Most of the press and stories on misophonia are focused on the heightened sense of sound, and even visuals, and rightly so. However, it’s often underlooked that most of us with misophonia are tired. Like, really down-trodden and beyond tired. We experience many symptoms of Chronic fatigue – and whether or not they are related would need new research, but the fact remains that this life can be very tiring.
If Misophonia makes you tired, it’s important for you to know that you’re not alone.
You’re not weak, and this is certainly a symptom that can have devastating consequences. While we do not know why this is for sure, some researchers have very specific ideas.
Dr. Porges goes on to say that this state is not only disruptive for fight flight, but it disrupts overall health. When we’re safe, our body is ready to ‘optimize our health’. We feel tired all the time, get sick more, and we are “not being rejuvenated through our interactions with others, instead they are being exhausted by it”. Living in a state of fear, particularly in a desocialized world, is beyond anger or anxiety, it physically hurts. Dr. Porges suggests that kindness to others, and “learning to be generous and welcoming” can be great for our neurological health. He goes on to suggest that, “even if there are enough resources, even just to think that there aren’t is enough to make people defensive” [Read more and see The Polyvagal Theory (podcast and article)]
So, it’s all well and good to know that your misophonia may be making you tired. Great. That may not even be news to you. It is emotionally and physically exhausted to live with this condition. When our bodies are stressed, tired, and running through fight/flight we are more likely to exhibit extreme behaviours such as binge eating, drinking, consumption of fast foods, and of course – simply not going out. An added layer comes from our inability to spend time in many social situations. This can leave us feeling lost and without options. I’m not perfect in this area. In an effort to change my own behaviours, I’ve been looking into ways to beat fatigue. I’m not going to lie to you… most days are a struggle. I am not always perfect, and I doubt that every day, if any, are going to be perfect. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try!
Making Food Painless
Not always possible, I know. When you’re in a rush, or too tired to eat, sometimes fast carbs and sugars are consumed. Sometimes no food at all. I’m notorious for going 1-2 days without having anything more than a small snack. Sometimes we have to pick our battles and come up with new ways to get some nutrition into our bodies – after-all, if we are not nourished, we’re going to be even more sluggish.
- Buy frozen, but healthier, dinners. I know-I know. They all have salt. But, if you’re barely eating, and struggling to get vitamins and nutrients, sometimes these can be a lifesaver. There are also healthier organic brands that are starting to pop up. Bare in mind that even the organic options are loaded with salt, and sometimes sugar. If you’re mindful, though, these can be a great booster of energy.
- Snack on fruits. They’re quick and simply. Keep them in the house and eat them often. The vitamin C in oranges can be great for energy. If you’re triggered by crunching noises, even your own, chop up your apples and “crunchy” fruits into smaller bite-sized pieces. This removes much of the sounds and impact.
Sleep. As much as you need (or can)
Sometimes I need more sleep than the average person. Because of triggers I have to sleep with loud rain music, the air conditioner, an eye mask, curtains closed, and earplugs. Sometimes I’ve slept 12-13 hours before feeling fully rested, particularly more if I’ve had a bad sensory day. While some people cannot get a lot of sleep because of schedules, it’s important to relax your sensory system and give yourself time to “reset”. This may mean regular napping. According to HelpGuide.org, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. For persons with a sensory disorder, this may be more. Some of the impacts of chronic sleep deprivation are, fatigue, lethargy, lack of motivation, moodiness and irritability; increased risk of depression, inability to cope with stress, difficulty managing emotions. Since we are often dealing with all these things before sleep – it’s detrimental that we’re on top of things!
- Don’t feel guilty for naps. They are amazing for resetting, and if you need to, you need to.
- Figure out the amount of hours of sleep that your body requests, and then try to commit to that. It can be tough at first, but you will definitely be grateful for the extra steps. After-all, tiredness could simply be caused by lack of sleep
Find an exercise you don’t hate
Exercise boosts energy. However, when you’re fatigued, triggered, and feeling sick, there’s no way in hell that you’re going to get moving. For some of us, like me, there could even be dizzyness when using exercise machines like treadmills. Because of this, it can be exceedingly hard to find activities that you enjoy. Needless to say, gyms are full of clanking, loud people, and general triggers for many. Parks, can be hard for some. Find something – perhaps even solitary that you can enjoy.
- Try yoga – movement is movement. No matter how small. The body expends energy whenever it is moving, and yoga can have great mind and body benefits.
- Go for a walk (with headphones). Walking is great exercise as it’s not tough on the joints the way running is. If you live in the country, you may have an added benefit of less people.
What are your tips for dealing with tiredness and misophonia?