Tinnitus gets louder after a nap - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association
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Tinnitus gets louder after a nap


I noticed a while ago that my tinnitus was at screaming pitch after I had a nap. I was at a loss to understand why, so I did some research and found this article ( a bit long winded) which explains why taking forty winks can actually make tinnitus worse! No more naps for me I hasten to add.

One medical authority on tinnitus was also asked why tinnitus can be louder after a nap. Here is his reply:

'Lots of theoretical and speculative possibilities here. Dr. Jastreboff feels that the issue is one of neurotransmitters being somewhat dependent on the amount of sleep - especially REM sleep. Me? I see the reticular formation as having a significant role in the often-observed increase of tinnitus perception after a nap. The reticular formation is a primitive structure in the brain stem. It's a "vital sign monitor". When you wake from a nap or from sleep, the RF checks to see whether or not you are alive! It looks for heartbeat, respirations, blood pressure, temperature - basic bodily signs. It does not care whether or not these signs are good or bad - just that they are present. Since tinnitus is part of "normal" body function in an individual suffering with tinnitus, the RF checks to see whether or not tinnitus is present. If it doesn't find tinnitus, the RF seeks it with a vengeance - - especially in the post-nap state, when there has been inadequate REM sleep and when - therefore - the RF is on "high alert" that something might not be quite right. Theoretically - very theoretically - this RF hyperactivity in seeking tinnitus, which it equates with life, results in temporarily markedly augmented tinnitus perception.'

18 Replies

I had wondered why my tinnitus was so loud after a nap, and first thing in the morning... but at least it proves I'm still alive!

Thank you for this, it did make me smile.

Maybe theoretical but this seems to make some sense. I try to avoid naps as well for the same reasons. Thanks for this Jimmuck

Hi, Jimmuck,

I've noticed this too, whenever I wake up - even after dozing in front of the TV. I suppose this self-check is a bit like a computer booting up and checking that certain processes are running OK.

At least I've learned something new today.

Respectfully submitted,


I experience louder tinnitus after sleeping, too, whether a nap or after the nightly coma. My doc shrugs it off, saying that tinn just "seems" louder after the quiet of sleep. I don't buy that, but then it's typical of him; he is one of those docs who have a poor attitude toward older patients like me (69). He has regularly replied to some of my other complaints with a chuckle and a "Oh, you're just getting old" reply.

When I wake up during the night my T usually is/seems louder than normal.

Have the same thing. I read somewhere online that the most likely reason is that the T is the first thing you hear after waking which is why it sounds so loud. Not sure how true that is but it seems about right to me. It's the same when I take my mind off of it and then it comes back and it seems louder but fades back to its normal volume.

Wow. My T is weird. It seems a lot lower in the morning and the pitch increases as my day goes on. So taking naps actually helps with my T.

Yeah Blackpink mines like this gets louder as the day progresses peaks just after 9.00 for some reason.

hi, after a good night sleep it seems lower but I dont see any difference with small snaps. I could also mention that everytime i had a spike i hadnt slept well that night!

I agree with A_friend.. after a good sleep T is making less noise in my case too...If we concentrate on some other activities, we totally forget tinnitus. If we dont have any activity the thought of T comes more and we get really scared. Onething is true, exposure to loud noise like orchestra or a club where lot of people talking in a group, so many different noise around us like crosstalks, etc, make the T worst and I go to a stage of restlessness and dizzy. How about the experience of others?

in reply to vr25

My case is exactly like yours. Like I haven’t worn any earphones or headphones fir mire than an hour dailysince my T started cuz idky but the T gets worse when i wear earphones even if the volume is at 40%

in reply to vr25

Sorry pal but I feel I need some noise to mask my tinnitus. In fact I went to see the film YESTERDAY which with lots of Beatle music in it I really enjoyed, movies are very loud these days but it didn't bother me. However, when leaving the cinema I soon realised my tinnitus had completely vanished. It was fantastic and the rest of the day and night was clear of it. Unfortunately it returned as loud as ever the following morning. 3 other incidents with noise and tinnitus incidents have happened since, enjoyable but very disappointing when the damned tinnitus returns.

I get this increase after a nap too. I don’t often nap but sometimes do if I had a lunchtime beer. So I put it down to the beer, but looks like I can put beer back on the makes no difference list :-)

I find the theory that checking for T as part of checking to see if your alive sounds about as scientific as me blaming beer.

I suppose it’s more like as you come round and your not thinking anything so you bring your attention to what you can hear i.e. T, and we all know just thinking about T makes it worse.

Hi hello T sufferers. I'm 4 years in!

My T gets super load after waking and after napping. I've been using a CBT app called total tinnitus treatment "TTT" for 6 months now which has made a huge difference. Reduced T from a scream to a whisper on a good day.

I set my alarm 30 mins early in the morning and listen to the app and meditate or just play with my phone.. (dont fall back to sleep! Even a quick 5 min sleep messes with the routine).

This sets me up for the day. If I get stressed the T can come back so I put the app on again for 15 mins in the office.

This is my honest report of what I've discovered to hopefully help others.

Good luck to you all. X

Sorry. The app is called Total Tinnitus Therapy.

I had just woke up when I wrote the last comment and had wondered why T is so loud in the morning.

I'm no doctor but after 4 years of research I'd think it had something to do with a spike in neural activity... so what Dr. Jastreboff says fits with that.

I'm thinking of trying acupuncture... does anyone have any experiences??

Hi My Crazy Brain,

I am glad you found something that helps you and thanks for sharing the information. I don't have a smart phone but I have a tablet, so I'll give it a try. I have had acupuncture on my back several times as a pain treatment and it was relatively successful but only in the short term. I have seen several videos on social media sites of people having the treatment to treat tinnitus and apart from looking very painful, I would question whether it would work in the long term. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has had this done and found it to be of benefit in reducing their tinnitus volume.

My T does the same gets really loud after a nap.... it does quieten down as soon as I get up and move around, very weird ! good know I'm not alone out there

Mine the same when I fall asleep in the afternoon in front of the tv when I wake my T is louder so loud that I can’t think right and don’t know what I’m doing

Thanks for posting that I now know I’m not going mad


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