For misophonia sufferers, we are more sensitive than most when it comes to noises. The tiniest noise can jar us out of our sleep, and keep us awake the rest of the night. Two-fold, because of my sensitivities, I find I need more sleep than most individuals. Without extra sleep, I quickly become agitated and even more over-sensitive before. On a regular basis, I sleep around 8 to 12 hours. I’ve seen myself, during high-stress periods, make it up to 17 hours. I sleep a lot. Along the way I’ve come up with some tips for sleeping. Some parts of this article may have been repeated in other articles I’ve written, but they’re still relevant. If you have chronic issues with sleep, you should see a doctor, as this can be detrimental to health and they may be able to find a stringent sleep-plan for you, perhaps including a specialist.
Sleeping at Home
For most people, home is the environment where they have the most control over their surroundings. Having a calm bedroom can do wonders for persons with misophonia, Sensory processing disorder, or just people that struggle to get a restful night’s sleep. My first advice would be black out curtains. Whether you live in the city, have a street lamp facing your window, or sleep during the day, these curtains will remove any frustration that comes from light pouring in your room. The purpose is also two-fold, the thicker the curtains, the more noise dampening that they are. Heavy upholstery is a great way to block some sounds and at the very least, room echo. I also wear a sleep eye mask, to ensure that no extra light gets through. This has also become comforting.
I wear earplugs to sleep, just as I do for most of the day. I prefer Hearos Pearls because they are small, light-weight, and invisible. They also fit perfectly underneath any headphones. I recommend searching your local pharmacy department, as these can be a little expensive online. Another alternative is, but they’re a bit larger (they still work great though and I use them interchangeably). I prefer silicone earplugs because unlike the foam ones, they actually cover the entire ear canal (do not insert INSIDE the ear as this is dangerous and if stuck requires surgery – see Rachel’s blog post for a horror story).
You might want to try melatonin if you have trouble getting into a sleep pattern. You might also consider having something like lavender essential oils in a diffuser to help you sleep. These can also be used during the day, and essential oils are mentioned as part of the Sensory Diet by Susan Nesbit (activities and tools to help persons with misophonia or SPD cope).
Sleeping In Vehicles
Car trips can be exhausting when there are others involved. I usually sleep through long car journeys. I used to live 6 hours from home, so I used to frequent these journeys. Obviously I don’t do the driving on these tips. Car rides alone are usually less stressful sensory wise. These trips were quite stressful, especially if I had to take transportation such as the bus. Sleeping seemed to be the best way to cope with these trips. Though, that also means that I had to be calm enough to get to sleep. I absolutely always have earplugs in while I’m traveling (and 24/7). I also make sure I bring my eye mask with me, because the light in the car can be really hard to block out without it. Anything that keeps my sensory system on lockdown is a plus .For all methods of sleep (and meditation), but importantly in vehicles, I recently discovered that there are sleep eye masks that also double as having earphones built in. These sleep-headphones are perfect to plug into your phone and play white noise.
Sleeping In Hotels/Vacationing
As a kid, I loved sleeping in hotels. Now, I still do a bit. I do have some anxiety when it comes to whether or not there will be sounds. I use the same earplugs I listed above, as well as a travel-sized white noise machine.
I can’t sleep without white noise. Ever. Not when I travel, not when I’m home, and certainly not for any reason at any given point. Any noise will wake me from a dead sleep. So, I’ve become vigilant about white noise when I sleep. My cellphone isn’t loud enough for me, so I’ve shied away from phone apps. I do listen to white-noise on my computer speakers, because they’re rather loud. For those with Apple Music, you can find the exact song I listen to here. I personally love listen to rain. Fans are another great one. For on the go, and in our camper (that is a secret hideaway for me), I have a noise generator. There are several different modes including white noise, rain, thunder, and ocean waves. Not only is the HoMedics soundspa small and portable, it works both with batteries and plugged in. I had originally purchased it as a quick fix (it was $30 in Canada) when I was travelling. It’s lasted over 2 years, and is usually on and running. Amazing price value.