As a person with Tinnitus, I've been trying various things to deal with this condition. One of the upsetting aspects is that falling asleep is very difficult, because of the constant noise. At times it feels that falling asleep can take more than an hour, I keep twisting in my bed until my body is completely exhausted - then I have no choice but to do an "emergency shutdown".
This implies that even though I'm in bed for over 8 hours, I still feel tired in the morning; going to bed early doesn't seem to help me get more sleep.
I once made an interesting observation - when I go to sleep playing an audiobook (no headphones), next morning I resume playback and can't remember what the book is about. I rewind the story a little bit, until I reach a moment that sounds familiar.
Thus I have empirically established that when I fall asleep listening to an audiobook or a podcast - I doze off in 20 to 30 minutes.
Without audio - all I 'hear' is the tinnitus, and this is a completely different experience.
So here's a trick you could try:
- go to bed playing an audiobook
- next morning check how much of it you remember, then compute how long it took to fall asleep
- then compare this with the normal time to fall asleep
If this works for you, then you'll observe that this method lets you fall asleep faster. As a side effect, you get to dive into an interesting story (-:
I use MortPlayer for Android, as it has an "off timer" feature.
Good luck, and please share your experience with me.
Comment from: olga [Visitor]
i don’t have tinnitus, but I also have problems falling asleep. I’ve tried falling asleep to music (chill out, bird singing, cat purring), but all I get is semiconscious drifting. I can get asleep only with ear plugs. They are not a complete soundproof , but enough to disconnect myself from the world.
Bonus: I can hear my own blood supply going through my ears.
Comment from: Constantin [Visitor]
My problem is that, if I go to bed listening to a book, I end up listening to it throughout the night and never falling asleep :) Maybe I need to pick some more boring stories…
Comment from: Andrei Lisnic [Visitor]
Also, I’d recommend radiolab podcast, it is world and mind expading to me.
Andrei, thank you for the recommendation, I will check it out.
You should have a look at:
- security now
- 7th avenue project (I may have mentioned it in one of our classes)
Constantin, I don’t think this will work - because in my case, falling asleep happens all the time, even with the most interesting books I’ve ever been exposed to. I guess there are some physiological differences that must be taken into account.
Olga, that won’t work with tinnitus, it will only make it worse - because the only sound you hear will be the “internal beep". Ehh… You should still give a try to the audiobook method, or a podcast. The difference is that this creates a cognitive load - you have to listen to a conversation and analyze the speech, whereas birds, rain and instrumental music - all of those are easily blending into the background. Perhaps this will make your brain “logically tired” and initiate a shutdown procedure (-:
Comment from: olga [Visitor]
My method of falling asleep, besides ear plugs, is willfully shutdown my thoughts and let free the generation of random images and colors so the brain will think it’s dreaming. I’ve read about this in “The Head Trip. The Wheel of Consciousness” by Jeff Warren
I hope I don’t come across as morbidly curious, but…what’s it like to have Tinnitus? I never met anyone who has this. Although I might have but they didn’t say it because they knew people get morbidly curious about it.
Yes to audiobooks. Sometimes I have to battle anxieties late into the night, you know, worries about there being so much garbage and that there’s a theoretical chance of our boiler or tv exploding. Harry Potter helps. Sometimes.
Hmm, you know when you want to isolate yourself from the noise outside - you cover your ears, or hide your head under the blanket? That doesn’t work - you always hear a continuous high-pitched sound.
If you ever fired a weapon, or were in a fight and got your head punched :-), or played football and got hit with a ball - you probably experienced this. For a short time you had this “beeeep” in your head, then it faded away. That’s what it is, but it doesn’t fade away.
I think there’s a scene in “Children of men” or “Saving private Ryan” - where a bomb explodes in the proximity of the protagonist, and then there’s this beep that fills the whole room. That’s exactly what it is like.
The thing never goes away, that’s why falling asleep is difficult. Throughout the night, I can easily be woken up by some external factor - and then I have to go through the entire process of falling asleep again.
The sound can have different pitches, some people experience variations (mine is constant), some have it on both ears, some have different beeps in each ear. I have the “light” version, so I am better off than many other folks :-) I remember having it for at least 2 years. Some have had it for decades; Oliver Sacks has it too - he’s the brain guy and he can’t fix it. That is a little bit sad, because it makes one feel pessimistic.
However, there is some research at a university in Texas that produced interesting results, it works well on mice.
Certainly, I hope I’m going to be able to fix it before I die :-)
Yes, well, that’s pretty much what I was wondering: if you just heard a constant sound or if it was more like a varying noise. And now I’m thinking that I probably have this too. I never have the luxury of absolute silence, there’s always a buzz in the background, and I thought it was because I’ve strained my ears with headphones. But it doesn’t actually interfere with my sleep.
Sure thing, I hope you find a way to work it out. Must be very annoying.
If you think you have it, then you should really review your headphones policy, please! You don’t want to make it any worse than it already is. I use headphones very often and I wonder how much of it was caused by them.
Over-ear headphones are a better choice, they need to cover the entire ear and isolate you from external noise, such that you don’t need to “pump up the volume” in order to cut off everything else.
Another thing I know I will do from now on is go to a different place, if there are people around who talk too loud (that, vs. putting on the headphones and playing loud music).
OR - learn to tell people to keep their mouths shut if they exceed the bounds of common sense (-:
Yes, I’ve been thinking about giving up earphones, but I’m way too fussy to carry a pair of large over-the-ear headphones everywhere I go. Not to mention that I couldn’t wear them to bed.
I think I’d rather go deaf than CONFRONT PEOPLE. (shivers at the very thought)
Anyway, it’s nothing of the sort. I just like to listen to stuff on the bus because reading makes me noxious, and yes, I need a higher volume to hear stuff in those circumstances. Perhaps I should take to knitting?…
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