by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
June 6, 2006, updated March 2, 2017
Here is a novel idea that may help you get to sleep (and stay asleep) if your tinnitus typically keeps you awake at night.
Researchers at John Carroll University discovered five years ago that the blue component in white light prevents the pineal gland from producing melatonin (the sleep hormone). When there is lots of melatonin in your bloodstream, you naturally fall asleep easily and sleep sounder.
This melatonin production happens naturally each day after sunset. However, since we live in houses with artificial light, this natural “sleeping pill” produced by our bodies is blocked.
However, if you block out all blue light for a couple of hours before you go to bed, your pineal gland thinks it is time for sleep and begins loading your blood with melatonin. Thus, when you “hit the sack” you’ll hopefully fall asleep quickly. This can prove to be a blessing if your tinnitus makes it hard for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The simplest way to start this melatonin production before you go to bed is to get special wrap-around orange glasses that will block all blue light from reaching your eyes. You can pay up to $80.00 for such glasses, but the ones I use only cost a small fraction of that. You can get the Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Glasses on Amazon for only $8.80.
Although these glasses will work for most people, they will not work for everyone. A few people’s bodies do not produce melatonin. If you are one of these, then blocking blue light obviously won’t help. But for the rest of you who have bothersome tinnitus, and have trouble falling asleep, this is something you might want to investigate.