Noisy Neighbors and Can't Sleep? 5 Solutions
Unless you live on an isolated patch of land, dealing with noisy neighbors is a fact of life. Apartment dwellers naturally hear more neighbor noise than those in private homes, but even suburban cul-de-sacs can be beset by barking dogs, summer parties, and car alarms.
Consider whether the problem is occasional or habitual. If most of the time things are quiet, or if the noise is regular but not very loud, you probably don't need to take any drastic steps. Low-tech solutions include:
1. Ear Plugs
Long relied upon by spouses of snorers, earplugs will also block out noises coming from outside your apartment or building. You may have to experiment with different textures and materials to find the ear plugs that are comfortable and work best.
2. White Noise
Fans and heaters can provide a low level of white noise, which is steady background noise that effectively drowns out sleep-disrupting sounds. If you don't have a fan, air conditioner, or heater, you can buy a white-noise machine online or in certain specialty shops. The benefit of a white-noise machine is that there are multiple settings and volumes from which to choose.
Got a bigger problem? You may need to take your noise-dampening efforts to a higher, more permanent level. Options to try:
3. Structural Soundproofing
Your bedroom should have a solid wood or solid core door. Install weatherstripping around the door to block noise, or exchange your interior bedroom door for an exterior door that already has weatherstripping. Hire a contractor to install soundproof drywall with extra insulation.
Padded carpets will help absorb noise to a degree. If you're opposed to carpet, wall fabrics, and large decorative wall hangings can accomplish the same.
5. Soundproofing Paint
This may provide a minimal benefit, if any, but it's worth a try.
Finally, make sure your bedroom is on the cooler side and that all sources of light are extinguished. Temperature and light won't do anything to directly mitigate the noise that's bothering you, but sleep experts tell us that a slightly cool, completely dark room (i.e., no glare from computer monitors or alarm clocks, no streetlights seeping in around the shades) is the most conducive to sleep. Keeping an appropriate sleep environment might just mean the difference between sleeping through neighbor noise and staying awake.
National Sleep Foundation. "The Sleep Environment." Web. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment
Ask the Builder. "Soundproofing Rooms Solves Noise Problem." Web. www.askthebuilder.com/323_Soundproofing_Rooms_Solves_Noise_Problem.shtml
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