Sleep Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Hear music in my head...

I have had insomnia for a couple years now and have tried a ton of different things with that. I was on ambien and trazadone for a while, but started to develop a dependence and was feeling more tired even though I was sleeping. Before that I exhausted all of the sleep hygiene and over the counter and herbal remedies. The problem is occasionally sleep onset but always with sleep maintenance. I had a sleep study that didn't show apnea but did show RERA's which indicate upper airway resistance. I've seen an Ear/nose/throat and an allergist and both noticed I had very swollen turbinates. I've tried antihistamines with topical nose sprays and those helped a little with the sleeping but it is still an ongoing struggle. Anyways, that is just background for my question.

Occasionally when I am trying to fall asleep I hear music in my head. Not a distinct tune or song that I know or have heard, mostly muffled sounds like bass and guitar or a band like drums and trumpets.  Basically, it just sounds like the people upstairs are playing music a little louder than I would like when trying to sleep. This only happens if I have one ear on the pillow. If I try to ignore it it gets louder. If I pick my head up off the pillow it goes away and I only hear silence. Some nights when I am sleeping really poorly I will wake up with tinnitus, really loud ringing in my ear, but this is very rare (however I don't know if the two may be related.) Does anyone know what could be causing this?  I haven't mentioned this to my doctor yet because it had seemingly gone away but I have been experiencing it again lately.
66 Responses
Avatar universal
I know your post is quite old but I'm in amazement that someone else is experiencing the same thing.  Not just the same thing, but the exact same thing.  I don't hear music in the morning or throughout the day.  Just at night...  Still trying to get an answer.  I don't mind it.  I joke with my husband about it.  But I would just like it explained.  Thank you for making me feel a little less crazy.  
1355118 tn?1298568479
Hi, welcome to the forum, if one perceives something which is not there it is known as hallucination. You are hearing music which is not actually present and it suggests of auditory hallucination. But the presence of such symptoms in the night time is bit unusual.

This may be psychiatric abnormality. Also another possibility is continuous ringing in your ear known as tinnitus due to ear problems. The possibilities for tinnitus are Vascular disorders including Arterial bruits, Arteriovenous shunts, Paraganglioma, Neurologic disorders, Eustachian tube dysfunction, Otosclerosis and Vestibular schwannoma.

You need to undergo complete ear examination supported by brain MRI to rule out any organic lesions. If ENT evaluation result comes normal then have a psychiatric consultation too. Listen to relaxation music and meditation will help. Take care and regards.
987242 tn?1335494370
I hope you two get to see and read this post and anyone else that has experienced this. I have had this through out my life and kept it to myself fearing that I was crazy or would be considered crazy. I finally told my Fiance a couple of years ago and he suggested I mention it to a doctor and told me I was not crazy. He then referred to me as Radio Gurl as an inside joke. Secretly I still feared I was crazy and refused to mention it to a doctor. About two years ago I started having a lot of trouble sleeping and went for a sleep study. The results came back as not sleep apnea, but they wanted a day time study, because somethings raised a concern. The doctor also asked if I ever experienced some stuff, but used medical terms so I was clueless. Any way, one thing that they asked about was hypnagogic hallucinations, which I quickly denied. I assumed hallucinations equaled crazy. I later learned a hypnagogic hallucinations is an auditory hallucination prior to following asleep and is a symptom of narcolepsy and hypersomnia, I was finally diagnosed with hypersomnia.  Basically you begin dreaming before you are fully asleep. So my suggestion would be to get a sleep study done also. As this is far from abnormal for suffers of these sleep disorders.
Avatar universal
I make music.  Send me a message if you hear music in your head- I might be able to make something out of it and possibly offer pay if I get it to the right artists/show.  Maybe this will help to "release" it and turn it into smoe beautiful.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem almost exactly, but it's more likely to happen if I'm laying on my right ear to the pillow...then an odd rt. sided headache (or fullness) then music.  I know it's not there but it took a lot of convincing myself!

          http://priory.com/halluc.htm          ...please read sect. 3
Avatar universal
I had the exact same thing happen. I'm in the Navy and when I was on deployment when I put my ear (usually it happened on the left ear) to my pillow I heard music and thought it was someone in the next room or something, but when I picked my head up the music stopped. It happened quite a bit on deployment.
When I was a kid I had an incident happen (actually it happened twice). I was lying down to go to sleep and all of a sudden I heard everyone's voice that I knew (and I mean everyone) all talking at once saying things they would say. It was their voices too not mine just saying what they would say. pretty strange
1821811 tn?1317262567
I too use to hear music in my head when I would lay down at night. I was started on Topamax for headaches and the music stopped.
Avatar universal
You're hearing your own
Heartbeat. I've heard it too, try not compressing your ear onto the pillow
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem. Its only at night when my ears compressed to the pillow. I thought it was my neighbors and found out it wasn't. Its not an actual song but just a beat. I started having this problem a couple months ago and I also use to take topamax for migrains but had stopped bc it was no longer helping. Could that be the reason I'm hearing it?

I've never been able to sleep well whether I get 6hr or 11hrs at night, I'm always tired. The first thing I think when I wake up is "I can't wait to get home and take a nap". I feel like its puting a huge strain on life. I have a 3yr old and I just can't keep up bc I'm always tired. What can I do?
Avatar universal
i have the damnedest, weird repetitive and rhythmical stacatto-like sensations in my tired, old brain, mostly when I read, but always present - or nearly so.
Many things wrong with this abused 69 year old body: totally deaf in left ear and becoming so in right due to Meniere's Syndrome of nearly 30 year's duration; peripheral neuropathy in feet, due to excessive consumption of alcohol for 47 years; severe and constant pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, L2-L4 - or thereabouts; erectile dysfunction since 1999; tics in both feet (toe-wiggling) probably due to neuropathy, and now in synch with the stacatto-like sensations (musically-rhythmical) in my addled brain. Other than FUBAR, any idea what I have - or what I have and am not aware of having?
Avatar universal
I think for the people at least that hear something when their ears are to the pillow - that should be the first clue - ignoring that part of it is like a whole nother problem - ne ways perhaps your ears like a stethoscope are picking up things - sometimes mechanics use screwdrivers (like the 3 foot ones) and put it up to an engine and the handle part to the ear to hear inside the engine - have you also noticed that when you squint into the light you see little microbes or something - ne ways it would be good to know for sure right - so start putting your ears to different materials and the ground and etc (it is the process of elimination) - it might be something not to get rid of although who knows
Avatar universal
I experience the same thing!! I'm a musician, and alot of my best songs come to me at this time. when i can't sleep, and i hear the music, i take up my recorder or pull my guitar (i always have these handy just in case) and i would either play the music, or humm the tune into my recorder. I think it's a musical gift but ofc sleep is important as well.
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