HELPFUL HINTS FOR FALLING ASLEEP AT NIGHT WITHOUT MEDICATION
1) Use your bedroom for 1 reason only to sleep at night.
2) Do not use your bedroom for daytime naps; try not to nap during the day, but if you must, use another room.
3) Do not use your bedroom for reading or watching TV even at night before sleep.
4) Do not use your bedroom for work or hobbies.
5) Try to avoid even going into the bedroom anytime during the day except to freshen it up and to retire at night.
6) Keep the atmosphere in your bedroom as pleasant and peaceful as possible. Make it a special place. Never argue there. Surround yourself with objects of comfort and reassurance - heirlooms, photographs, even your favorite teddy bear but avoid too much clutter.
7) Remove the television and VCR from your bedroom.
8) Remove the telephone from your bedroom; get an answering machine or voice mail for another room in your house so you can return calls in the morning to anyone who might want to reach you after you go to bed at night.
9) If you have been used to sharing your bed with someone and that person is frequently away on business or is no longer living in your home (eg. divorce, separation, death), consider keeping extra pillows on the bed, or consider if you are so inclined allowing a pet to sleep next to you at night.
10) If you are unable to fall asleep at night after 15-20 minutes, do not keep trying! Leave the bedroom and watch TV, read a book, work on a project, drink some warm milk or caffeine-free tea, etc., and then when you are more tired go back to your bedroom and try again. If you still cannot fall asleep, leave again. (Same rule if you wake up during the middle of the night and are unable to return to sleep in 15-20 minutes.)
11) Above all AVOID SILENCE. Purchase an inexpensive bedside noise generator and set it to a constant sound (eg., Tropical Rain, Stream, Brook, Ocean, or White Noise) with a volume loud enough for you to hear, but considerably softer than would be required to mask your tinnitus. (Too soft is better than too loud.) Leave it on all night so that even while you sleep and when you wake your auditory system will be bathed in rich soft non-obtrusive sound. If you are concerned about keeping someone else awake with the bedside masker, you can connect it to a pillow speaker.
12) Avoid the use of caffeine during the day and especially after supper. Avoid having a large meal before bedtime
v Please note These guidelines are not a prescription for overnight success; they are designed to effect a conscious and subconscious change in attitude towards the bedroom and sleep. If you already sleep fairly well without much difficulty, there is no reason to change anything. Also they do not represent hard-and-fast rules.- eg., if a tinnitus sufferer lived in a city with a high crime rate or needed it for medical reasons, it probably would not be a good idea to have the telephone removed from the bedroom.
Adapted from website www.tinn.com (Dr. Stephen M. Nagler)
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