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What you can do to manage tinnitus

Relaxation exercises

A regular relaxation routine can help to reduce stress levels. And, as you become calmer and more relaxed, you may find it easier to manage your tinnitus and not notice it as much.

Many tinnitus clinics teach relaxation exercises to help with tinnitus management. Speak to your specialist if you think you could benefit, to find out what’s available.

Relaxation exercises usually involve deep breathing, muscle relaxation and rhythmic exercises. They can be done anywhere at any time. You’ll get most benefit if you do them regularly, as part of your daily routine.

You can also learn how to relax by going to a local relaxation, yoga or mindfulness class. And many apps (software applications) for smartphones and tablet devices can guide you through relaxation exercises.

You can find a simple breathing exercise for stress on the NHS website.


Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation that involves paying more attention to the present moment – to your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the world around you. It has been shown to have a range of positive effects and can improve general wellbeing.

Mindfulness is not expected to change the nature of tinnitus, but it can change how you respond to it in a positive way. It can help you to accept your tinnitus, so that you no longer fight it and it no longer causes you to feel distressed.

Listen to soothing sounds

You don’t need professional support to make use of sound therapy. You can try soft music, or different sound therapy products and tinnitus apps to take your mind off tinnitus.

Improve your general health

Having a well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise will help your overall wellbeing and may help you to cope with tinnitus more easily. Speak to your GP for advice.

Protect your ears from loud noise

Exposure to too much loud noise can damage your ears and worsen existing tinnitus.

See our online information on how to protect your ears.

If your sleep is affected

You might want try these tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Get up at the same time each day, even at weekends – don’t nap in the day or catch up on lost sleep as this won’t improve your sleeping pattern.
  • Think about room temperature and the bedding you use – if you’re too hot or too cold in your bed, you’re more likely to wake up during the night.
  • Reduce nicotine and caffeine – both are stimulants that can keep you awake.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol – it may help you get to sleep initially, but it may make you wake you sooner, once the effects have worn off, and stop you getting back to sleep.
  • ‘Wind down’ at least an hour before bed – have a warm bath or listen to relaxing music, and put your mobile devices away.
  • Switch the light off as soon as you go to bed and tell yourself that sleep will come. Don’t ‘try hard’ to go to sleep – resting in bed can be just as helpful.
  • Find a short relaxation exercise to try when you’re in bed.
  • Try listening to gentle music – this may relax you and distract you from your tinnitus.

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