How To Block Out Noise In Bed

illustration of a house with different sources of noise from neighbors in each window

How much sleep have you lost recently because of loud neighbors or a snoring partner?

For sensitive sleepers, noise can be one of the biggest obstacles to a good night’s sleep – even when the source of the noise is understandable.

Considerate family members and housemates will usually turn down the TV if you ask them politely. But it’s a different ball game trying to stop someone snoring, or sleeping through the roar of your neighbor’s all-night party.

And if your house has wooden floorboards and there are toddlers or a puppy upstairs, the pitter-patter of little feet can drive you insane.

Noise has long been my nemesis when it comes to sleep. It’s the main reason I’ve spent years testing earplugs, sound machines, and various other ways to create my own little oasis of silence.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the techniques that have worked best for me personally, and suggesting ways that might help you either cut down the noise at night or at least reduce it to a tolerable level.


1. Block the noise

Sometimes your best chance for peace is to stop the sound reaching your ears. And if that doesn’t work, it can help to replace it with a sound which you find more relaxing.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to stop the noise at its source when possible. But it may be a case of focusing your efforts on reducing how much noise reaches you.

I wear earplugs most nights, as they usually block out most noise where I live. But I’ll sometimes use headphones or a white noise machine if the noise changes.

Below, you’ll find my current recommendations for each of these. And I also create video reviews for some of them on my YouTube channel.

If you’re wondering which works best, my personal view is that it’s hard to beat a really good set of earplugs. The thing is, there are many different types so I usually recommend trying several different brands and sizes if you can afford it.

The difference between earplugs that fit you well with a noise reduction rating of 33 dB and earplugs that don’t quite fit and only have a noise reduction rating of 27 dB is significant. So it’s definitely worth doing some of your own tests.

I’d also recommend sticking with good earplug brands and not drugstore or supermarket own brands. Some I recommend trying are Moldex, Howard Leight, Hearoes, Flents, Mack’s, 3M and Ear Buddy. All of these can be bought online. And if you live in the United States, the bricks and mortar store I’ve seen with the widest selection of earplugs recently is ACME.

foam earplugs

2. Cope with a noisy bed partner

Some sleep disorders involve making noise while sleeping. While you shouldn’t blame your partner for having a sleep disorder, it’s reasonable to expect them to consider treatment if possible.

For example, if you sleep with a snorer, there are lifestyle changes and anti-snoring products they can try. Some can be bought online or in pharmacies, and a doctor or dentist can also recommend good ones. You might also find it helpful to read my article about sleeping with a loud snorer.

Other noise-generating sleep problems, like sleep talking or teeth grinding, can be addressed with self-help, lifestyle changes or with the support of a medical professional.

woman trying to block out noise with a pillow

3. Soundproof your home

Sound has an astonishing ability to find its way through the smallest of gaps. Add since sound waves can transmit through most walls, it takes some effort to fully soundproof a room.

Installing proper soundproofing can be expensive, or a complex DIY task which your landlord might not allow.

Here are some tips for reducing the amount of external sound that gets through to your bedroom:

  • Make sure all gaps and cracks are sealed. Check your window frames, door frames, floorboards, and skirting boards. Use an appropriate sealant if necessary.
  • Hang heavy curtains or drapes on windows, and even the walls to soak up some sound.
  • Roll up a towel or other material and place it at the bottom of the bedroom door. You can also hang towels on windows if you don’t have curtains at the time.
  • Buy a blackout blind which has inbuilt extra soundproofing.
  • Create a solid mass at the offending wall. For example, put bookshelves, cupboards or wardrobes on the wall which is next to your partying neighbor or noisy housemate.
  • Make sure the room above you has a thick carpet.

For more information on soundproofing, there’s a useful article on howstuffworks.com. It also explains in more detail why it’s hard to soundproof rooms!

And for DIY enthusiasts, familyhandyman.com has an excellent article explaining exactly how to soundproof a room, with steps for creating walls that will greatly dampen the sound.

sound proofing diagram
The sound from a television can easily find its way to other rooms.

4. The art of communication

If the troublesome noise is coming from someone you live with, it shouldn’t be too difficult to ask them nicely to be quieter – in theory.

In reality, we all have different perspectives on what’s unacceptably noisy, what time is considered late at night, and how well others should tolerate our choice of activity.

But really it boils down to the art of negotiation – or control if you’re a parent. It’s important to ask someone diplomatically to understand the fact that the noise is affecting your sleep, daily life, and well-being.

That, in my experience, usually gets a better result than accusing someone of being unreasonable. By calmly asking for help and understanding, you’re more likely to get it than if you confront them angrily.

Don’t start a sound war

photo of a man trying to sleep in one room with a noisy neighbor in the room next to him

If it’s a neighbor disturbing you, resist the temptation to start a sound war. Again, start with a polite request and continue to ask politely. If you blast your music back at them, nobody wins.

If someone is willing to work with you, then you can do some experiments to find the maximum volume they can put a television of stereo at without you hearing it. They could even use a little sticker to mark the maximum volume point.

This might sound silly or impractical, but I’ve actually done it myself – when I was the offending noise creator!

Many years ago, my downstairs neighbor told me they could hear my music in the evening and they were working shifts so would appreciate it if I could keep the volume down after 8 p.m.

So we just worked together to find the exact volume where the bass wasn’t reaching their ears in bed. And in fact, it wasn’t much lower than I enjoyed listening to anyway, so I was fine with it.


5. Call the noise busters

It’s a dramatic course of action, and won’t earn you any friends. But if your neighbors are continually noisy in a disrespectful way, there may be a local government noise pollution department you can call.

This varies from country to country, but might be the only way to deal with building work on a Sunday morning or constant late night parties.

Looking up the law where you live can help prepare your case. Check online what time builders can use power tools, what time fireworks can go on to, how late music can be played in the street.


6. Move your bedroom

Again, this might seem like a dramatic course of action. And I know that not everyone has enough rooms to simply move their bedroom.

But if your bedroom is on the main road, next to a room with a screaming toddler, teenage insomniac heavy metal fan, or barking puppy, it might be worth shuffling your rooms around if you can.

If you don’t have a spare bedroom, and it’s only the occasional night that noise disturbs you, there’s another option: move your bed or even just the mattress to a quiet space in your home for the night.

I personally have no problem carting my mattress into the living room if it means I get some sleep. It worked when I was a student in a noisy shared house, and it still works 20 years later. I really don’t care if it looks weird.

I understand that not everyone is physically able to move a heavy mattress from room to room. In this case, another backup option could be an auto-inflating airbed that you keep in another room. Although it obviously won’t be as comfortable as a normal mattress, the portability gives you the option to sleep in the quietest spot in your home.

Finally, if you’re staying in a hotel for the night, ask in advance for a quiet room or even to change rooms if necessary. I find they are usually accommodating if you ask nicely.

7. Create a room within a room

In the years since I first wrote this article, I’ve thought a lot about the comments readers have left below.

A problem that crops up repeatedly is not being able to simply move rooms, and having issues like noisy upstairs neigbours, who perhaps walk around late at night and don’t have carpets, rugs or anything else to dampen the noise.

I asked my cousin about this recently, who is a sound engineer and has his own recording studio. What, if anything, can people in this situation do to reduce the noise? Isn’t there a simple material they can plaster all over their walls to shut out all the sound, just like he has in his studio?

If you have the money, you could pay a professional soundproofing company to come and remodel your bedroom in a way that might help, he told me.

Otherwise, what about creating a room within a room? Again, it’s quite an endeavor that requires money and/or decent DIY skills. There may also be building regulations and fire hazard issues to consider.

But the concept is one I wanted to mention here, as he seemed to think it would be a lot better than simply using earplugs.

How to do it is beyond the scope of this article, but if it’s an idea that interests you, I recommend reading the advice on homestudioexpert.com.

My helpful cousin also had three other tips that I liked:

  • Put some squares of neoprene under the bed legs to reduce the noise vibrating its way to your brain.
  • If you have a very minimalist bedroom, consider adding more soft furnishings like pillows, rugs, carpets and any fabrics which will help absorb noise energy.
  • If the more high-level soundproofing steps seem too expensive, hard to achieve or just impractical, you could perhaps try yourself by using heavy curtains, or even the type used in theatres. We also discussed the idea of using a four poster bed frame to hang thick curtains. Just leave room for fresh air to enter!

8. Mind over noise

Sleep problems often end up in a vicious circle, and noise is no exception. The stress of being kept awake by noise can itself turn into a worry that you won’t sleep. And that worry then becomes the reason you can’t sleep.

And if the person or thing making the noise makes your blood boil and fills you with rage, then that’s also not particularly conducive to good sleep. Put simply, it’s very hard to fall asleep when your head is full of angry thoughts.

How do you fix your own reaction to the noise? Well, the goal is to reduce how much you allow yourself to be upset by noise at night. How you go about doing that though can come down to several factors.

If you’re a sensitive person, prone to stress and anxiety, then it might not be easy to let go. Trying to adopt a new attitude that you forgive (or at least tolerate) whoever or whatever is making the noise, and that you can learn to sleep with it can take time.

But it’s not impossible. And in most cases, people can eventually become accustomed to noise like traffic and learn to sleep with it. I know the steady drone of traffic isn’t the same as a party next door at 2 a.m. But in that case, reminding yourself that it doesn’t happen every night (hopefully) might be the best tactic.

Personally, I try to take a few deep breaths to refocus my brain away from wishing I could use Jedi mind control to melt my neighbor’s speakers. It might sound over-simplistic, but focusing on your breathing is a tangible and effective way to reduce negative thoughts.


9. Body over noise

My personal experience is that I sleep better in any conditions when I’m mentally and physically tired.

Sure, if I’m mentally worn out by my noisy neigbours, it doesn’t quite work the same!

But I know from spending years observing my own sleep, and how different factors impact it, that when I go to bed feeling ready to sleep, I’m much more likely to sleep through noise than when I go to sleep with excess energy I haven’t managed to burn off.

So try to stay active, both physically and mentally.

10. Coping with noise during the pandemic

I generally don’t discuss the pandemic on this website as I prefer to leave anything that could be construed as medical advice to the medical experts.

However, in this case I would like to acknowledge that I understand many people’s homes have become a lot noisier in the last year. Maybe not if you live near an airport, but definitely if you live in a building with thin adjoining walls.

More kids being homeschooled. More students studying at home, and trying their best to maintain some kind of social life at night. More people working from home. More puppies. People losing their jobs and not needing to go to bed and get up so early. Billions of people stuck at home in lockdown for weeks on end. Daily routines thrown into chaos.

I know. I’ve experienced some of these things too.

Personally, I try my best to stick to the same kind of routine I had in 2019. In some ways, it’s not so hard for me because I’ve worked from home for years. So that part didn’t change, other than having my wife work at home too now. But the lack of social contact, sports, days out, combined with lockdowns and worry about going out, made it harder to be active.

We’ve tried though. We exercise outdoors and at home. We do some yoga every morning. We turn the TV off some evenings and do other things. And most importantly, we stick to a regular bedtime and waking up time, even though we don’t technically have to.

What has that got to do with noise? Well, I believe that staying active, taking steps to reduce stress in general, and having a stable routine all help with sleep in general. Even if noise is the main culprit for your lack of sleep, there may be other factors involved too.

So even if noise is driving you crazy, don’t forget all the other positive habits that can improve your sleep and overall well-being. I think it’s even more important during these stressful pandemic times to be good to yourself, and to others too.

Your views

Does noise keep you awake at night? Feel free to share your story or vent your frustration in the comments below.

And if you have any useful techniques for coping with noise at night, I’d love to hear them.

232 thoughts on “How To Block Out Noise In Bed”

  1. Hi, i’ve been having huge issues with 5 x students since they arrived August 2020 – they have driven us mad with weed, loud music etc but their noise at night is the worst of it. At first it was them playing drunken games and stomping up and down stairs which would literally rattle our house. We had to go to the council in the end, which was horrible, but it improved and we’ve had hardly any issues since then, until recently. Now it’s the nightly noise again (I’m talking from midnight until about 5am) but this time it’s not drunken games, I actually don’t think it’s deliberate noise. It’s a thump here, a stomp there, a slamming door here, a clatter there – but it’s CONSTANT and there’s 5 of them so it just goes on and on and on. They have guests too which adds to the sound. Last week I spent a lot of it pretty tearful because I just don’t know how to deal with it. We’ve spoken to them so many times, spoken to the landlord who’s been no help whatsoever, spoken to the council that one time – it feels like a lost cause. My partner says the same thing as you, Ethan, to try and accept it’s noise I can’t control, but it just drives me MAD that they refuse to edit their volume levels accordingly, once we enter antisocial hours? My sense of injustice is so strong. I have to get up and work every day and they just don’t care. I am completely miserable and can’t think about anything else. We’re trying to soundproof our rooms as best we can but life’s just so difficult already.

    1. Hi Ellie
      Sorry to hear you’re struggling with the students. I can remember being a student many moons ago and having a neigbour complain about the noise we made. I remember thinking it wasn’t even that bad – we were literally just doing normal things. The problem really was the construction of the house and someone had converted it into two flats as cheaply as possible. So even just walking from the bedroom to the kitchen bothered our neigbours. We tried to be quieter every time they mentioned it, but soon forgot simply because we didn’t feel like tip-toeing around our own house and never laughing or closing doors etc. And when we were 19 years old, we wouldn’t have thought to adjust a door that naturally slammed. If it slammed, it slammed, and it wasn’t our problem. I don’t believe we were bad people or bad students or different from many other people of that age. We just didn’t have experience of not being us and having to live next to us! Now I do have that experience, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to live underneath the 19 year old version of me either…
      This is the kind of point I mean when I talk about accepting it. Even if it drives you mad, I think taking away some sense of being vicitimised can help some people who attach a kind of hidden warfare to the fact that it’s just people of that age being normal (for them). That includes music – it’s just not in every young person’s nature to listen to music quietly, just in case it annoys the neighbours!
      What to do? Hopefully your soundproofing will help. Can you move your bed and/or mattress? Are there are drastic steps left you haven’t tried?

  2. I’m going to try something. Earplugs, plus one of those night time sleeping headband style headphones. Wearing both at the same time. Headphones help for sure, but are too uncomfortable to sleep with. So I’m going to try the headband style.

    Hope to god it works.

    1. Hi J
      Let me know how it goes and which combination of earplugs and headband you try. I am also planning to experiment more with this kind of doubling up in a future video, so I’d love to know your thoughts on how well it works.
      Regards
      Ethan

  3. Hi
    I am so pleased I found this article. Reading everyone’s comments I realize mine are so minimal.
    We have lived in our house for 35 years and lived next door to a little old lady who made no noise at all. Sadly we have new neighbors now who are lovely people but I have found it hard to accept the change. I feel they are inconsiderate where noise is concerned. The main problem being their bathroom is next to our bedroom and they get up at 3.00am for work. I get up at 6:00, so unless I can get back to sleep quickly it’s going to be a long day.
    My wife hears nothing and isn’t bothered. We have always used earbuds due to snoring. My wife gets up in the middle of the night and I won’t even know. I sleep through thunderstorms with ease!!
    However the slightest noise from next door and I am awake. Their house reservations have included heavy hardwood internal doors and laminate flooring which are bad chooses for sound transfer.
    I have spoken with them calmly and not in a complaining way. In a polite manner asking for their help. This worked 100% and the response was excellent!! However, many months later I have started waking again at 3:00 and I don’t know why. It has to be due to a noise. Have they relaxed their efforts, I now think they are inconsiderate again. I find myself waiting to hear a noise. I can even predict their routines and have started fighting back with noises of my own (not good).
    As my family will confirm I am not a tolerant of others in many ways.
    It has been good to read other comments and know I am not alone.
    Thank you
    Chris

  4. As I live in a bungalow, my neighbour has 3 kids and 2 of them have autism. My room is next to a 12 year old and he constantly kicks and bangs against the wall. I sometime hear the mother shouting. I can’t sleep because of them. I go to bed at a decent time, but they don’t stop until at least 11pm-12pm. The 12 year old sometimes bangs and kicks around that time and I have to be up early for work so I hardly get enough sleep. He wakes me up, but I’m kind because of his condition. It’s just hard.

    1. Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I can appreciate how hard that must be. It’s also decent of you to be understanding despite the toll if must have on your sleep. But I do think that learning to tolerate a noise you can’t control helps, because letting yourself get stressed and angry about it can just make it worse. It’s very hard to sleep when your head is full of angry thoughts.
      So in your case, I’d be thinking about what you can do to block the noise (as you already are otherwise you wouldn’t be on this page!). Can you move your bed to another room? Even if it means somethign unusualy like putting the bed in the living room on nights you really need to sleep well? I personally have no issue with throwing a mattress down anywhere in my house as long as I can sleep (maybe not the bathroom…). When it comes to sleep, I don’t care if my house looks weird temporarily as long as I wake up feeling refreshed.
      But even if you move the bed to the other side of the room, you could potentially start to line and pad the shared wall with a bookcase, wardrobed, hangings – anything to dampen the noise. Then get yourself some really good earplugs to help dampen it more.
      Regards
      Ethan

      1. I have the same issue, a new tenant and her 3 children have moved in next door to me. The youngest child is non verbal so from 3pm after school until 11pm I have constant high pitched screaming, wooden floorboards being banged and things thrown against the wall. I have to use headphones to watch my TV as some of the bangs make me jump out of my skin. The 2 teenagers sleep until 3pm then they are awake all night so I have stomping footsteps, doors being slammed, furniture being dragged across wooden floorboards. I did speak to the mother who was apologetic and said her teenagers are up all night and she asks them to be quiet as she has a little one. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement. I have now moved my mattress onto the floor in the side bedroom, I have pinned thick blankets all around the parting wall upstairs, have wardrobes againt the walls and use earplugs. This does help a bit but the vibrations and noise on the floorboards of the bangs and door slamming still wake me up every night / morning between 2am and 5am. I am at my wits end, it is really affecting me now due to lack of sleep and I am constantly on edge waiting to jump out of my skin with the banging. So much so I am thinking of moving, which is sad as I really love my house.

        1. Hi
          Sorry to hear you’re in this difficult situation. Can you move the bedframe as well, and try putting some neopreme, or other material under the legs to perhaps help a little with the vibrations?

  5. Small noise affect my sleep. Even I can’t tolerate switch sound. My mom always abuses me for sleep. I can’t sleep peacefully because my family members wantedly make tv sounds or speak loudly when I’m sleeping.

  6. Your advice on mind/body over matter is easier said than done, but I will give it a shot. I still have nine more months in a room with a paper-thin shared wall. Instead of continuing to be miserable by fixating on the noise and engaging in passive-aggressive, mean-spirited retaliation, I’ll choose to focus on doing things that make me happy (with earplugs if need be), work on my sleep hygiene, and see this time as training ground for mindfulness and resilience. If I can learn to overcome my thoughts and be at peace with where I am now, I’ll be able to be happy anywhere else. Thanks so much for your inspiring words.

    1. Hi m
      You’re welcome! I know it’s not easy, I still sometimes struggle to remain calm when there’s unusually loud noise keeping me awake! I think the main thing is to keep trying the strategies to cope, even if they don’t always work. Hopefully, in time the noise will slowly become less of an intrusion emotionally as well as audibly.
      But yes, earplugs are usually the way to go in my experience!
      I hope that nine months isn’t too stressful.
      Regards
      Ethan

  7. I have a neighbor whose driveway is next to my bedrooms. He backs his large truck between the houses next to my bedroom windows. He leaves every morning 5am or soon after. He starts his truck with the exhaust pointing at my bedroom windows/exterior wall. I have already filled the wall with blown in insulation, and the windows are older double pane. I measured the decibels inside my bedroom window and the lowest level was 89db…inside my house. The bass noise is the worst and it vibrates through the house. The bedrooms are so small I cannot add a 2nd interior wall. I have put furniture on that wall and have filled the closet on that wall with stuff (mass.) I tried ear plugs and it didn’t help… same bass noise and vibration blast.

    I have developed a health issue (I fall a lot) because I am completely exhausted by early afternoon. I haven’t broken bones yet, but it is likely.

    The truck owner is well aware of the problem he has created for me and the previous owners/renters of this house. (He told me the first day I lived there that he would be waking me every morning.)

    How can I bring down the noise? I am desperate and don’t really have the money to sue them or put up an expensive brick wall. (I only have about 3 feet of space outside that wall.)

    1. Hi Grace

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear this is an issue for you. I can completely understand because I get woken up most mornings by garbage trucks making a huge bang every time they tip up the giant metal communal bins.
      And even though because of what I do with this website I have in my house right now 20+ different types of earplugs, 12 white noise machines and 10+ headphones, I still can’t block out that one noise!
      There are some noises which are just too extreme and nothing will block them out – at least nothing the average person can do without going to extreme measures with DIY etc.
      So, my advice – and forgive me if you don’t like it – is to do what I do: accept that it’s short-lasting and try to change the mindset to stress less about it.
      I know it’s really annoying being woken up every morning by someone being loud. But at least – in both yours and my case, it doesn’t go on all morning. So you can, in theory, go back to sleep when he leaves.
      Now, I know there’s an element of “I shouldn’t have to put up with it” or maybe “I can’t fall asleep again”. I’ve been there too…so I know.
      But I also know that stressing about it can make it even worse. So I’ve learned to accept that I will lose a couple of battles in the goal to create silence in my home. But as long as I win the war, or at least limit the damage in the battles I lose, I can retain my sanity and my ability to remain calm.
      More recently, we got a COVID puppy (as they call them apparently). So now I have garbage trucks at 6am and puppy crying before and after then. But the same principle applies: yes, it annoys me and wakes me up. But if I stress about it, that stress will keep me awake even longer. So I try to accept those noises as being beyond my control, and that acceptance lets me fall asleep again once the noise stops.
      Sorry for going on a long monologue with not very practical advice. If I had real practical advice beyond what I already wrote in the article, I would have offered it.But for now, this is all I’ve got. Give me the benefit of the doubt, and give it a try. Take a couple of deep breaths tomorrow morning when it happens, tell yourself it’s ok, try to relax, and once he’s gone, put it out of your mind, focus on how warm and cozy your bed is instead to take your attention off any negative thoughts and feelings, and try to go back to sleep.
      All the best
      Ethan

  8. I’m 68 and live alone in a ground floor flat in a block of 6. My neighbour upstairs above me gets up at 4 30 to leave at 7 15 to catch a bus. She showers does washing always running water enough to fill a swimming pool drops stuff on the floor etc for nearly 3yrs I’ve been woken up and not been able to sleep. So i get up and its a very long tiring day.I sometimes can’t stay awake come afternoon im shattered. I phoned her politely and told her i could hear her washing machine she said i had a problem not her. She has friends from her country phone her at our time 6ish but there its much later. The best sleep ive had in nearly 3 yrs was when i had 2 operations. Sad but true. Shes kept me awake on her days off as she then does housework late at night. The nights she works she’s in bed by 9 and up as early as 4 30 yet doesn’t leave the building till gone 7.What do i do i have a phobia of having anything in my ears due to my mother ridiculing me cause my ears were not clean and i hated her fat finger plunging down my ear. All my adult life I’ve had this fear of anything going in my ears so earplugs are not for me. I guess there’s nothing i can do like Covid i have to live with this problem. I’m in a wardened council property and have reported this but the neighbour has become complacent and in her little world with no care of how it affects someone like me whos retired and have done the early mornings with great respect for my neighbours.

    1. Hi Pamela
      Sorry to hear you’re having this issue with the neighbour – I know how stressful it can be.
      Is it just a fear of things going inside your ears, or does over the top of them also cause you anxiety? For example, normal headphones or headbands?
      Regards
      Ethan

  9. I am the loud one in my apartment building because I have insomnia. My upstairs, underneath, and side by side neighbors all can hear me. I try to be as quiet as possible at 3am but my couch is really squeaky and the wood floors are loud whenever I walk on them or simply switch positions on my couch. I’ve tried to just watch tv and be still as possible but my bed is almost just as squeaky as my couch and they can hear my tv when it’s at a very low volume. I don’t want to just sit there in a dark room while my insomnia is in full on effect. I don’t have the funds to replace my couch or bed otherwise I would take this route and I can’t move to a different location because my lease doesn’t end for another 5 months. I have a new white noise machine but that doesn’t seem to help at all because I can hear my neighbors talk about how loud I am through the wall but they are too shy or nice to come say anything to me. Any suggestions on what I can do before I end up either getting the cops called on me or end up with my neighbors absolutely hating me. At this point I’m uncomfortable moving around or making any subtle noise in my apartment and that doesn’t feel like a healthy way to live and is making my insomnia and anxiety worse.

    1. Hi Spencer
      First of all, it’s a positive thing that you care enough about your neighbours to be worried about this. Not everyone would think this way! However, it’s obviously affecting your quality of life too, not just theirs.
      I imagine the ultimate goal would be to tackle your insomnia so you be asleep at 3am, not watching TV. What have you tried to improve your insomnia? Do you know what it is that causes it, if there is something more specific?
      As for practical steps, could you get a Bluetooth adaptor and headphones for your TV? That could solve that particular problem. Headphones could also help stop you hearing your neighbours too. Perhaps you could try putting a couple of layers of carpet patches under the feet of the couch and bed. That might help a tiny bit too.
      Regards
      Ethan

  10. Hi Ethan,

    Thank you for the article. Do you have any tips about ear plugs or similar that reduce noise from noisy, upstairs neighbors who like to watch TV in the middle of the night? My parents who live in an apartment building have very inconsiderate upstairs neighbors who like to do just that. Reasoning and pleading with them has not helped and my parents have exhausted all other options, including getting building management involved and even calling the police a few times. (My parents are not the only ones complaining, but they are the ones immediately below so get to hear the bulk of the noise). They cannot soundproof their apartment or build a room within a room unfortunately. They already have heavy curtains and I’ll mention the neoprene trick to them, but I doubt that it would have a significant effect.

    Their bedroom is directly below the TV room of the upstairs neighbors and it would be extremely inconvenient to move it (they would basically have to move their bedroom into the living room and they do not want to do that). Moving to another place is also not an option as this has been their home for over 20 years.

    Do you have any advice/articles on ear plugs, specifically ones that can reduce TV noise or voices from upstairs/next door neighbors? I understand that it is not possible to completely get rid of the noise, but I am really hoping that reducing it would allow my parents to get some rest.

    Thanks,

    Elena

    1. Hi Elena

      Thanks for your comment. I’m actually working on a large earplug review update at the moment, and hope to do a video some time before the end of the year.
      As it goes, one of the main reasons I wanted to do a video was to talk about the fact that I believe earplugs are very much a personal thing, as it really depends on your ear canal size and the way you fit them almost as much as the quality of the earplugs themselves.
      So really, the best thing is to try different packs, and unless a store sells a good brand, to avoid generic store brands and buy them online. Most of the worst earplugs Ive tried over the years were bought in supermarkets, pharmacies or airports. All of the best ones, I bought online – though I have also found some of them in stores in the US, such as Hearoes and Macks.
      Personally, I much prefer foam to wax, silicone and any type of plastic ones. They just work better. But…not everyone finds them comfortable. And some people are more concerned by the health risks that come with wearing earplugs all the time. Personally, I choose to have less noise over the risk of ear infections and have only had one in 20 years of using earplugs (that I’m aware of).
      So, within the foam earplug world, there are lots of good ones, and the right one for you (or them) will depend on the size and fit. I personally really like mack’s ultraSoft, any style of moldex earplugs, ear buddy, and howard laser leight. But really, any that have a noise reduction rating between 30 and 33 are worth trying at least once in my opinion.
      As for other options, there’s not much more I can offer than already in the article I’m afraid. Noisy upstairs neighbors can be a real nightmare, I know. For me, earplugs are the best way forward.
      Regards
      Ethan

    1. You’re very welcome Satya – I’m very happy to hear the article was useful. Let’s hope the tips actually help you!
      Regards
      Ethan

  11. Hi Ethan,

    I would like to know your opinion on sleeping in a room for 9 hours with closed windows. Is it unhealthy? CO2? Even if the air is maximally fresh in the moment of closing the windows?

    Thanks,
    Dominik

    1. Hi Dominik
      I guess it depends on just how sealed in you become. If there is very limited fresh air from any gaps in the home, then I imagine it’s not ideal. Where I live, winters can be very harsh, so I wouldn’t want to sleep with an open window on the coldest nights. But I know some air comes in around the window frame anyway, so I’m not bothered by keeping the windows closed all night.
      One other note I’d say is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide tester in the home if you feel there is no air flow.
      Regards
      Ethan

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