Why Is My Tinnitus Worse When I Wake Up? Tinnitus in the Morning

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Why Is My Tinnitus Worse When I Wake Up? Tinnitus in the Morning

Tinnitus is an often misunderstood hearing condition. It is common to wake up to the sounds of tinnitus, which might sound louder, more intense, or more noticeable first thing in the morning.

There are lots of reasons for this, which we’ll discuss. Still, our advice is never to suffer in silence or resign yourself to disruptive, unsettled morning routines where it is difficult to focus on conversations or enjoy your favourite breakfast TV or radio show due to tinnitus.

Innovative tinnitus therapies can make a substantial difference in your quality of hearing and reduce or eliminate those persistent sounds – from the start of each day onward.

tinnitus worse in morning

Key Takeaways

  • Tinnitus often appears louder in the morning due to the absence of background noise during sleep, making the brain more alert to these sounds. Other factors include mild dehydration, hormonal changes, and sleeping positions, which can all contribute to the heightened perception of tinnitus upon waking.
  • Comprehensive evaluations by audiologists can identify the specific causes and characteristics of morning tinnitus. Innovative personalised sound therapy helps in creating habituation, reducing or eliminating the perception of tinnitus by retraining the brain to disregard the sounds.
  • Improving sleep quality through consistent sleep schedules, comfortable environments, and reduced screen time can help mitigate tinnitus symptoms. Relaxation techniques, physical activity, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are also effective in managing and reducing the intensity of tinnitus, particularly in the morning.

Reasons Tinnitus Is Often Worse in the Morning

It’s important to clarify that tinnitus affects everybody differently. For example, you might perceive tinnitus as a sound described as hissing, ringing or buzzing. It might occur in one ear or both and be present all the time, intermittently, or during specific parts of the day.

Some audiologists believe that the primary cause of exacerbated tinnitus in the morning is simply a reaction to the silence most people experience when they sleep. Without background noises to distract their brains from their tinnitus, those sounds might appear louder in the morning.

However, we can also examine how our brains interpret tinnitus and how the sleeping and waking cycles impact that perception. In the morning, we transition from sleep into being awake, which normally means the auditory system is more alert and can pick up sounds we might not notice at other times.

Greater awareness of noises can make tinnitus feel more intense in the morning, even if the actual sound is not louder.

Alongside our sleep cycles, there are other factors linked to some of the underlying causes thought to cause or exacerbate tinnitus, which may contribute to more obvious tinnitus symptoms first thing.

Greater Chance of Mild Dehydration

When our bodies are dehydrated, the fluid inside our ears becomes thicker, which is why many people feel their ears are slightly clogged on waking up. After a longer period of sleep, without consuming water, we are more likely to be slightly dehydrated, whereas drinking plenty of fresh water can help restore a balanced state.

Hormonal Changes and Tinnitus Symptoms

In some clients, tinnitus can be linked to factors such as anxiety or stress, where the natural hormones we produce can influence how we perceive tinnitus or the impact those sounds have. First thing in the morning, people often have small, temporary spikes in adrenaline and cortisol levels purely due to the transition to wakefulness, which can mean a temporary increase in tinnitus sounds.

The Links Between Sleeping Positions and Tinnitus

Another possible factor is the way you sleep. If, for instance, you sleep on either your right or your left side, the blood flow and pressure to that ear will be greater than to the other. In some people, this can intensify their tinnitus, although research about sleep positions and how these affect tinnitus remains ongoing.

What do our audiologists say?

Lindsay Fletcher“I understand that tinnitus can be particularly distressing in the morning due to the heightened awareness of sound after a silent night. Through our revolutionary personalised sound therapy and comprehensive hearing assessments, we can effectively manage and often reduce the perception of tinnitus, helping you start your day with clarity and peace.”

Lindsay Fletcher, (RHAD), (BSHAA), FdA Company Director & Consultant Audiologist

How to Reduce the Severity of Tinnitus on Waking Up

If tinnitus makes it difficult to start your day on the right foot, the best option is to speak with one of our skilled audiologists and learn more about our groundbreaking personalised tinnitus sound therapy programme.

This therapy is bespoke to each client and involves mapping out the exact tone, sound, pitch and frequency of your tinnitus, alongside thorough assessments of your tinnitus symptoms, hearing quality and ear health.

Therapies aim to create a state of habituation, where you don’t just experience tinnitus sounds to a lesser extent, but your brain disregards the noises altogether until you cannot hear any indications of tinnitus.

Many clients report immediate and significant drops in the intensity of their tinnitus after each therapy appointment. We can offer further information and evaluations to determine any factors that may be causing your tinnitus to worsen in the mornings and how sound therapy can help.

Focusing on Good Sleep to Relieve Tinnitus

Other strategies can also assist, particularly ensuring you go to bed and wake up at a consistent time each day. Better quality sleep and having a stable schedule that your body clock adjusts to are beneficial for your overall health and can stop tinnitus from becoming overwhelming when you wake up.

Tinnitus sufferers also find that reduced screen time, a cooler, more comfortable sleeping environment, and cosy bedding improve sleep quality. Avoiding caffeine or other stimulants before bedtime ensures a full night of restorative sleep.

Using Relaxation Techniques

Some clients find that activities that distract them from tinnitus are useful, particularly in the morning when there are fewer background noises or sounds that lessen the impact of tinnitus. That might include mindfulness practices like deep breathing, calming tension and stress, and helping you refocus.

Others opt for physical activity or movement, such as morning stretches or a walk. This naturally releases endorphins that help boost our mood, which can reduce the intensity of tinnitus while also making it easier to cope with.

Alternative approaches, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), have also been used for some time to combat the effects of tinnitus. CBT can help reduce the awareness of the sounds produced within your ears—or simply make them less noticeable or frustrating.

Resolving Morning Tinnitus With Customised Sound Therapy

We appreciate that tinnitus can be distressing and distracting at any time of the day, but often more so in the morning. Waking up to persistent and uncomfortable noise sensations can make it difficult to set a positive mindset or find enthusiasm and energy for your daily routine—whatever that might look like.

Regain Hearing recommends that prospective clients who are struggling with tinnitus or find that the symptoms negatively impact their everyday lives contact their nearest clinic at their earliest convenience.

Our audiologists can perform thorough ear health and hearing assessments, identify any causes contributing to or worsening your tinnitus, and discuss sound therapy treatment to provide a permanent solution.