When Noise Is Quieter Than Silence #socs

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The closest I get to silence is a ringing in my ears (particularly the right ear) in an otherwise-silent room. I find I have to block it out using white noise, like this…

I won’t blame you if you don’t listen until the end: it’s 10 hours of white noise and you probably have better things to do.

I was about to get into a long discussion of the different kinds of noise and into areas such as isochronic tones and binaural beats, but I think I’ll hold those for another time. Besides, I’ve talked about this on several occasions.

You’re welcome!

Seriously, there are all kinds of resources that are available, from websites to recordings to noise generators that you can download to your phone. There are noise machines that will play the sound of the ocean all night. Heck, you can just get a fan and put in the room where you’re sleeping or trying to focus on something.

You know what works well? The sounds of an airport terminal, a crowded restaurant, or appliances running.

I should put together a list of resources when I’m not limited to a minimum of research…

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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.