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Why do I become extremely sensitive to sounds when I am trying to go to sleep?

Asked by TexasDude (25244points) February 9th, 2011

Last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, my ears suddenly became attuned to a rhythmic, repetitive sound coming from the neighboring room: my neighbor was rapping.

I tried to tune the sounds of his rapid-fire rhymes out, but my brain kept anticipating the next beat, or the next verse. He wasn’t even being particularly loud, but I started to go a little crazy and I got up and asked him to tone it down. He graciously obliged. A few minutes later, I began to listen to the sounds of my suitemates playing Cawadoody Black Awps Gnatzee Zombies in the living room. They weren’t particularly loud, but once again, my brain began to anticipate the things they would say and the sounds they would make. I stuffed earplugs in my ears, but that just made me uncomfortable. I became restless and anxious, and didn’t fall asleep for several hours.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, it happens a lot. If the room isn’t perfectly quiet (perfect silence is almost impossible to find on a college campus) then my mind will look for sounds, focus on them, and anticipate patterns, as I mentioned before… almost how people subjected to the famous Chinese Water Torture would go supposedly go insane from anticipating the next drop of water.

Help me Fluther… what can I do to overcome this weird issue? Do any of you guys/gals/etc. experience the same thing? How do you deal with it?

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