“Over 50 million Americans struggle with some form of tinnitus – 20 million of them struggle at a chronic stage and 2 million has extreme cases.”

American Tinnitus Association.

Today is Tinnitus awareness week!

What is tinnitus?

Most people describe tinnitus as a ringing in the ears, but it can also sound loud or soft, buzzing or roaring. There are no right or wrong ways to describe it. Some people hear it in one ear, while others hear it in both. 10%  percent of Americans over the age of 25 have experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a medical condition, more of a sign that something is amiss with the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that links the inner ear to the brain, and the brain areas that process sound. Tinnitus can be caused by anything as simple as a particle of earwax clogging the ear canal. Here, we explore some causes of Tinnitus:

  1. Hearing loss
    and tinnitus are often accompanied by one another, but there is no exact biological link between the two. Additionally, tinnitus is extremely common among individuals with aging-related hearing loss (presbycusis). In a similar manner, tinnitus can accompany hearing loss induced by noise, either over time or by one traumatic event. 

  2. Obstructions in the ear
    Tinnitus can also be caused by obstructions deep in the ear, such as excessive ear wax, dirt, or foreign objects, or hair from the ear canal. These types of conditions may build up pressure inside the ear that disrupts the inner workings of the ear drum, leading to the sensation of tinnitus. Tinnitus is often relieved by removing the blockage.

  3. Trauma

    In certain incidents, significant injuries to the head or neck can cause severe nerve, blood flow, and muscle problems. When a person has experienced such an accident, tinnitus loudness and perceived load typically increase, along with the variability of sound, frequency, and location.

Other causes may also include fluid build-up behind the eardrum, blood pressure, and medication side effects. It is very important that you get it checked up by a medical professional to determine the actual cause of it, or an otolaryngologist (doctor for ear, nose and throat) would be the best option.

tinnitus awareness week

5 Hacks for tinnitus sufferers

Under stress, tinnitus can become more bothersome to people who suffer from it. Tinnitus sufferers can cope better with their frustrations if they learn relaxation and stress-relieving techniques. This can be achieved through mindfulness or meditation.

Hack #1: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

For a start, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

To start, you want to empty the air in your lungs and then breathing in quietly for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds. Next purse your lips into an “o” and forcefully hiss out the air for 8 seconds, through the tight gap between your lips. Repeat cycle for 4 times.

Hack #2: Progressive muscle relaxation

Lie down and focus your attention on the muscles of one part of your body – for example, your right foot. Hold your breath for 8 seconds and tighten only the muscles you’re concentrating on. Let go with a sudden release. Slowly exhale as you let the tension and pain leave your muscles. Repeat this process from your head down to your feet.

Hack #3: Guided imagery

As soon as you are relaxed, close your eyes and continue to breathe deeply while imagining yourself in the most relaxing environment. Picture the scene with your whole senses: the smell of the beach, the feel of the air, the flavor of your favorite beverage. You can even relax with soothing background music.

Hack #4: Multi-sensory distractions

The more severe the tinnitus spike, the more difficult it is to distract yourself from the sound with other sounds. Instead of just listening to white noise, listen to music and play a game on your phone and exercise outdoors in nature with a great playlist. The more senses you can involve in your attempt to distract you will be more effective.

Hack #5: High-fidelity earplugs

When you have tinnitus or hearing loss, it’s vital to protect what hearing remains. Everyone should protect their ears in loud environments. Tinnitus can be exacerbated or changed by noise-induced hearing loss.

Most earplugs muffle and distort sounds in certain environments, making it difficult to enjoy yourself in those situations. In such a situation, conversing, listening to music, and recognizing your surroundings becomes impossible.

These problems can be resolved entirely by using high-fidelity earplugs (also known as musician’s earplugs). With special filters, you can evenly reduce the decibel level of your surroundings instead of simply blocking out as much noise as possible as with traditional earplugs. By doing so, you can still listen to music, converse with friends, and remain aware of your surroundings.

PRO TIP

Attenu8 earplugs come with a mesh pouch or a cool obsidian black metal casing for storage, so you can carry them wherever you go. My advice is to keep a set near you at all times so you can take them out just in case some things get too loud for your ears.

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Insomnia and Solving Sleep Problems

What is insomnia?

According to mayoclinic.org – Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep, difficult to stay asleep, or induces you to wake up early and be unable to sleep again. When you wake up, you may still be exhausted. Insomnia may drain not just your energy and mood, but also your health, job performance, and overall quality of life.

It is important to take note that there are two types of insomnia – Primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the causes of insomnia and the steps we can take to solving sleep problems.

    What are the causes of insomnia?

    Primary causes of insomnia

    • Stress resulting from major life changes, such as job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, or relocation.
    • Noise, light, and temperature are examples of environmental factors.
    • Jet lag, a new shift at work, or bad habits you picked up from previous sleep problems can change your sleep schedule.
    • A tendency for insomnia may run in families, according to research.

    Secondary causes of insomnia

    • It is common for stress to cause profound changes in the body that negatively impact sleep. These changes are triggered by work, school, and relationships. PTSD may result from repetitive exposure to traumatic situations.
    • Psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder can negatively affect sleep. Negative thoughts and hyperarousal caused by these conditions can cause sleep disturbances. According to research, insomnia can worsen depression and anxiety disorders, thus increasing the risk of suicide in individuals suffering from depression.
    • Pain or discomfort from a wound or aches in the body.
    • Alcohol, which is a sedative that can make you feel sleepy, can actually worsen your sleep by disturbing your sleep cycle and causing fragmented, non-restorative sleep.
    • Unhealthy lifestyle habits can also cause insomnia. An example is the intake of caffeine within 5 hours from bedtime. The stimulant caffeine can stay in your body for hours, making it difficult to fall asleep and making insomnia a possibility when taken in the afternoon and evening. Nicotine, too, is a stimulant that has the potential to negatively affect sleep.
    • Other conditions such as ADHD, PMS and menopause, pregnancy or sleep apnea.
    Insomnia and Solving Sleep Problems

    What if we ignore it?

    Some may think this is just a small issue and will disappear, so what happens if we decide to ignore the symptoms and not finding a need to treat insomnia?

    You may risk:

    • having mental health issues such as worsened depressions and anxieties

    • fatigue throughout the day

    • attitude becomes more grumpy

    • severe concentration problems and finding it hard to pay attention

    • High-risk health problems such as heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure

    Slower reaction time that may lead to collision, especially when you are driving

    10 best practical and proven tips to solving sleep problems

    Simple sleep-improvement strategies include everything from maintaining a regular bedtime schedule to getting regular exercise. Stress from job and family obligations, as well as unforeseen problems like illness, might keep you up at night. It’s understandable that getting a good night’s rest can be difficult. Even if you can’t change the things that keep you up at night, you can change your sleep patterns. To get started, here are 10 ways to solve your sleep problems:

    The recommended time for sleep is near 8 hours. Most people can attain this aim with no more than eight hours of sleep per night. It is important to keep healthy sleep habits while managing a fast-paced lifestyle. Try to keep the time difference between your weeknight and weekend sleep schedules to a minimum of one hour. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle is easier if you’re a stickler for it. If you haven’t fallen asleep after around 20 minutes, it’s time to get out of bed and do something soothing.

    Don’t let yourself get too full or too hungry before you go to sleep. Avoid consuming large or heavy meals within a few hours of going to bed. Discomfort may keep you awake at night. Tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol should all be taken with prudence. Cigarettes and coffee have long-lasting impacts on the body that can disrupt sleep for hours at a time. Even if alcohol induces drowsiness, it can cause sleep disturbances later in the night.

    Improve your sleep quality by making a sleeping space that’s perfect for you. With some people, it’s more difficult to sleep if they’ve been exposed to light. Think about how you can adjust the lighting and noise levels in the room to suit your preferences. Taking a bath or engaging in other relaxing activities before bedtime may help you get a better night’s sleep.

    Night-time sleep might be disrupted by long naps during the day. Take a 30-minute nap if you must, but don’t do it late in the day. However, if you work nights, you may need to take a late-morning nap in order to compensate for your lack of sleep.

    Improved sleep can be facilitated by regular physical activity. However, you should avoid being active too close to your bedtime. Spending time in nature on a daily basis may also be beneficial.

    Before you go to sleep, try to put your worries and concerns to rest. Jot down what’s on your mind and put it away for the next day.

    All colors of light help your body regulate its natural sleep-and-wake cycle. Blue light interferes with how your body prepares for rest because it interferes with the hormone melatonin. The most harmful type of light is the blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and computers. Either set your LED screens to a warm yellow tone in the evenings, or consider getting a pair of blue light glasses. Remember to also cut back on the screen time as the night kicks in.

    Your fight or flight response is controlled by the hormone cortisol, which is regulated by exercise. Cortisol released in too large a quantity too often can have negative effects on your health long-term. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is useful for reducing anxiety, improving sleep, managing food cravings and controlling emotions including anger

    A study suggests that slow music or classical music is more relaxing and can help you sleep. Slowing the pulse and lowering stress hormone levels can be achieved with classical music or instrumental music. We’ve picked out a playlist here for you too, check it out below!

    Most people use earplugs to sleep as well as to protect their ears against loud noises. Light sleepers and people living in noisy places can greatly benefit from them. It is definitely one of the best and fastest method to improve your sleep quality drastically. When you sleep with ear plugs, the quality of your sleep can be significantly improved. Earplugs for sleeping are often the only option for shutting out sounds while sleeping, such as highway noise or a snoring partner.

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    girl sleeping in bed

    The difference between a troubled night’s sleep and a restful one can be made by developing healthy sleep habits. People with sleep disorders including insomnia, can all benefit from a set of behaviours and habits referred to as “sleep hygiene” that have been discovered by researchers. To obtain the sleep you need in this 24/7 world, you may need a little help from your sleep hygiene. To help you sleep like a baby, here are a few simple tips:

    1. Stay away from stimulants such as caffeinated beverages and nicotine-containing tobacco products

    The quality of a person’s sleep is negatively impacted by caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant that may keep you awake, as all coffee fan knows. As a result, four to six hours before you want to go to bed, stay away from anything with caffeine in it. The same holds true for those who smoke, and they should refrain from doing so right before going to bed.

    It is true that alcohol can induce sleep, but this effect wears off after several hours, increasing the number of awakenings and diminishing the quality of sleep later in the evening. As a result, one to two drinks per day is ideal, or fewer, and no more than three hours before night.

    2. Maintain a convenient Environment in Bedroom

    Slumbering to the sounds of nature might be made easier with the right kind of surroundings. In order to create this type of setting, use sleeping earplugs or other kinds of ear blockers to reduce the loudness of outside noise. Blocking light using heavy drapes, blackout shades, or an eye mask sends a clear message to the brain that it’s time to wake up. Try to maintain a room temperature of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit while also ensuring adequate airflow in the space. Make sure you use good pillows and mattresses in the bedroom.

    Another thing to think about is whether or not your pet is waking you up at all hours of the night because of its presence. It may be beneficial to restrict your activities in the bedroom to nothing more than sleeping and having sex. Keep computers, televisions, and work equipment out of your bedroom to help you associate it with sleep.

    3. Create a Calming Pre-Sleep Routine for Your Child

    Prepare for sleep by engaging in activities that calm you one hour or so before you go to bed. The rise and fall in body temperature encourage sleepiness, as does reading or watching television, as well as practising relaxation techniques. Talking about emotional concerns, performing work, or engaging in other high-stress pursuits should be avoided. An increase in alertness is a common side effect of the stress hormone, which is released in response to physical and psychological stress. Try writing down your worries and then putting them away for a while.

    As long as you’re really tired, go to sleep. When you can’t get to sleep, you’re only going to get more frustrated. You should get out of bed and do something soothing like reading or listening to music if you haven’t fallen asleep after twenty minutes.

    4. Invest in the best sleeping ear plugs

    These ear blockers are a simple, inexpensive, and efficient way to filter out sounds that would otherwise disrupt your sleep, such as road noise or your partner’s snoring. Common designs fit inside the ear canal by compressing during insertion and then extending once in place. Others are found in the outer ear canal.

    While there are many various types of earplugs on the market, buyers should be aware that not all of them are intended for sleeping. Other earplugs for sleep are frequently designed for scenarios in which the user is in noisy work settings, concerts, or travel. The noise reduction rate refers to the amount of noise that the earplugs can block out (NRR).

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    man sleeping in jacket

    Parents of children of all ages, from new-borns and toddlers to school-age children and teenagers, want to know the recommended number of hours of sleep every night. The amount of sleep your child needs to grow, learn, and play varies from person to person, but there are some sensible, science-based standards that might help you decide whether he or she is receiving enough. Parents should work to instil appropriate sleep patterns in their children as early as possible.

    Staying up late with your teen to help him or her edit his or her paper or staying up late for work isn’t the best way to set an example. As parents, it’s our responsibility to set an example for our children by making sleep a priority of our own.

    Read on how to improve your sleep quality

    Maintain a consistent daily schedule.

    Your child will feel more secure and comfortable if he or she wakes, eats, sleeps, and plays at the same time each day. Early establishment of a night-time ritual, such as brushing teeth, reading a book, and retiring to bed, benefits young children. Keep your child’s sleep habits portable so that you can help him or her get to sleep wherever you are.

    Monitor the time spent on the screen.

    At least an hour before going to bed, turn off all electronic devices. Family media use should be regulated before sleep by creating a Family Media Use Plan.

    Recognize that teenagers need more sleep than they think they need.

    During adolescence, a person’s sleep-wake cycle shifts by up to two hours. Most high schools are requiring kids to arrive at school earlier and earlier, which is a problem for many students. Avoid giving your baby a bottle of juice, milk or formula before bedtime.

    Baby bottle teeth decay can occur if the bottle contains anything other than water. Put your infant to bed after he or she has been fed. Don’t begin feeding your baby solids until he or she is roughly six months old. Your baby’s sleep may be hampered if you feed him or her meals before his or her digestive system is ready for them.

    Learn how to tell whether you have a sleep disorder.

    Snoring, procrastinating and refusing to go to bed are some of the most prevalent sleep difficulties in children, as is trouble falling asleep and midnight awakenings.

    Inquire about your child’s alertness in the classroom or at day-care.

    Daytime symptoms of sleep deprivation are also possible. Sleep deprivation can cause a youngster to be unable to focus in class. Your child’s teacher should be aware of any reports of your child falling asleep in class, as well as any issues with learning or behaviour.

    Try ear plugs for sleep

    Sleeping with earplugs can dramatically enhance your sleep quality. Earplugs are sometimes the only means for many individuals to filter out sounds while sleeping, such as noise from a nearby motorway or a snoring companion. This is vital since the quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. Sleeping ear plugs condenses the environmental noise, the mosquitoes buzzing in your ear, the loud silence of white noise and even your partners’ snore. 

    Look out, specifically, for those that come with different memory foam tip sizes so you can find the best fit for your ear canals. The materials of the ear plugs are also very important because you want to have the softest and non-irritable memory foam tips to fit into your ears for your 8 hours of rest.

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    • Live music is making a comeback again and we can’t wait to get back out on the road and see our favourite artists again. In addition, it’s easy to forget how vital it is to preserve our hearing while attending concerts, so we’ve compiled a list of the finest concert earplugs to assist you minimise the danger of permanent hearing loss.

      No live event is more critical than your ability to hear.  The best concert earplugs are designed to protect your ears while yet allowing the music to flow freely through them, so you won’t miss a thing. If you choose a pair of effective earplugs, you may forget you’re wearing hearing protection since the sound is so clear and crisp.

    Fender Ear Plugs.

    With a 27dB NRR, the Fender Musician Series plugs are intended to handle the full force of stage volume. Reusable, affordable and don’t make you appear like an alien, they’re a great option for travellers. Ear plugs like these may be the ideal choice if you enjoy listening to louder music and frequently attend concerts.

    Vibes High earplugs

    In order to reduce (attenuate) volume, the Vibes High Fidelity earplugs use specific filters to fine-tune certain harmful frequencies. There is a reduction in overall noise, but the sound remains unaffected. The term “muffled” will seem familiar if you’re used to utilising low-cost foam alternatives.  The design and construction of the product is also really impressive. You won’t even notice they’re in your ears because to their low profile and clear plastic casing.

    Loop experience Ear Plugs

    The Loop Experience High Fidelity Ear Plugs have a fascinating ‘loop’ design that makes them stand out from the rest of our collection. They’re gorgeous and come in a number of hues, including black, rose gold, gold, and silver, to name just a few. Of course, the real test is what they can do to keep you safe while out and about and attending concerts. They reduce noise by 18 decibels and come with a variety of silicone tips as well as a keychain carrying bag for easy storage when not in use.

    Foam plugs, on the other hand, tend to suffocate live music because they don’t allow the sound to get through. Having a few of them on hand is well worth the effort and money it costs to get them.

    Protecting your hearing at concerts and festivals, especially if you’re playing an instrument, is a crucial consideration. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice your enjoyment of music in your effort to avoid tinnitus.

      • Concert earplugs


        Best Reusable Concert Earplugs: ATTENU8 Ear Plugs

        Metal-bodied ear plugs that come in 3 different sizes of durable memory foam, perfected with concave aluminium body for a better fit and effective noise reduction.

      These ear plugs fare better than normal earplugs based on four unique attributes:

      1. It’s solid concaved aluminium body – Aluminium is one of the greatest materials for sound isolation. It is a lightweight and simple to install insulating material that is also ecologically beneficial. It is not only recyclable, but it is also devoid of scents and contaminants. It provides great acoustical and vibration shielding in addition to heat reflection and isolation. The concave shape of the ATTENU8 ear plugs promotes an easier and effective fit into your ear canals for greater noise reduction.

      2. Soft Memory foam tips for superior comfort – Others choose silicone ear tips for their simplicity of use and longevity, while most prefer memory foam ear tips since they block out sounds without causing an unpleasant, harsh suction sensation. ATTENU8’s soft memory foam tips do not disintegrate as fast as the usual ones in the market and they provide extra comfort for prolonged periods of use.

      3. Very high SNR 32 rating – Comparable to disposable and non-disposable ear plugs in the market, ATTENU8 has an impressively high noise reduction of SNR 32, which not only blocks out your partner’s snoring, it also serves as a great quintessential studying or working tool in your daily life.
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    • Finding the best earplugs can be difficult as there are so many options in the market. Did you know that different kinds of earplugs serve different purposes? Having a high SNR rating for earplugs does not necessarily mean that they are a good pair to use.

      Light and pleasant tips should be the most important consideration for people with sensitive ears. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll have to deal with a plug that filters a lot of noise but also produces additional discomforts and makes it impossible to sleep.

      So what exactly are the best earplugs to block out noise for different purposes. Here, we look at the top 5 most effective earplugs for your consideration.

    Highest SNR foam earplugs: Hearos Ear Plugs

    As far as foam ear plugs go, the Hearos Sleep Pretty in Pink achieves an NRR of 32, which is towards the top of the noise reduction range. With their vivid pink colour, they’re easily spotted even in the middle of night. It’s the low density and smooth surface of the foam that keeps the ear canal from becoming irritated, just like it is with Slim Fit. For those with tiny ears, these plugs have a narrower tip, a narrower base, and can be compressed to a smaller size, making them ideal for younger individuals.

     

    Most Fashionable and stylish:  Loop Earplugs

    These superstar earplugs are made of ultra-soft silicone and come with four tip sizes, making them as comfortable as can be. They remain put as you toss and turn—hopefully not much longer—so you won’t have to scour your linens in the morning for a stray blossom.

    More importantly, these sleeping buddies may lower noise levels by up to 25 decibels while you sleep. They’re also washable and reusable, letting you to reduce waste and save money on getting a good night’s sleep. Oh, and did we mention they come in a variety of trendy colours including pink, mint, maroon, and white?

     

    Easiest to maintain: Alpine SleepSoft Earplugs

    When looking for a reusable plug, it’s especially crucial for people with small or sensitive ears to choose one that is light and flexible, especially if they sleep on their side, to minimise discomfort. It’s the Alpine SleepSoft, a reusable, flexible, and comfy plug for the smaller-eared individual that is the gold standard in this regard. Alpine’s ‘thermo-shape’ substance is particularly noteworthy. The thermo-shape tip is a hypoallergenic, non-silicone tip that moulds itself to the form of the ear with the body’s heat, making it a versatile option for all ear sizes. Because it expands slowly, this thermo-shape material won’t put too much pressure on the surrounding area.

    The existence of filters is a major advantage of a reusable plug. These allow sound to be muted while still allowing you to hear the sounds you choose. Even though it blocks out about 25 decibels of noise, the Alpine SleepSoft allows you to hear your alarm, the doorbell, or your kids playing in the next room. Designed for side sleepers, but equally beneficial for those with sensitive ears, the filters in this device are so mild you won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

     

    Best All-In-One Reusable Earplugs: ATTENU8 Ear Plugs

    Metal-bodied ear plugs that come in 3 different sizes of durable memory foam, perfected with concave aluminium body for a better fit and effective noise reduction. Bottom foam tips even included for side sleepers!

    These ear plugs fare better than normal earplugs based on four unique attributes:

    1. It’s solid concaved aluminium body – Aluminium is one of the greatest materials for sound isolation. It is a lightweight material that is also ecologically beneficial. It is not only recyclable, but it is also devoid of scents and contaminants. It provides great acoustical and vibration shielding in addition to heat reflection and isolation. The concave shape of the ATTENU8 ear plugs promotes an easier and effective fit into your ear canals for greater noise reduction.

    2. Transformable for side sleepers – Not forgetting all the side sleepers out there, ATTENU8 ear plugs are transformable with bottom memory foam tips to attach on the other side for a noticeably comfortable fit catered to any kinds of sleeping positions.

    3. Soft Memory foam tips for superior comfort – Others choose silicone ear tips for their simplicity of use and longevity, while most prefer memory foam ear tips since they block out sounds without causing an unpleasant, harsh suction sensation. ATTENU8’s soft memory foam tips do not disintegrate as fast as the usual ones in the market and they provide extra comfort for prolonged periods of use.

    4. Very high SNR 32 rating – Comparable to disposable and non-disposable ear plugs in the market, ATTENU8 has an impressively high noise reduction of SNR 32, which not only blocks out your partner’s snoring, it also serves as a great quintessential studying or working tool in your daily life.

     

     

    Final Verdict

    The finest earplugs for sleeping are the ATTENU8 Ear plugs. The reusable design includes ultra-soft memory foam tips that fit any ear size and decrease noise by a significant 32dB. The features of it also transcends all other typical types of foam earplugs in the market. However, if you still prefer one-time use ear plugs, you can always opt for the foam ones.

     

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