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 television if you ask them politely. But it’s not so easy to stop someone snoring or sleep through the roar of your neighbor’s all-night party.

If your house has the dreaded combination of wooden floorboards and bad sound insulation, and people move around in the rooms above your bedroom, then you’re in for a whole world of noise problems if they stay up later or wake up earlier than you.

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 prevent as much of the noise as possible from reaching your ears. If that doesn’t work, another technique is to mask it with something you find more relaxing, such as music, ambient sounds, or white noise.

I’m not suggesting giving up on trying to stop the noise at its source if you’re able to. But when someone else controls the noise source, it’s sometimes more fruitful to focus your efforts on reducing how much noise gets inside your head.

I’ll often wear earplugs because they tend to block out a lot of the noise where I live at the moment. From time to time, I use headphones or a white noise machine though.

Below, you’ll find my current recommendations for each of these:

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 to choose from, so I usually recommend trying a few different brands and sizes if the ones you get first don’t do the job well enough.

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

Some brands I recommend trying because they typically have high noise reduction ratings 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. Coping with a snoring partner

Some sleep disorders involve making noise while sleeping. While nobody should be blamed for having a sleep disorder, I think it’s reasonable to talk to your partner about seeking a professional medical opinion and treatment if possible.

If you sleep with a loud snorer, you could suggest they speak to a doctor to rule out sleep apnea – if they can access healthcare. Additionally, 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.

My point here is that if your partner is willing to work with you on the problem, it might have a better outcome than you resorting to earplugs for years that don’t block out all the noise anyway.

cartoon of a woman trying to block out her partner's snoring noise with a pillow on her ear

3. Soundproof your bedroom

Sound has an astonishing ability to find its way through the smallest of gaps. Since sound can transmit through most walls, it takes a lot of effort to fully soundproof a room – especially if you’re trying to do it yourself because the original construction didn’t do it well enough.

If you have the budget, a helpful first step might be to hire an acoustic consultant. If you search for ‘acoustic consultant near me’ online you can ask how much they charge to visit your home and give you specific advice on dealing with the noise in your bedroom.

Installing proper soundproofing can be expensive though, or a complex DIY task which your landlord might not even 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 acoustic sealant if you can.
  • Hang heavy curtains or drapes on windows (you could even try hanging heavy material on an adjoining wall to soak up some sound if nothing else works).
  • 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 that 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. It won’t block out all sound, but every little helps.
  • Make sure the room above you has a thick carpet.

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

And for DIY enthusiasts, 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.

This means it’s the art of negotiation is going to be invaluable – 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.

In my experience, the tactic of calmly explaining how your life is affected usually gets a better result than simply accusing someone of being unreasonable. By asking for help and understanding, you’re more likely to get it than if you confront them angrily.

One practical example is to explain to an upstairs neighbor that you can hear them walking around in the morning before going to work, and ask if they’d mind putting their shoes or heels on just before they leave home? They might have not even realized their shoes were making so much noise and be fine with your suggestion.

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, try to 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.

It only took us a few minutes of playing around with the volume and different songs to find the exact level 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

This one is arguably a more dramatic step, and won’t earn you any friends: 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.

And while on the topic of making phone calls, if you live in a new build or an old house that was converted into apartments and the soundproofing is terrible, you might find the construction doesn’t meet building regulations. This would require some investigation, but might be worth it in the long run if you feel comfortable persuading the landlord to fulfill their legal obligations.

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 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 neighbors, 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

He also had three other useful tips that don’t require so much effort or expense:

  • Put some thick 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, though we weren’t convinced it would help that much. But if you already own one, it could be interesting to experiment with.

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. That worry then becomes the reason you can’t sleep.

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.

It’s not impossible though, and you might find you eventually become accustomed to certain sources of noise, such as 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 when I’m mentally and physically tired, even if it’s noisier than I’d like it to be.

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.

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.


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  1. Hi I can hear literally everything from a clock ticking downstairs to a person turn on a bed. It annoys me so much that in the summer I basically sweat because I cant have any fans on because I can hear them. I grew up with absolutely no noise my parents were asleep when I was so I grew up with it being quiet.

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I understand – I have the same issue with needing total silence. I guess the trick is to find ways to reduce the sound reaching your bedroom – does closing the door stop sound from the house reaching you?

  2. Help im at my last nerve with the takeaway downstairs, there is so much noise, their shutters at 2/3 on morning and, again at 8, shouting banging staff being loud and gathering outside the shop. I could go on but I won’t. I understand it’s a takeaway but they are taking the biscuit help plz….

    • Hi Sarah
      Thanks for your comment. Ah yes, living above a busy shop can be a bit of a nightmare if they are noisy and you’re a sensitive sleeper. I’ve done this before too, so I can completely empathize with you on this one. Unfortunately, there’s probably very little you can do to make them stop being noisy – especially as the random customers are impossible to control if they are noisy outside. Short of checking they are not opening outside of their legal hours, you’ll probably have to find ways to shut out the noise, rather than get them to be quiet. Try working your way through the suggestions in the article, and hopefully something will help you quieten it at least.

    • I am so sorry you have to deal with this..melatonin (to promote deeper sleep to make you harder to wake) noise canceling headphones or even noise blocking if you can find a pair comfortable enough to sleep in..wax earplugs (worlds finest earplug brand is good) can work wonders if they don’t irritate your ears..the blue 32 decibel foam ones are ok and a bit more comfy..if you can stand the headphones use the earplugs or brown noise machine can help also a thick rug and pad under it maybe? Just some ideas..

  3. Hi i’m 15 and when i sleep i hear every single noise. If someone stays over and sleeps on the inflatable mattress, I hear it squeak. I hear the clock in my living room. and the most annoying thing is when my brother comes over and he snores. While i’m sleeping and i turn to be in a better position, i hear what’s happening in my surrounding and i feel like i’m going insane. I cover my ears with pillows, earphones, listen to music, and nothing works.

    • Hi Valerie
      Thanks for your comment. This is exactly what happens to me, so I completely understand what it feels like! It’s very, very annoying when you can’t take your mind off the slightest noises, and even a faint noise seems to keep you awake.
      I’ve never been totally sure if it’s sensitive hearing, or an inability to stop focussing on sounds and relax instead. I believe it’s a bit of both! It might also be going to bed when you’re not totally tired, so your mind stays awake listening to whatever stimuli it can pick out in the dark.
      My personal way of dealing with it is three things:
      1. tire myself out every day.
      2. use foam earplugs when it’s really bad.
      3. do simple breathing techniques to take my mind’s focus away from external sound. This technique works well if I can make myself keep doing it!

  4. I have trouble falling asleep because I have bad dreams and sometimes I just stay up the rest of the night. Please help

      • I’ve complained to my landlord once. I’ve spoken with my neighbors more than 3 times. Still, I got woken up either by their television/conversation past midnight or heavy elephant footsteps.
        I’ve spent so much money on moving blankets, heavy curtains, carpets. Sadly the noise still passes through from downstairs and the apartment beside.
        I even wear noise-canceling earphones to sleep every night till I have headaches.
        As for earplugs, they gave my ears an infection due to too much usage.
        I never had a decent sleep for almost a year in this apartment. It’s so painful :(

        • Hi Lyne
          That sounds very stressful, and also like you’ve tried lots of things already. I wish I had some more advice for you, but there’s not much I can think of beyond what I already wrote, other than considering moving if it’s a possibility and it looks like your neighbors are here to stay.

    • Hi Lily
      Unfortunately, that’s not an easy one! Personally, I use earplugs, but even then they might not cut out all sound.

  5. Help,
    A year ago I got a dog and he sleeps outside on the veranda which is also located right where my room is, now he isn’t an excessive barker he doesn’t bark all the time only when he hears noises outside or other dogs start barking so really is an ideal dog well trained and I know the only time he barks every dog would bark it’s to be expected. But one night I’m assuming he saw a possum wouldn’t stop barking and woke me and and ever since then it’s like I have this constant anxiety at night that he’s going to bark and wake me which causes me to feel all uneasy and struggle to fall asleep. He really hasn’t it’s just in my head And I don’t know how to get it out.

    • Hi Vickie
      Thanks for your comment. Why don’t you try getting him to sleep somewhere else for a few nights just to break the cycle of worry?

  6. My neighbor while I am sleeping decides to just blast music and/or a train comes and wakes me up or stops me from falling asleep

    • Hi Kaitlyn
      That doesn’t sound easy to sleep through at all. Perhaps a friendly chat with your neighbor and some earplugs might help.

  7. Please help
    a few stray dogs bark instantly midnight. The municipality do not do anything. They bark in the early morning too! I wake up instantly. what should I do please help

    • Hi Ali
      Barking dogs are a difficult situation because they can be extremely loud. You might have to follow the tips in the article to sound proof your bedroom, and I recommend trying earplugs on the worse nights.

  8. I feel sorry for you, I can’t believe you live with meandering oafs that cant sympathize with you let alone; argue with you about it. Your health is suffering and people are mad at you for it, unbelievable.

  9. hi….i live in a hostel, i live with two other girls and i am really sensitive to any sound…i have tried a lot and but i cant help it…. my problem has already led to a lot arguments between and them..its getting painful day by day…unfortunately i cant make them understand how it is….sleepless nights are effecting my studies and health…please i really need help.

    • Hi NOOR
      Thanks for your comment. I can totally empathize, being sensitive to noise too. Is it not possible to ask to move to another room if you don’t feel happy there? Do you share bedrooms or have your own room that you can shut yourself away in? Have you tried things like earplugs or listening to music or white noise on headphones?

  10. I have gone through this many times. Neighbors who partied, neighbors who worked shifts, neighbors with neurotic dogs, trains, traffic and construction. Unfortunately all part and parcel of living in a heavily urbanized environment. I have had mixed results preventing, stopping, mitigating or just plain getting used to noise depending where I was living.

    Something though that I have really found helpful was a combination of things:

    1. Melatonin supplement to help me fall asleep and more likely to stay asleep.
    2. Good quality foam earplugs with a flange to block sound. I tried several types before finding ones that blocked sound without hurting my ears. Make sure you change them frequently. You can get an ear infection and damage your hearing if you don’t.
    3. Sleepphones. Seriously, best things ever.
    4. White noise tracks on my phone.

    Put these together and I can now sleep through a freight train going by (literally) or the lead-footed woman upstairs coming home from her shift at 3am.

    Ironically I have also been the person that a neighbor complained about and I genuinely had no idea I was making so much noise. After she talked to me I made a really solid effort to be quieter and we didn’t have any other issues.

    • Hi meb
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your helpful tips! It’s kind of extreme, but I agree using both earplugs and headphones with white noise, or a separate white noise machine, can work wonders.

    • Melatonin is a hormone. It is not safe for everyone. The United States and 3rd world countries are the only ones who do not regulate this “supplement!”

  11. Hello everyone!
    I am having difficult adjusting with my sleeping habits a night because any noise beyond my bedroom creates anxiety. My boyfriend things I exaggerate but I honestly feel sleep deprived and crying for help. I haven’t slept my full 8 hours in weeks. Ive used meletonin or sleeping pills to sleep but I do not want to keep using them. I have given awareness to our new roommate my concern yet her partner comes late at night speaking loud. The walls are already thin enough. Any suggestions are now to move forward. My siblings and I have the same issue and it would be great to over come it.

    • Hi Nflores
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble because of the noise – I can totally empathize! Have you tried many of the tips in the article? I recommend doing so, as there’s not much more I can offer beyond that advice!

  12. Hello, I need help to find out the way to ignore the noises created by the person who lives a level on top of us. The home’s floor is hard wood and it makes a lot of noises when walking on it. Badly, the neighbour on top of us workes at home from midnight to 6 AM. He walkes and walkes and make us awake several times throught night. We even changed our bedroom but no luck!
    Please give us some advise.

    • Hi Mahdi
      Thanks for your comment. This is a particularly tricky situation, as it’s a combination of working hours and the wooden floor. Short of him putting in thick carpets, you might have difficulty preventing the noise. Maybe if you speak to him nicely, you could politely suggest some things he could do, such as wear soft slippers, walk softly in the house, avoid walking in the room directly above your bedroom unless necessary. And for yourselves, using earplugs, headphone or a white noise machine could be options to try.

  13. I need help. I live with my step-sister, and tonight I’m sleeping on one of my couches while she sleeps on the other. Right now she’s face timing her friend and it’s 12:59am with her volume all the way up. I can’t ask her to stop because she’s talking to her friends but I can not fall asleep! Please help!

  14. My Dad likes to leave the hotel tv on and I can’t sleep with it on. I’ve try using earplugs but they won’t work. What can I do?

    • Hi Mya
      Thanks for your comment. Could you ask him to use headphones, like wireless headphones maybe? Earplugs won’t completely cut the sound of TV, but if you get good ones (see my recently updated review), and ask him to keep the volume down, then you should find you can reduce the sound enough to sleep.

  15. Hi,

    We’ve had a problem with our neighbour for the last 3 years. We live in a semi detached house, the people that live next door to us are elderly, and there twenty-something grandson lives with them. My bedroom is at the back of the house, as is his, so there is only a thin wall between us. The noise first started out as loud music/TV during the day and night, which then turned into the early hours of the morning. In the past year things have become much worse. He has now started screaming and screeching at the top of his voice while playing on computer games. It sounds like someone is getting seriously attacked, it’s horrendous, it wakes you clean up and makes you shake with fear. You can hear it in my Mum’s room at the front and even in our kitchen! I’ve tried speaking to them at their front door, in the garden, and I’ve even shouted through the wall hundreds of times to tell him to stop but it hasn’t worked. I’ve been to the council 6 times, phoned them 6 times, called 101 3 times and even rang 999. I’ve been told to record the sound and write it all down which I have been doing for a really long time. The council don’t take us seriously, and never get in contact with me, one woman even laughed at me on the phone! the police don’t care and won’t get involved, even though I’ve told them we feel frightened in the house and at risk, because we don’t know what he is capable of. I believe he takes drugs and drinks a lot of alcohol. I’ve spoken to his grandad and he just ignores me. The council have sent them two letters, which has done no good. I could go on and on but I realise this message is already very long. If anyone has any advice, please let me know. We are desperate! Just to add we both wear ear plugs every night without fail. We own our house and they own theirs, it’s not rented, so he can’t be evicted.

    • Hi Sophie
      Thanks for your comment. I’m very sorry to hear you’ve had this problem with your neighbor. It must be very difficult for you. It sounds like you’ve done what you can to talk to them, with no progress there, which is a shame. Are there any ideas in this article you haven’t tried yet that you think you could? Maybe if you put as many as possible into play, there might be some hope for you. I’d also suggest getting into some earplug experimentation – the difference in quality between them is huge, as is the potential to find a set which just happen to be perfect for your ears. If you’re based in the UK, send me an email through the contact page and I’ll send you a few sample sets of the ones I think are the best – nothing required in return!

    • This sounds horrible. I hope it worked itself out one way or another for you since you posted this. Hopefully he moved out to live somewhere more suitable…

      Can’t think of what you could really do in this situation other than maybe relentlessly talking to them — like, going and knocking on their door (or calling them) every single time it happens, multiple times in a single night if needed. Not sure if it’d help, and appreciate you probably don’t really want to do that…

      • My neighbour goes up to her bathroom as soon as I go to bed and continues to bang sometimes all night. I have to get up at 4am. it was apparently for snoring on the odd occasion, which I no longer snore now but she still continues to do this. I have tried talking to them, they just denied it at first until she slipped up by saying “you think I sit in my bathroom banging” I said no one said anything about a bathroom or sitting down. They didn’t know what to say until she said well good luck proving it to the police. I started sleeping on my sofa so it wouldn’t affect my work. After 8 months of sleeping on my sofa she started banging in her front room, so I went back up to my bed and she continues to bang. So I started to try and drowned out the noise by turning my fan and radio up. I finally reported her to the police and I ended up telling them not to go round to my neighbours house as it had stopped for a little while. Then it started up again. I started to retaliate by banging back and shouting and then receive a letter from the council for anti-social behaviour,. I did reopen the case with the police before receiving this letter but just makes me so mad. I am quite a positive upbeat kind of guy and non violent. But I dream of hurting this woman, I have never felt this hatred for anyone in my life. I’m just waiting to see what the police can do but I doubt it will do any good.

        • Hi Gary

          It sounds like you’ve had a really difficult time because of this noise problem. I can understand how frustrating it must feel, but I should say first of all that violence is never the answer – which I’m sure you know. And it would only end up with suffering, for both of you.
          Have you tried simple earplugs? They usually work really well for me personally. Sometimes it’s all that’s needed, despite there being many more expensive options.

          • Hi Ethan
            Thank you for a swift reply, I did try ear plugs but I sleep on my side and found them very uncomfortable, I’m aware they are there and can’t sleep with them in. I would never resort to violence but I have never been pushed this far and with the sleep deprivation it’s difficult to hold it all together, it just really makes you aware of how evil and nasty human beings can be.

          • Hi
            No problem. Perhaps it’s worth experimenting with a different style? I’ve worn earplugs for 20 years, and use them every night. But there are some which I also find uncomfortable. Rather than buying them in stores, try online as you can find low-pressure soft foam ones in different sizes.

  16. Hello,
    I live on Kauai and their are feral chickens that wake me up every night at 2 am and don’t stop until sundown that same day. I have tried white noise, eat plugs, melatonin, changing rooms. I am going insane and just need a good solid 8 hours. The melatonin helped get to sleep but not stay asleep.

    • Hi Katy
      Thanks for your comment. Funnily enough I just got back from holiday somewhere where I was woken up by unusually loud birds at dawn on the first night. The second night I used some decent earplugs, and didn’t hear a thing. So I recommend trying some different earplugs if you can get hold of any of the ones I recommend here.

  17. I live with my nephew and he likes to watch tv at night. That’s cool and all and it’s not that loud but it’s loud enough to where I can’t get to sleep. Often times, I find that if I shut my door and turn on a small fan next to me, it helps to block out a lot of the noise.

    • Hi Amber
      Thanks for your comment. Have you tried using a white noise machine, or playing white noise through some headphones? If you find the fan helps, then boosting that sound might do the job for you, as the fan is just producing a type of white noise.

  18. I have tried ear plugs to sound canceling headphones but it will not work!I am a very very light sleeper and anything that bothers me in the night will keep me up for hours!
    I get very paranoid of ghosts and can’t have a postitive mindset while sleeping.My walls keep making these tapping noises,my floors creek and down stairs I hear alot of unwanted noises when in the night when no one is down stairs.
    My last good night sleep was a week ago, Please help!

    • Hi Paulina
      Thanks for your comment. It’s a shame you haven’t found anything that helps block the noise properly. Have you tried any of the earplugs I recommend in my review article here? I find that most earplugs sold in shops and pharmacies aren’t very good, and it’s better to order better ones online if your local shops only sell the not very good generic ones.
      I think if you haven’t slept well for a week, you’re feeling very anxious and it’s not getting better, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what’s going on. They can support you with the paranoid feelings you have about ghosts and noises in the house, and provide you with some reassurance.

    • I’m a very light sleeper too and I know exactly how you were feeling when you posted this. I’ve found I get my best sleep when I’m getting regular exercise and eating well (both quality and quantity). The exercise has the bonus of clearing my mind, which I think is the biggest thing — meditation might also help in the same way (I find exercise very meditative).

      Of course, that’s not a quick fix for anything — it takes ages to get that routine and for your body to fully adjust, and it’s easy to lose it if you get injured or stop because of change in routine (kids, job etc). That’s what I’m finding right now…

  19. Hey. So my dad gets up at 1-3 am and goes on the tv. He has it on loud and that sometimes wakes me up. If he doesn’t wake up to do that, he will go on the tv right before he goes to bed, which is about the same time I try to sleep. Sometimes he does both. The reason to why he does this is because he leaves for work at 6 am and wants to get a little tv time before(he works 12 hrs). Now, I get so frustrated whether he wakes me up at night, in the morning, or he keeps me awake. He has done this for about a year and its only really bothered me right now. I can’t even count how many terrible nights I had while I was doing state tests and Maps. He makes me feel like me and my 2 siblings don’t matter to him. Sometimes I want to destroy the tv. Yes, I have told him that he needs to turn it down, but in the next few minutes he turns it back up. I feel like I am a prisoner. Also, just woke up this morning to him on the tv and it was at 6 am, earlier than when I wake up for school. I really need some advice on how to stop this. ;-;

    • Hi Hannah
      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you’re having difficulties because of this. Is there another adult family member you can talk to about it to get some help from in talking to your dad about it? Or are you able to talk with your siblings and perhaps approach him together in the hope that he’ll take it more seriously?
      I’m wondering if maybe he has a hearing problem as well, so doesn’t understand that it’s so loud. Could that be a possibility do you think? And if he’s OK to talk to about it, you could also do a little experiment where you play with the volume to find the level you can hear in your room. Then tell him, or put a note somewhere to remind him not to go over that volume.
      And in the meantime, you could try some earplugs to cut the noise out. I find good earplugs are pretty good at shutting out TV noise from other rooms.

      • Hey I’m sorry that I made a reply really really late but I was busy during the summer. This sometimes still happens to me but the good news is that I have found a way to ignore it and get some sleep luckily. Although I have gone over that barrier, I have gotten another problem that started in the last week. Since Sunday night (August 20th) to currently when I am posting this which is Friday (August 25), I have been getting insomnia. Its terrible timing because I have only gone through 2 weeks of school so far and I am going to have the next week full of maps testing. If you don’t know what maps testing is it is a series of tests for each class that show how much you know currently and you do more over the school year. It also takes me a little over and hour to do each session. Back to my insomnia, its terrible. It has been driving me crazy and I don’t understand why my body can be so awake with so little sleep when last year I’d feel exhausted getting 8 hrs of sleep. I feel so envious of people who can sleep. Even worse is now I got a cold that makes it even HARDER to sleep. I need some tips on what I can do to fight my insomnia please.

  20. Neighbour has dementia and screams for hours all night. She has family and carers daytime but alone evening and night when the screaming starts. I cannot relax nor sleep in my own home. Social services don’t want to know. Her family say nothing they can do. I long for a good night’s rest. Anyone else with this situation?

    • Hi Marion
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time because of this. I’m not sure how many people will have the exact situation, but I do remember from previous comments that noisy neighbors is a very common problem. The sad thing in your case is that it’s not the neighbor’s fault, and unintentional. That doesn’t make it any easier for you of course. I remember when I worked in mental health and visited people in the community a lot, there were always complaints about the neighbors. And of course, they were usually quiet when I was visiting, as I didn’t visit at 2 o’clock in the morning when they were having parties, arguing or shouting. I always believed them, of course, but there was a limit to what I could do.
      Sp unfortunately, in these situations, it boils down to finding coping mechanisms yourself until the social services find a way to help the person be calmer at night, which hopefully they will do in time.
      Have you tried many of the ideas in the article? I do recommend trying as many as you can realistically do, and hopefully you’ll be able to block out the noise. As stopping it from happening is something beyond your control I’m afraid.

  21. I’ve been left with a complex re sleeping with noise thanks to living in college accommodation with extremely disrespectful people. I think in my first year of college I got 2-3 decent nights sleep. I’m now staying at student accommodation owned by a lady and her family who live in the house. Depending on the room you’re in, the noise varies. I was in one room last week directly above their sitting room and did not sleep properly once due to noise and was woken up early because of noise too. Even though I generally wake up early anyway, I don’t like to use noise cancelling earplugs or headphones in case I miss my alarm, I don’t have access to an alarm lamp, can’t move furniture etc. due to the rooms being checked regularly, can’t even ask for more quiet as it’s her house! I do find that she also tends not to have much respect in the line of noise with guests staying as she will let kids run riot at 7am etc…
    I know I sound fussy but I have literally gotten very few decent nights sleep while staying in student accommodation and it has left me very sensitive. I find white noise difficult to adapt to as well.
    Any tips?

    • Hi Cheevalie
      Thanks for your comment. I completely sympathize, being someone who struggles with noise in the house too. I think the best thing if you can’t speak to the landlord about it, is to use earplugs. No earplugs will block the sound of a high-pitched and loud alarm, but they will dull ambient sounds in the house. I sleep most nights with good earplugs, but still wake up to my annoying alarm tone! So I’d try that. I’d also perhaps think about trying to find ways to get less stressed when there’s noise. How exactly you do that is something I’m still working on! But if you can tell yourself you’ll refuse to let it stress you out, that will help a lot when going to sleep.

  22. I’ve lived in my flat for over ten years next to a railway station and junction. Sometimes the trains bother me, sometimes they don’t. At the moment it really is disrupting my sleep. Mostly, at night, the sound of a passing train is quite pleasant, even reassuring, but for some reason it’s all gotten a lot louder and more vibrating…..which leads me to conclude that it must be me, suddenly I’m noticing it more. My landlord is not the type to be interested in investing in double glazing, so I’ve decided to buy a can of foam sealant and literally seal up the sash window in my bedroom. Ear plugs are essential too.

    • Hi Paul
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I can imagine living next to a rail station must be loud at times! It’s good that you got used to it at some point in the past – perhaps you can again in the future. Maybe doing relaxation exercises would help, as it might help you get back to the state of not worrying, as before. I’m sure the sealant will help a bit, but might come at the cost of your landlord not being happy if you move out in the future! Maybe you could try hanging some heavy material or something else in front of the window to block some sound.

  23. He: Goes to be early, Snores I’ve asked about a noise/white machine – he prefers quite. I’ve suggested specialty plugs – he thinks they’d be uncomfortable for me (regular plugs don’t work) I take ambien and a hormone replacement pill together at night. Protein snack to stop the hunger pangs. Hot bath – sometime 2 or 3 times in one night. 66 degrees in house. No lights of any kind in bedroom. Salt rock just in case. Drink 2 beers or less with supper – 2-3 hours before bedtime. Exercise 3-4 times a week (Swim, bike, walk) Do not live a sedentary life. And I’m awake writing this. Tire, pissed and out of ideas.

    • Hi Deanda
      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you have this difficulty sleeping. I’d say try whatever earplugs you can find and also encourage him to try methods to stop snoring – there are loads of different products that can help, so there’s no excuse not to try them. I’d also reduce the hot baths – a warm shower before bed is good, but hot baths can raise the body temperature too much.

  24. Sometimes apartment living just plan sticks ,but I live on the third floor and the units are awful you can almost hear everything they say but this guy tag lives below me I guess is in his late 20,s he likes to sleeps till 1 or 2 pm but here’s the problem it’s a low income based apartment so when you sign a lease you must report any guests in your unit but he does not report her ,what the problem is he like to have sex with her late 12 am or later but he keeps making noise late so I call the cops he shuts up for a few days but he goes back to being stupid so next I report him to the office that did not work so next ideas his to shoot him but that would only land me in a cell so any advice would be great

    • Hi Joe
      Thanks for your comment. Ok, let’s see if I can give you some good advice so the guy doesn’t end up shot, and you stay out of trouble!
      I think in this case, the thing to remember is that it’s really not easy for many people to permanently think of their neigbour and totally reduce all the noise they make, just in case it’s too loud. And young people especially often just want to enjoy life and their apartment, and not be on tip-toes all the time. So I think maybe the best thing to do is to try and talk to him in as nice a way as possible – explain that you know it’s his space etc, but you have real trouble sleeping if he makes lots of noise late at night. Maybe give a little, and say it’s ok during the day and evening, but please keep it down after 11 or 12pm, and see if he feels that’s reasonable? Entering an all out battle is often not a great idea, especially if at the end of the day the main problem isn’t the noise, but the way the building is constructed…a common problem for many people!
      The alternative is of course to keep speaking to the people in the office and have them handle it. But if it never stays quiet, perhaps you might also have to take some other actions – use earplugs to sleep for example – something I’ve done every night for years because of noise. And perhaps put down carpets or rugs in your bedroom if you don’t already have them. You could also try sleeping with white noise playing, which is great for drowning out noise.
      I hope that helps!

  25. Hi
    I live with a roommate and we have different sleep schedules, with myself going to bed 2-3 hours earlier than he generally does. We are college students and he often studies during this time. He has a peculiar habit of turning bulk of pages of his book after every 10-15 minutes and he turns them in a very rapid fashion. The room is generally quiet and when he does this, it creates enough noise to wake me up.
    I would really appreciate if you could provide me with some advice.

    • Hi Vikram
      Thanks for your comment. That is quite strange, but I can imagine it being noisy! I would just tell him nicely one evening before you go to bed what happens, and ask if he can help you out because you’re a sensitive sleeper who wakes with sudden noise. And if that doesn’t work, maybe try some earplugs.

  26. Hi. I’ve been having trouble getting proper rest. The reason being is because someone in my house keeps waking me up by banging on my door and screaming until I wake up. I’ve tried talking to them about this and nothing changes. I want to find a way to block this noise. Thank you.

    • Hi Sean
      Thanks for your comment. That’s not the easiest thing to deal with! Why do they do this, and won’t stop? Is there someone you can get to help you deal with it? Otherwise, you’re best bet might be some very good earplugs – but even that won’t totally block something so loud!

  27. i live in so noisy place. and there is people in the night who keep talking loudly in front of my window . what should i do ?

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. That’s a really difficult one, unfortunately! Is it a window onto the street? If so, it will be difficult to stop that happening. You might have to do something to better sound-proof the window, or move your bedroom to a room which doesn’t have an external window to the street if possible. But I also find earplugs are good for blocking the sounds of talking, so that might help.

  28. I have a neighbour who has started moving her furniture around at about midnight last night it went on until 1.30 in the morning. I’ve complained to the managing agents.

  29. hello, Ethan Green
    just came across your page and i really think it s helpful and i have tried some of the ways you mentioned;hanging pictures, putting on thick carpets and block the doors holes unfortunately i think my main problem is the noise from the jointed wall…(i live in a condo btw)

    the neighbor didnt seem to care and they were so rude to me.. ? any other suggestions for me? should i have a soundproof wall built up over my jointed wall? thank you for your big advice ?

    • Hi Mink
      Thannks for your comment, and I’m glad you found the article helpful. Sorry to hear your neighbors were rude to you – it’s a shame they weren’t willing to work with you to find a balance between your needs and theirs. You could try building a sound-proof wall, if you can afford it. It’s probably the most efficient way to deal with the noise. Have you tried blocking it out with earplugs, white noise machine or sound cancelling headphones for example? They can help when you’re trying to go to sleep.

    • Hi Faze
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, dog barking is annoying because it often goes through earplugs even. I’d have a word with your neigbour and see if they can do anything to prevent it. And also perhaps try some earplugs with the max noise reduction rating of 33 to see if that helps.

  30. a have difficulty sleeping..i sleep only 4 hours daily it is affecting my work..sometimes i woke up in the middle of my sleep with heart palpitations..i have noise anxiety and i havent visited any doctors yet..what is your suggestion..any help please..thank you

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, 4 hours sleep isn’t enough really. I think perhaps it would be helpful for you to visit your doctor and get some support. If anxiety is an issue, they can help you find the appropriate treatment.

  31. What a most educational site this is. I sleep with the torment of tinnitus. I go to bed with it, try to sleep with it and wake up with it. Imagine the irritation and distress caused by a high-pitched car alarm going off outside your bedroom window and the relief you experience when it stops. I will never experience such relief. Tinnitus is hardly life-threatening, and I am grateful, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to bear.

    • Hi Zara
      Thanks for your comment and your compliment. I know exactly what you mean because I also have tinnitus. It’s very annoying indeed. Have you tried listening to white noise? It’s a great way to mask the irritating internal sound.

  32. Hi,

    Very useful article and helpful,

    I live in a ground floor flat and I have a neighbor on the first floor. When he walks my roof makes very strong banging noise and it’s really annoying especially during the night. I spoke to him about and also visited his flat and found the the floorboard in his flat is too squeaky and broken in some places. I have very light sleep and anything can wake me up. I have spoken to the landlord about it but he didn’t do anything he just ignored it. I wish if I could find any could materials to plug my ears during the night. I tried the silicon once but it doesn’t do any good. Do you know if there is any good material I can plug my ear with and solve my problem?


    • Hi Andy
      Thanks for your comment. I guess if your landlord doesn’t do anything, the ideal would be to work with your neigbour to go up there and bang a few nails into the floorboards! But maybe that’s not practical or allowed.
      In terms of earplugs, if the silicon ones don’t help, I’d definitely try the foam ones I talk about in my earplugs review. I still use them to this day and find they make a big difference.

  33. My problem is a teen that laughs, yells, and makes weird noises sporadically. We have an apartment below, so moving furniture does not help. We are under his bedroom. We talked about it to the neighbors upstairs and it quiets down for a couple months. The teen isn’t disturbing deliberately.. The sound is sporadic, which makes it worse. Earplugs hurt my ears more as I get older.

    • Hi Michele
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you have this problem. It’s a tricky one when you live underneath the space of someone who naturally makes noise, as a teenager often will do. Is it possible for you to move your bedroom to another room? Or is that out of the question? It may be that you need to speak to the neighbors more regularly each time it gets worse. If it’s better for a couple of months, it’s worth telling them each time it becomes a nuisance. I understand about the earplugs – are you able to sleep listening to music? Perhaps you could try some fabric headphones? That might be more comfortable for you as some of the wrap around your head instead of needing to be inserted into the ears. And you could also try trimming down the earplugs so they don’t expand so much. And if it’s painful when pushed in, it could be a sign of a build-up of wax. In which case a trip to the doctor could get them flushed, and you would find the earplugs much more comfortable. I know that from experience as I did so a month ago and it’s made a huge difference.
      Best of luck

    • Hi there
      Ah yes, mice can be a real nuisance when it comes to trying to sleep! I’ve had similar problems myself in the past, and really there’s only two things I could do:
      1. Wear earplugs until I managed to get rid of the mice
      2. Call profesionals to deal with the problem once I’d exhausted all the DIY options.
      Sorry, but that’s probably what you’ll have to do too.

  34. I think I will try and move the bed around and put some furniture up against that main wall and see how I get on. If it doesn’t work and I cannot get on with ear plugs, then I might pop round and mention that we can hear them talking and their TV and see if they could try something out.

    Thanks for you response,

    • Hi Francesca
      No problem – it’s a pleasure to try and help. I think that by moving the bed and putting some furniture against the wall, or even hanging a thick fabric decorative piece on the wall, you could find it helps a lot. And then wearing earplugs on top of that should do the trick. I find earplugs are by far the best way to deal with noise, and I really need silence to sleep. Earplugs have saved my sleep and sanity on many occasions!
      Good luck with it, and do let me know if you have any success.

  35. Hello,

    Me and my partner have our headboard against our neighbours wall and we can hear them talking loud, laughing and shouting sometimes. When a few of them are in the room it can get very loud. I am stressing myself out about it and have to have my TV loud to try and block it out. I dread going to sleep because I like silence. I can deal with cars and the outside noise, I just hate next door. My partner says it is rude to go round and ask them to be quiet nicely because we can hear them talk and their TV. He did say we can mention TV, but me and partner are very nervous people and afraid of confronting them and mentioning it. We dont want to fall out with them.

    I can hear them in the living room as well, but it is not as bad as the living room.

    Partner knows it is effecting me and said he would move, but because we have just brought the place over 2 years ago, we don’t want to go. Also, it is expensive to move with solicitor fees.

    I really appreciate your response

    • Hi Francesca
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your concern, and there are a few things I would suggest:

      1) Have you tried moving your bed, or even the whole bedroom? Sometimes this is the easiest solution if it’s possible. But at least moving the headboard away would stop the sound travelling through the wall, into your bed and then your ears.

      2) Have you tried some earplugs? I sleep with earplugs every time there is loud noise and they work wonders!

      3) personally, I would try to talk to them nicely. Maybe try and think of a reasonable time to ask them to keep the noise down a little. If you ask them to be quiet at 9pm for example, it might seem unreasonable to them. But if you let them know that you can hear them talking when you go to bed later at night, then they might understand. And even if not, they might not want you listening to what they say! Sometimes people are more understanding than we might think, and if you tell them in a nice way, they might respond. I know it’s tough though – nobody wants trouble with neighbors. But it’s worth asking if you can find the courage.


  36. My wife snores loud, over 90 db. I tried the wax ear plugs, cotton plugs, and my audiologist made special plugs of rubber (took impression mold from both of my ears), did not block over 60% of the noise. Still looking for a solution. This summer, we shall take another trip to Europe, and it will cost me dearly for extra room. We have a guest in the house, and the guest took my wife’s bedroom, she sleeps now on the short sofa, she should sleep with me, but, then I will have to sleep on the floor. What is my solution?

    • Hi Bozidar,

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear about the problem with your wife’s snoring. I think if you haven’t managed to block the snoring, then perhaps you need to see if she can get some advice from a doctor on preventing it in the first place. There are things which can help, so if she is willing to talk to a doctor about it, they might be able to suggest some of the latest techniques or devices to help with snoring. It might also be in part due to physical factors and lifestyle choices, which again a doctor can help with.
      All the best