View Full Version : question about sleeping through CERTAIN noises

johnny s.
03-23-09, 01:33 PM
does anyone know how come we're able to sleep through certain noises, but other noises wake us up instantly?

is there a brain function that decides which noises wake us and which noises we get to sleep through?

03-23-09, 07:51 PM
I can't sleep thru one of my children being out late when they're at my house. I hear the tiniest thing. Other times I can sleep like the dead. I think it has more to do with how secure you personally feel.

03-23-09, 09:59 PM
Noises that people wake to are often noises that go above a certain decibel against a backdrop of stillness and quiet. The contrast can cause a person to wake, which is why white noise machines are helpful to many light sleepers. The humming standardizes noise thus bridging the gap between loud noises and quiet space.

I agree there's a psychological component. My first child had colic the first three months, crying more hours than not. I lived those months in a fog of worried exhaustion. Yet for three years after she outgrew it, there were nights I'd jump up at 2 or 3 am, thinking my colicky baby needed me. This did cease but years later, when she began driving, something similar happened. I'd jump up at 2 or 3 am and go racing to her room to make sure she was home. Being that I have the same issue as Ginnie (can't sleep til kids are in house safe, unless they're away for some reason)....... I felt like a loon because I'd said goodnight to her hours earlier.

03-24-09, 12:06 AM
I detect very slight sounds even when they are distant sounds.
When I was married, my wife used to tell me she couldn't hear them.

An example...
Our bedroom window was on the second floor at the back of the house.
I would fall asleep fast (according to my wife), and be sound asleep when something would wake me up.

I'd lie there and listen until I heard it again.
Often times it was people talking, while walking down the street. They weren't even by our house yet, but I could hear them.
If I jumped enough when I woke, my wife would be woken up also.
She claimed she never heard the voices :p, but I could get out of bed, walk to the front of the house, and the people I heard talking would eventually pass by.

I seem especially tuned in to aircraft. Once I'm in an area long enough to know which aircraft fly overhead regularly, I can distinguish the difference between the different makes... say, helicopters.
I can tell you if the chopper I hear is a Huey, a Blackhawk, a Dolphin (Coast Guard), a Chinook... Again, I seem to hear them before anyone else around me does.

While this is pretty neat sometimes, other times my hearing drives me crazy!

Certain sounds will agitate me to no end. I'm not talking about just not being able to get back to sleep, or go back to whatever I was concentrating on before... I mean, I get real antsy, I have to get up and pace around sometimes.
I just want it to stop!

I have a habit of going up to cars with loud stereos, or houses/apartments, and asking them to turn the music down.

Animals do this to me also... the constant licking :eek::mad:, and I know they're not doing anything wrong.. I just can't stand it.

I apparently can sleep through some pretty good noises, but there are those specific things that my mind will wake to and just won't let go.

I won't wear earplugs, as suggested by folks, because I do not find them comfortable, and in some cases ineffective.

Strange thing... the tinnitus I have does not drive me crazy.
I hear it pretty much all the time, and I really wish I hadn't damaged my ears like this, but I have learned to live with it... and it gets LOUD sometimes.

johnny s.
03-24-09, 09:17 AM
When we're asleep, there's some part of our mind that processes things.

Then that part of our mind decides what to ignore, and what to wake us up over.

Our mind ignore the regular noises, the mundane things.... But if it hears something out of the ordinary, it wakes us instantly.

That's what ADD is like for me.

Even when I'm awake, my mind ignore all the regular, mundane old things. I simply can not focus on them. my mind won't let me.

but something out of the ordinary? something different?

then I can't ignore it! my mind is drawn to it to the point where I can't think of anything else if I want to.

I have no control over my focus, just like when I'm asleep.

03-30-09, 06:57 PM
*agrees with johnny*
I can sleep through anything. What wakes me is something that does not belong in the enviroment, ie corner of the house started burning (which happened to be the corner of my bedroom also :eek:) and I woke up and walked outside to see flames. This was a small fire going, rather like the sound of a fire in a fireplace.

What I can't do is GO TO sleep with certain things going on. Like fast paced music or people talking as my body/mind decides it wants to participate and not go to sleep after all. grrr

Once I'm asleep...drop a bomb. Unless my mind determines that it is dangerous to me or mine, I stay asleep. :D