensing and relaxing these and other areas can help.
Those with tinnitus may find that it is more noticeable and bothersome in a quiet environment, for example at night. Listening to other sounds can make it less intrusive. The sound needs to be quiet enough so that you can still hear your tinnitus over it.
Get out of bed
Get out of bed and do some low-level activity like making a cup of tea, playing cards or reading a book. Lying in bed, sometimes, tricks your body to thinking it is more awake than it is. Therefore, if you get out of bed your body will then be reminded that you are tired and you will be able to get to sleep a lot quicker.
Write in a journal
If the first 5 techniques have not worked then try and write in a journal. It does not have to make any sense or be shown to anyone. Most likely you will end up writing down what on your mind and keeping you awake.
Do not worry
If the first 6 techniques have not worked, do not worry. Sometimes people do not have a good night sleep. The more you work on your sleep hygiene the better your sleep will become.