The Silence Is Deafening #JusJoJan

We’re up to day 21 of Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January, and today’s prompt comes to us from Willow, who has a more-or-less eponymous blog, “Willowdot21.” Her word is


I don’t really get a whole lot of silence in my life, because even when everything around me is quiet, tinnitus rings in my ears. This is especially bad at night when I’m trying to get to sleep. I first noticed this in the hospital, and I found that playing the sounds of rain and thunder all night helped me ignore the noise in my head and fall right to sleep.

In the hospital, I was able to wear headphones, and when I got home I started out doing the same thing until it was brought to my attention that I snore when I sleep on my back, the only way I found to keep the headphones on. I tried earbuds, but that wasn’t comfortable, and a headband that had speakers in it wasn’t big enough for my enormous heed and kept slipping off. Finally, I discovered these small speakers from iHome that allowed me to play the rain sounds from my old iPod Video without using headphones. I asked Mary if it would bother her, and she assured me it wouldn’t, that in fact it would help her sleep, too.

Problem solved! Well, at least one of them. Maybe the biggest problem is that the dozen or so audio files that I loop through continuously through the night all have different dynamic ranges, which means for some I have to crank the volume up to hear it and for others I have to turn the volume down. But that’s at best a minor issue. Battery life on my iPod is another: after about seven hours, I have to plug it in to a backup battery to keep it running.

Nevertheless, it’s proven to be an elegant solution.

15 thoughts on “The Silence Is Deafening #JusJoJan

  1. My husband has tinnitus too and is hard of hearing in his right ear. He sleeps with the tv on all night and we have the same problem with the volume going up and down. Once he is asleep I grab the remote and turn it down as low as it will go. If I turn it off he will wake up but if I keep it on, he’ll stay asleep. He also has a CPAP machine now. He’s a mess. I can sleep easily and no extra sounds in my ears, thank goodness.


  2. Hi John – well that shows what’s available if one looks for it. So glad it appears to have mostly solved your issue – I think tinnitus must be really difficult to deal with … all the best now for the ipod battery back up … and perhaps converting all the audio files into the same audio range … good luck – cheers Hilary


  3. I have to have my sound machine on ocean waves all night. Another thing I found and have, is called, I think, a pillow speaker. It’s small, and attaches to your radio or ipod. Just put the little speaker under your pillow and you can hear it fine, but pretty much no one else can.


  4. I need to use a noise device for similar problems. In the summer it’s easy; I just use a small fan. In the winter I tried all sorts of white noise devices and I was buying and returning several products. All of them were usually too loud. However, I came across a perfect device made by a company called Homedics. It has all sorts of different types of sounds and volumes. I use the “rain” setting and it’s perfect. It’s a plug-in system so no batteries. Also, no headphones. It is apparently durable because I’ve had it for a few years.


  5. I’ve had tinnitus for so long that I’ve actually gotten used to the constant ringing in my ears. So much so that when I don’t think about it, it almost disappears. The good news is that it doesn’t often prevent me from falling asleep at night. But if I am overly tired, it does seem louder than when I’m not tired. I’ve also noticed, for what it’s worth, that a little bit of pot, which is now legal for recreational use in my state, about an hour before bedtime, will often help lower the volume.


  6. I’m glad you got somethin that works for you. One of my girlfriends has tinnitus and she has these headphones that go on your ear bone so you only hear music. I thought that was pretty impressive science.


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