Intermittent Tinnitus Switched On/Off By Sleep

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Golly, Jul 5, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Hi Everyone:

      My tinnitus comes and goes. Interestingly, it is sleep that both turns it on and turns it off. That is, if I have a long, deep sleep, I may wake up noise free (and stay that way all day). However, after a noise-free day, I will likely wake up to tinnitus the following morning and have to deal with hissing all day. This creates a kind of cyclical pattern.

      Anyone else here with this type of tinnitus? If so, have you been successful in predicting the pattern?

      -Golly
       
    2. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hi Golly,

      Many people have a pattern to their T, though it is not always easy to figure out. I have a pattern of low noise and loud noise days. They seem to repeat themselves every week. I will have a couple low noise days followed by a couple loud noise days. Sometimes there are certain things I do like sports which can make it loud but normally it follows the same pattern for the entire day: if I am having a low noise day, it is now usually low the entire day and if I am having a loud day, it is loud all day.

      Best not to try and spend to much time figuring out patterns and triggers. Usually, you cannot and doing so forces you to focus on your T too much which is what you don't want to do.
       
    3. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Thanks Erik:

      I expect you are right: not much point in trying to figure out the pattern as it leads to dwelling on the problem!

      I do, however, find the relationship between tinnitus and sleep fascinating, as it suggests to me that there is some kind of switch in the brain that is triggered when certain sleep patterns occur.

      To the extent that others here have the same "type" of tinnitus, I would like to know if they have had any luck with particular medications. I have tried a few with varying degrees of success, and would be happy to discuss if anyone is interested.

      -Golly
       
    4. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hi Golly
      I have not used to many meds and when I did it was for only very short durations so not enough to establish a record of whether they did or did not work for me. I know that the brief times I took Xanax and Lorazepam, I would sleep better, but then again at that time I was very anxious because of my T and they did what they were supposed to.

      Yes, I think there might be a sleep/T connection and stress connection. I have fluctuating T, so I have noticed some things about sleep. When I get a good night's sleep (6-8 hours), deep sleep with a clear mind, it will mostly lead to a low noise day for me. When I have a bad night's sleep with only a few hours, or longer sleep that is broken throughout, I will have a louder noise day. I will also note that clearing your mind of the day's stresses and negative thoughts will help lead to a better night sleep. If I am worrying about something(s), then even if I sleep a longer duration, my T will invariably be louder.
       
    5. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      By saying "type" you're talking about the one that's affected by sleep? what medications did you try that you had benefit from?
       
    6. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Not just affected by sleep. (I understand that regardless of etiology, sleep can have a profound impact on how one perceives head noise.) I am referring to the type of tinnitus that is sometimes simply not there. For example, I had absolutely no tinnitus yesterday. Upon waking this morning, however, it was back. I have corresponded with a host of intermittent tinnitus sufferers, and I believe that invariably, sleep is the key trigger with all these folks.

      As for medications, I take Remeron regularly (15mg) a night to ensure good sleeps. I also take Klonopin on occasion (1mg once or twice a week) if I have several bad days in a row.

      I have tried other medications, which I am happy to discuss. However, no drug that I have tried has been able to make the tinnitus stop dead in its tracks, so to speak. If my hissing is going to go away for a day, the change happens overnight while I sleep. There is an exception to this rule that I will soon discuss in another thread. But generally, this is the pattern.

      -G
       
    7. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Golly, I too have this pattern. I can have very low T after a night's sleep and pretty much it is that way for the entire day. On the flip side, I can have loud T immediately after waking also and it will remain loud all day. I can still have fluctuations throughout the day but if it begins low, the fluctuations do not go that much louder and if it begins loud the fluctuations can get louder. It seems like if I get good deep sleep then I will have a better T day and if I have a bad sleep, it is usually louder. Interesting how sleep does affect one's T in some people. By the way, I do not take any meds at this time.
       
    8. Joe Pernice

      Joe Pernice Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/9/2000
      Hi Golly. I've had tinnitus for about 13 years. The first 10 years or so my tinnitus would switch on and off every 2 days and only when I was asleep. The last few years the pattern has changed, but the on off only when I sleep has not. When my tinnitus started I was driving my car home from work and I thought there was something wrong with the car when I heard a hissing sound. I turned the radio off and pulled over and of course I realized it was in my head. It started on both ears at the same time so I never believed it was damage do to loud noises. I think it was stress and anxiety.
      Joe
       
    9. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Hi Joe:

      In what way has you tinnitus pattern changed over the last three years?

      -Golly
       
    10. kobestrat

      kobestrat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      I have had Tinnitus for 3 years, right ear perception, pure tone, high freq, low to med level db (50 years old now).I am Supervising Sound Editor/Rerecording Mixer in the film industry in Los Angeles for 23 years and before that toured as a professional guitar player in a prog rock band with a Wall of Marshall Amps behind me for a total of 35 years of loud sound thus I have hearing damage so just want to get that out on the table first for a baseline.

      Mostly I don't give T a lot of focus or energy but when I am stressed I recognize it with a pattern of 2 days on 1 day off and I have read this pattern with many others on T Forums, clearly there is something to the 2/1 day pattern. This is going to sound horribly ironic(like Vic Morrow in The Twilight Zone film if you remember what characters roll was all about in that film) but I have found on days that I have loud T if I get in my car and play a specific Black Crowes Song loud for even just 3 minutes it shuts off my T for quite often the whole day or sometimes just an hour or a few minutes, it's a real crap shoot as to what it will do time frame wise BUT I notice if I immediately focus on talking to someone or get out my car and get busy without any "checking in with my T" it will indeed be gone for the day.

      This brings me to my Audio Engineering backyard diagnosis and treatment hypothesis:

      When I turn on the loud music and I actually sing along(love Chris Robinson great soul!) what I believe the loud music is actually doing is acting like a piece of equipment we use in the audio engineering world that is a called a Compressor. The loud music is compressing the Tinnitus ringing as it can not compete with the loud "input" from the music. I have tested this remedy numerous times now and it consistently reduces the Tinnitus to level that I can not pickup on it and if I quickly focus on other things quite often I can loose it for the day!

      The Irony of course is the loud music caused my Tinnitus and now I am have to use a little loud music to get rid of it!
       
    11. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      @kobestrat

      Thanks for posting---what an interesting phenomenon! I also have a cyclic type of tinnitus that has been with me for about three years. Some time back, I figured out that a loud shower can shut off my T, often for the entire day. Your theory sounds plausible; I just wish I could find a sound source that didn't involve my getting wet! Out of curiosity: when you you say "loud," just how loud do you mean?

      -Golly
       
    12. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      So quasi-technically you put some loud music into your tinnitus compressor sidechain and set the release time as long as possible :) Gotta have one of those!
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    13. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids

      Golly
      That's how my tinnitus has been; I've actually had up to four days off, but for the most part I'm two days off and one day on. I have no explanation for this pattern but I am grateful for the days off.
      Recently I've learned that my tinnitus is somatic (it has its base and cause in my upper cervical/brain stem area). I'm an avid runner and racquetball player; those two activities have a positive affect (turn it way down or off) wherein my weight lifting would have a negative affect (crank it up or make it more likely to turn on at night).
      About six weeks ago I hurt my ankle (no running or racquetball for a while) so I took up swimming. Swimming really causes the muscles around my upper cervical area to be very tight; my tinnitus broke out of the usual pattern and turned on everyday:arghh:. Queuing in on this, I decided to put an Icy-Hot patch on my neck at night -- turned it right down and my old pattern is returning.

      The only thing I can guess about the pattern is that somehow the brain is remembering it that way (stupid brain:inpain:). My audiologist seems to think I am anticipating it (a self-fulfilling prophecy); for the life of me I can't tell if he is right or wrong. Obviously, tinnitus has a nuero-plastic component; the frustrating part is that nuero-network is not in our cognitive areas, it's down in the somatic area (physical data input and processing).
      I do know this (from recent experience and small victory with my tinnitus); the more I can get a "I could care less if it's on" attitude the more my brain is able to habituate it out (some days it is so low it's negligible -- as opposed to a year ago when it was 70+ dbs screaming in my head).

      Mark
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Roger

      Roger Member

      Location:
      Perth, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Hi Guys,

      yep, mine's similar - what's delivered upon waking is what I'm left with for the day. I seem to get a couple of good quieter days followed by a bracket of noisier ones. To me its better than just having the one boring tone and volume - tinnitus with a bit of variety is easier to handle, if you must have it in the first place.

      Anyhow, here's to quieter times, Rog
       
    15. Jeff H

      Jeff H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2009
      Well, here it is Sunday afternoon. Today is my second day without tinnitus and I would like to take a nap, but I know if I take the nap, my T will be blaring when I wake up. Took a nap anyway, and sure enough, it's now blaring and will remain for a day and a half until the next T-free day. Never 3 days off without it--and don't you dare take a nap on that second non-T day.
       
    16. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Mine does the same thing (no comprendo); I agree with the sleep turning it on/off but it can't be that linear, otherwise, all I would have to do is go to sleep each night and have a T free day (oh were it that simple). I cannot for the life of me figure out the other factor(s). Likely, there are a few things that come together every couple of days that bias it to turn on; and for some reason when it's in that state (on) sleep deprives it of one of those factors and it turns off (of which I am grateful). That's the most I can determine at this time; if you figure out anything please let me know.

      I have achieved several three day runs and one four day run; the best I can guess is it has something to do with diet/exercise/stress levels -- but those topics are so 'elastic' and so subjective (really hard to nail anything down as a concrete fact)

      However, as a professional sleeper nothing stops me from my Zs :sleep: (not even a 'T-nami')
       
    17. hrmpf_

      hrmpf_ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2012
      Hi Golly and everyone else,

      I have tinnitus that is triggered by sleep, too! Though it is not fun for anyone to have it, I must say I am relieved to have found some other people who have it because nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about, even professionals.

      I haven't found a pattern. Now I haven't had a good day in nearly two weeks so I am really depressed at the moment. Sometimes I have had more than one good day at a time, up to four days, but that is very rare. Then it hits me when I wake up the next day and my hellish existence resumes.

      Does anyone here know what this particular type of T is called? I suspect it has something to do with the nervous system.

      Has anyone seen a doctor/other professional who actually knows something about this condition and maybe even had suggestions for how to fix it? It's so absurd, this on/off thing.

      Kristina
       
    18. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Hi @hrmpf_:

      I have had intermittent, sleep-connected tinnitus for almost four years now. Because I keep a log (not necessarily advised if you are trying to forget about your condition), I know that my patterns have changed over time: sometimes I go days without a break; other times I have more good days than bad. I expect that you will revert back to your former pattern at some point. In the mean time, simply accept that this is how you are and that you will feel better in time. (I am certainly much better off now than I was at the time of onset.)

      I am afraid that while this "type" of tinnitus is reasonably common, there is no name for it, and unfortunately no treatment. That said, however, I do take 7.5mg of Mirtazapine nightly. This guarantees me a good sleep, increasing the likelihood of quiet days and helping me cope with the noisy ones.

      I have some additional tricks, but I'll save those for a separate post (or feel free to PM me if interested).

      Al the best, Golly
       
    19. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @hrmpf_

      My T cycles very 4 days, but I what's to be a good day, if I sleep more than 7 hours and I usually just get 3-4 hours when I don't wake up during night - but if I oversleep - my good day goes bad.

      Something about wake up chemicals in brain is my guess, cause I'm
      Groggy when I hear clearly but force myself up to ride the quiet day.

      Try and sleep an hour less and see what happens.

      Maybe it's just my wacky T and it's hold on me, I gotta catch it sleeping and it won't wake up for the day, often 2.
      But in day 3 ... It's payback that continues through the day and gets super loud. Like right now...
       
    20. Thongjy
      Balanced

      Thongjy Member

      Location:
      Singapore
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I have been having low T for past 2 weeks but yesterday I had a headache and decided to take a kind of Panadol called Sinus Max and also did some sinus irrigation using Sinus Rinse from Neilmed.

      This morning I woke up with low T as well to go toilet and then went back to sleep and woke up less than 30 minutes later with a loud T.

      What happened? Why when I went toilet everything was fine and the moment I took a short nap and woke up with a loud T? Was it the Panadol I took yesterday night or the sinus rinsing? Why just after a short sleep the T become loud?
       
    21. Joe Bananas
      Dreaming

      Joe Bananas Member

      Location:
      San Pablo
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Same here. 18 days since my T started. Went to a LOUD concert while I was under heavy cold symptoms. I stood in that bloody concert for just 5/10 minutes so don't know if the T came from that or from cold. Left the concert with no T. It appeared during night. Since last week it has been one day on, one day off. What the hell is this??!!
       
    22. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Hello,
      I have had T for about 6 weeks now, and I think I have this "type" of Tinnitus. I introduced myself here:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus.17671/

      Most of the experiences in this thread are very similar to mine so far. I have:
      • A pattern of BBG (two bad days followed by a good day), although this can vary. To date I have never had more than 2 good days in a row, and, after the first week, never more than 2 bad days in a row.
      • A good day is a day in which most of the time I cannot hear the T. It's as if I don't have it.
      • Good days invariably start good and end good, Bad days start bad and end bad. It seems like sleep is the thing that changes T from good to bad or bad to good.
      • I rarely nap during the day, but on the one time I did (when I arrived in a foreign country after over-nighting at an airport), I had a transition from Bad to Good. The nap must have been no longer than about an hour!
      • I keep a log (and as others have said, this may not be wise!) and it seems that exercise the previous day is highly correlated with a good day. I suspect it may not be the exercise itself, but the exercise causing a good night sleep, which causes the good day.
      • I am normally a poor sleeper/insomniac. I typically don't sleep well and wake in the middle of the night and don't get back to sleep for several hours. T has not caused my sleep to get any worse though..
      • In order to understand the impact of external events to my T getting better, I give myself points in accordance with how I vary from the pattern. If I have a G after BB I get 1 point, a G after GB 2 points, a G after BG 3 points and a G after GG 5 points (this latter one has never happened to date!). So, if I exercise the day before I am supposed to have a good day and do have a good day, this doesn't really tell me anything as I was expecting a good day anyway.
      • I recently went on holiday for 8 days in a foreign country. I had a dramatic improvement in T. I think it was because I was sleeping well because I was doing lots of exercise, experiencing new things, having very full days etc.
      • My (simplified) pattern to date is:
      BBBBBGBGGBGGBGBBGBBGBBGGBBGGBGBGGBBGBBGG​

      Bold is reconstructed from memory because I wasn't keeping a log then, underline is holiday.
      • While I can exercise on weekends, I find it hard to do this during a weekday.
      I am thinking that if I could somehow improve my sleep, I may see significant improvements in T. I'd love to spend all my days hiking (my preferred form of exercise), but unfortunately I have to work for a living! I also find that if I exercise in the late evening, it tends to keep me awake.

      I have read studies which indicate that Melatonin improves T (albeit only slightly). I am thinking for this type of T it might be worthwhile trying because we tend to get either good days or bad days and nothing in between and it seems to be heavily influenced by the quality of sleep. Also Melatonin seems to be safe and cheap without side affects. So I think I will give it a go (using my points system to monitor it!). As the effect of Melatonin is immediate, I should know pretty soon if it is working . I also noticed that others in this thread have seen improvements by taking meds for sleeping.

      If anyone else has additional experience in improvements in this type of T, it would be great if you could share!
       
      Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    23. Ecip

      Ecip Member

      Location:
      Edmonton, AB
      Tinnitus Since:
      4.11.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still unknown... possibly noise exposure?
      I wonder what would happen if you can get your sleep pattern under control and get a good nights rest.
       
    24. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Yes, that would be good, but I have been a bad sleeper as long as I can remember.

      I just read though this thread, which again is similar:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sleep-acts-as-off-on-switch-for-tinnitus.3066/

      I reckon that people with this type of T (e.g. myself or Golly) would make very good research subjects because something clearly is going on relating to sleep and T and it may be possible to pinpoint it, which might provide the basis for a therapy. By monitoring sleep patterns and Brain function during sleep and correlating it with good or bad days the next day, I am guessing it might be possible to better understand what is going on. It might be a very simple cause and effect!
       
    25. MikeS
      Mellow

      MikeS Member

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Car accident
      My tinnitus fluctuates as well. I have relatively good days and bad days. Sleep resets it.

      My tinnitus is due to a concussion from a car accident almost 2 years ago. It is loud static, white noise. It doesn't seem to follow any pattern.

      I do find that sleep and exercise helps. I've tried jogging, cycling, and weightlifting. Jogging seemed to aggravate it. Cycling helped. Weightlifting seems to help the most. But with T, I've given up on trying to look for a pattern. Just go on with my day, and try not to think about it.

      I've been to specialists, and even a highly regarded neurologist. There is no cure for me.
       
    26. BLane

      BLane Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My tinnitus also seems to be connected to sleep....sort of. It's not dependent upon how much sleep I get, but is dependent on that moment between sleep and awake where it sets (or resets) itself. Whatever I become aware of at that moment is how it's going to be the rest of the day. It also seems to be cyclical in nature:BBGBBGBBG, but not always, I can occasionally miss a Good and be stuck with 4 or 5 Bad days in a row. It also seems to get worse as the days progress, so the last day before it resets itself will be the worst. Almost like it's worn out and has to rest a day before it can start again.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    27. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Well, I tried Melatonin the other night. Made no difference at all (still couldn't get to sleep!).
      I may be retiring soon, so should have more time for exercise. I am logging my clear hours and other parameters and will be interesting to see if there is any difference post retirement (I am cautiously predicting I will see an improvement). I will share with this forum.
      I would be interested if anyone else has experienced a similar change in lifestyle and how it impacted them.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.