How To Block Out Noise In Bed

photo of many earplugs with text saying: block out noise and sleep in peace

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

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

Then there’s the problematic combination of an older house with wooden floorboards and poor sound insulation. If people move around in the rooms above your bedroom, you may have frequent 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 or mask 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 sound that you find more relaxing, such as music, nature recordings, sleep stories, or white noise.

I’m not suggesting giving up on trying to stop the noise at its source if you’re able to. However, 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 noise-cancelling headphones or a white noise machine though.


In my experience, it’s hard to beat a really good set of earplugs. There are many to choose from, so you may need to try a couple of brands, styles, or sizes to get the best fit.

The difference between earplugs that fit you well with a noise reduction rating of 33 decibels and earplugs that don’t quite fit or only have a noise reduction rating of 27 decibels is significant. So it’s worth doing your own tests to see what works best for your ears.

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 in some stores, especially in the United States.

Take a look at my earplugs article in which I review and recommend several options.

foam earplugs on a table

Noise-cancelling or sleep headphones

There are headphones that were designed specifically to be worn in bed, usually with flatter speakers encased in a headband. Others are designed to be as small as possible so side sleepers can wear them. There are no headband styles I know of that have active noise cancellation though, so it’s a case of blocking noise with more noise.

There are some excellent noise-cancelling headphones you could try, especially from companies like Apple, Sony, and Bose. Their larger size means they are less likely to be comfortable when you lie on your front or side, however, so are best suited to predominantly back sleepers. They do give you the option to only have noise cancellation rather than music though, so may be worth trying.

Take a look at my headphones article for some options to consider.

White noise machines or other speakers

White noise or nature recordings can be helpful for masking some external noise. However, they aren’t very effective if you sleep next to someone snoring.

You do need to be mindful of the volume and length of time you listen to it for. That’s why most white noise machines have an auto-off timer and/or lower maximum volume than traditional speakers.

Another option is to use an app and Bluetooth speaker, or a home smart speaker. This gives you some flexibility to choose other sounds, and the option to use a sleep timer too.

For some specific recommendations, take a look at my white noise machines article.

2. Coping with a snoring partner

If you sleep with someone who snores, I recommend asking them to speak with their doctor to rule out sleep apnea. Additionally, there are lifestyle changes and snoring self-help products they can try. Some can be bought online or in pharmacies, and a doctor or dentist can also recommend good ones.

If your partner is willing to work with you on the problem, it might have a better outcome than you resorting to earplugs rather than addressing the underlying issue.

There are also lots of helpful resources available online for snoring. For example, the NHS website in the United Kingdom has a brief factsheet. And the British Snoring and Sleep Apnea Association has useful information and guides.

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 very expensive though, or a complex DIY task that your landlord might not even allow. I recommend thinking carefully before spending money on soundproofing, and getting good advice from a professional before you invest in a major project.

Here are some less extreme ideas for reducing the amount of external sound that gets through to your bedroom. I’ve tried all of these in different bedrooms I’ve had throughout my life, and while none of them cut out all noise, they have all helped at one point or another, depending on the source of the noise.

  • 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).
  • Use a door sweep or draft excluder (I have a door length fabric sausage dog that works well). In a pinch, roll up a towel or other material and place it at the bottom of the bedroom door.
  • Install a blackout blind that has inbuilt extra soundproofing.
  • Create a solid mass in front of the wall where most sound is travelling through. For example, put bookshelves, cupboards, or wardrobes on the wall which is next to your partying neighbour 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 a helpful article explaining exactly how to soundproof a room, with steps for creating walls that will dampen the sound.

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 the art of negotiation, or control if you’re a parent, is going to be invaluable. 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.

Avoid a sound war

If it’s a neighbour disturbing you, I’d recommend resisting the temptation to enter into 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, try doing some experiments to find the maximum volume they can set a television or stereo to without you hearing it. They could even use a little sticker to mark the maximum volume point.

It might sound like a silly idea or just something nobody really does, but I actually did this with my downstairs neighbor 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 is arguably a more drastic course of action, and won’t earn you any friends: if your neighbors are being 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. For example, check online what time builders can start up their 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 solution, and I know that not everyone has enough rooms to simply move their bedroom.

If your bedroom is on the main road, next to a room with a screaming toddler, heavy metal fan, or barking puppy, it might be worth sleeping in a quieter room of your house.

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 for the night if it means I get some sleep. I understand it might seem odd visually, but if it means you get some peace and quiet on the night before a big day, it’s an easy temporary fix.

I also 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 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, he told me. The problem, however, is that it’s likely to be very costly and might not completely block out all the noise anyway. So we’re back to the problem of potentially wasting a lot of money.

Otherwise, what about creating a room within a room? Again, it’s a large endeavor that requires money and/or serious 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 this interesting article 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.

Personally, although the idea of a room within a room sounds good in principle, it’s not something I’ve tried or plan on trying. I’m wary of the cost, effort, and impact on my bedroom.

I just wanted to include this section as a point of interest for those who are curious about even the most extreme ways to tackle noise. I would think very carefully before investing in a project like this and consult a professional unless you really know what you’re doing.

8. Be prepared for summer noise

Back in June 2023, my 18 year old neighbor came home from the Glastonbury festival with a bunch of friends and decided to continue the party in their garden.

On a Monday night.

It was hot that night, so we had the window open. Closing it meant the noise was reduced significantly. It also meant no breeze and a bedroom that would become uncomfortably warm as the night progressed, which in itself has the potential to disrupt my sleep.

Fortunately, I have a way to cool my bed and bedroom, so I was ok sleeping with the window closed for one night, even though I prefer to keep it open.

It did get me thinking though. I realised that it can be noisier in the summer, both in urban areas and in the countryside where birds and other animals wake early and make all sorts of noise.

So, I recommend ensuring that at the very least you have a fan and light bedding at the ready. Who knows, the white noise created by the fan might even help mask other noise that’s keeping you awake. It’s a win-win if it does.

Oh, and why didn’t I ask my neighbour to turn off their Monday night drum and bass? Because I was 18 once too, and it was (hopefully) a rare event. Besides, they were so drunk, I don’t think my complaint would have done much good. So I just stuffed in some earplugs and did my best to relax and fall asleep.

9. Mind over noise

Sleep problems sometimes end up in a vicious circle, and noise as the culprit 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 adjust 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.

For those prone to stress and anxiety, it might be challenging to easily let go of noise disturbances. 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 may 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 might be the best tactic.

Personally, I try to take a few deep breaths to refocus my brain away from wishing I had Jedi powers so I could melt my neighbor’s speakers. It might sound over-simplistic, but focusing on your breathing is a simple and effective way to reduce the impact of negative thoughts.

10. Body over noise

My experience is that I sleep better when I engage in daily activities that tire me out physically and mentally, 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.

Further reading

Despite my focus on coping strategies for dealing with nighttime noise in this article, it’s important to acknowledge the potential adverse effects that noise can have on our sleep quality. Insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality can lead to negative health outcomes.

There have been numerous scientific studies conducted on the impact of noise on sleep that you might find interesting. My intention isn’t to alarm you, but they might help you decide how important it is to tackle the noise problem you have.

This article in 2014 looks into the cardiovascular consequences of environmental noise exposure.

A comprehensive review in 2018 considers a broad range of studies examining the impact of noise on sleep.

This article in 2022 looks at the impact of environmental noise on children’s sleep habits.

An article on the World Health Organisation website has recommendations for the acceptable noise levels in bedrooms – ideally less than 30 A-weighted decibels.

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.


  1. Hi what do I do to stop noise from downstairs? I live on the second floor of my house and can hear every footstep of the house. Do u think elevating my bed to a bed frame would help me not feel people walking?

    • Hi meoq

      What do you currently have the mattress on? I would imagine raising it can help – and try the trick I mentioned about putting sound dampening material under the bed legs if you can.


  2. Hi there, I have 3 dogs snoring, a husband and a child snoring aswell, one cat licking itself constantly and another running around like a moron. There’s two puppy’s outside that keep randomly barking. I am loosing my mind. I just need something to wrap around my ears or something to stop allllll the noise! I neeeeeeed sleeep

    • Hi
      I have a 3 month old puppy, so I can totally empathise with you! Even my best earplugs don’t cut out all his whining and barking at 3am, though they definitely make it more tolerable. And I’m afraid to say that with all that extra noise you have, I imagine reducing it to a ‘sanity-saving’ level is perhaps your best hope.
      Earplugs – simple, but for me the only thing that really truly helps.

  3. My room is opposite my brothers and this whole quarantine he has been knocking the wall, knocking his feet on the floor when he is sitting at his desk zooming, scraping his chair on the ground THE WHOLE DAY!!!! I feel like I just want to throw bricks at the wall so that he can feel my pain. He doesn’t respect anyone and if he doesn’t get annoyed by it then he won’t stop. EVER. I told him to stop multiple times but he just laughs and denies everything. I even went and spied on him to see what’s causing all the noise and he is like a maniac. I saw him knocking his feet very hard on the floor at his desk (honestly it looked painful), I saw him getting out of his chair only to pull it around the floor then sit down again. He WHO does this even, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR, Is this normal?! I just HAD ENOUGH!!!! I need a solution I need to know how I can’t block the sound from my room off from his room always I will fail at school because at this point I can’t even focus on my work anymore. :((( pls help

    • Hi there

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a difficult time because of the noise your bother is creating. The quarantine situation is hard for everyone (myself included) and everyone had different ways they react to the frustration, stress, boredom, worry, fear, anxiety or whatever it may be that they are feeling.
      If this is new behavior from your brother, perhaps his movement and noise making is an outlet for him, whether he does it consciously or not. But it’s not posisble for me to say whether that’s the reason or not as I have no idea what he was like before the quarantine.
      Now, I know that doesn’t help you much. What you want is for him to stop, or a way to block the sound out. But I thought it might help to remind you that it’s a tough time for everyone, and it’s helpful to start from the perspective of understanding that even though he might be really, really annoying you, he might be suffering in his own way too. So try not to resent him too much, even when he laughs about it.

      As for solutions. Have you spoken to your family about it? I assume it’s not just you and your brother living together – correct me if I’m wrong.

      For me personally, my number one solution for noise during the day time is headphones. At night, it’s usually foam earplugs or maybe headphones too. Maybe this is something you could ask for help with from the family if you think some good headphones would help- if you don’t already have any.

      When you say he lives opposite, do you mean a shared wall, or with a hall in between your doors? If there’s a hall, I would close the door and hang fabric on the door, and put a towel or something down on the floor to reduce how much noise enters. Basically, anything to absorb the sound coming through.

      I hope that helps a little.

    • I have a step brother across from my room he plays is game with his friends every. single. night. Ever since we moved to this house it’s so hard to sleep I talked to my step mom she did nothing about it.

  4. It’s been 4 days without normal sleep hours. I can’t isolate the noise. My parents brought in my room parrots. At first it was ok, but one died and now there’s this another one ( about whom I didn’t know for 2 weeks, because I went away for a time) who wakes up with the sun like… I go to sleep usually latest at 2 am, and no I can’t sleep elsewhere, and it is not negotiable to move the cage back. And I can’t go earlier to bed, because I have at evenings uni and my daytime routine is much different than my parents’. And to cover a cage that’s 2mx1m… Well I don’t have a black sheet, who would cause a stress to my mother and not the birds. So I guess I’m without luck. Also, very true about the emotional people who can’t let things go, and that’s one of the reasons why I feel troubled… But would be nice to hear some suggestions how to get over.

    • Hi Kim

      Wow, this must be really difficult for you! I know from experience that birds tweeting outside my closed windows even when I’m wearing earplugs still reaches my brain! And that’s 10 meters away with a double barrier of a window and earplugs.
      Having said that, it’s definitely better with earplugs than without. And of course, opening the window makes it worse too.
      Really, I don’t have any perfect solution for you. You have a parrot in the bedroom – it would be wrong of me to tell you to go and buy expensive headphones or a bunch of different earplugs to find the best ones. Nothing is going to totally shut out the noise, unless they are a fairly quiet parrot, which I doubt otherwise you wouldn’t have written this.
      All you can do I’m afraid is try to reduce the noise reaching your ears and reduce your stressful reaction to it. Personally, I would be trying to put as much as possible between the cage and me to soak up some sound, but it’s still going to find its way around the room – like a Matrix-style bending in slow motion, those parrot sounds are going to reach your ears! I would definitely be trying earplugs though – good ones with an NRR of 33 if possible. Maybe headphones too for a double barrier.
      Really, I would also have a good think about routine changes. You say you can’t go to bed earlier. But is that really the case? Why does Uni mean you can’t sleep until 2am? Are you living in a different country from where Uni is, or do you jut study late after finishing? I would have a good think about what truly is possible or not, and what you can change.
      All the best

    • I’d rather have your problem with birds over my neighbors and their disobedient children who do nothing but stomp and run in and out of the halls and apartment, the music that occasionally doesn’t end til 3 am that I don’t need to hear nor should I be when it’s coming fr the first floor and I’m on the third, Petrifying my rosebush bcuz they jump that vigorously, and my landlord won’t get soundproof paint. I’m lucky when I sleep 3 hours a night. People can be so rude.

      • I feel your pain. I’m in a condo. My adjoining neighbors are so rude. They must have hardwood floors and run up and down the stairs. Many times I thought it my husband because it’s that loud. They walk soo hard I hear every step they take throughout their condo. If that wasn’t enough we have a new neighbor 3 doors down with 3 kids. One of the kids screams, yells and cries all day. She sticks them outside for all of us to have to listen to. She doesn’t do anything to quiet him down and let’s it go on sometimes til 930pm. You don’t do that in a condo complex. I get up between 3am & 4am for work. I’ve had to put the air conditioner on just to help block it out. That doesn’t even completely do it. It’s soo frustrating that people can be soo incredibly rude.! I’m going to send her my air conditioning bill!! As soon as I get my credit score up I’m moving. The pandemic is setting me way back or it would be up for sale. Good luck to you.

  5. Hi, I have been suffering from a snoring flatmate for some months now and it is f=driving me crazy. I suffer from misophonia and snoring sounds triggers the rage and pain in my soul. I was researching if installing studio acoustic foam panels on my ceilings will help reduce his snoring sounds from filtering into my room. Do you have any ideas? This person suffers from extreme sleep apnea and makes VERY LOUD snoring sounds and I wonder how any other person in the house sleeps. I am having anxiety attacks every night now and I just want it to stop. Please help me!

    • Hi Damilola
      I hear you’re suffering, believe me! I think it’s possible that it will help, yes. The problem is doing it right without wasting money! But by all means give it a go if it’s not going to be too much of a stretch for you financially.
      I know it might sound like a basic idea, but have you tried really good earplugs or noise cancelling headphones too? Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

  6. Hello Ethan,
    I just saw your post and wondering if you can help. I have been a heavy snorer since childhood and my parents and I have done everything possible to stop it but to no avail. Most of the time, I feel embarrassed about myself because I deprive my housemates of sleep. I was wondering if you can help with inexpensive ways and means in which I can soundproof my room as I work on my problem. Thank You.

    • Hi Koran
      Sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time because of this. I think the most inexpensive way to soundproof a room is to put more material or furniture next to the wall where you think the noise is passing through. So if you have a shared bedroom wall, try putting your bed on the other side of the room and putting a wardrobe against the wall, or any similar arrangement using what you’ve got.
      Other than that, try the various techniques in the article, and check out the websites which deal with home soundproofing.

  7. Hi, I have a neighbour who slams her balcony door, which is right next to mine, about 20 times a day. I’ve talked to her twice about this with no success.

    Are there any earplugs which I could use while being in the lounge?

    Thank you

    • Hi Clair
      That’s very annoying, I know!
      I personally don’t view earplugs as being room specific. I think you could probably choose any that you find comfortable and that work for you. The main thing is that they are comfortable, hygienic and effective. I’d be careful how many hours a day you wear them for though, and make sure you don’t use them so much, or stuff them in so far, that they cause you problems. Have you tried listening to music or your TV via headphones? That might help too.
      Perhaps in the future if you have a good relationship with your neighbour, you could talk about seeing if putting some kind of draft prevention strips around her door frame helps reduce the slamming a little.

    • Hi. My name is Stephanie. I’ve been a light sleeper since I was a kid. Now I am married and my husband snores like a bear! He finally got a sleep apnea machine after 5-6 years of us switching on and off our couch & bed. So it’s definitely better than it was but now I can’t sleep with the humming and airflow of his machine. I have to turn on our AC fan every night in every season and keep a pillow over my head to block out the noise. My neck has never been tighter and in pain than it is now. And my nose and mouth get so dry from the constant air blowing on my face all night long. Now to make it worse my husband’s work hours changed and his alarms are going off at 4:30 am Monday through Friday which is my prime sleeping time if I’m lucky. His alarms startle me and it’s so hard to go back to sleep. I’ve tried every over the counter item, I’ve tried sleepy time tea, white noise, relaxing sleep sounds, ear plugs, headphones etc. None of it works. Ear plugs cause too much pressure & hurt. Earphones do the same after a while. I’m side sleeper on top of it so it’s hard to have anything on or in my ear. I’m so desperate to fix this and actually get a full 8 hours of solid sleep every night. I can’t go back to the couch….please help!!!

      • Hi Stephanie
        Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’re struggling so much with the noise. It does sound like you’ve tried many of the things I would usually suggest, unfortunately,
        The only additional ideas I have are:

        1. If earplugs hurt, how many types have you tried? Have you tried wax or silicone that mold to your ear and don’t expand inside? And have you tried small foam earplugs that are sold online rather than standard ones sold in pharmacies or supermarkets, which aren’t always the best? Have a look online at the different types of Mack’s earplugs, for example. You can find them on Amazon, among other online retailers.

        2. Have you tried fabric headphones that are made like a stretchy headband? There are loads sold online again. The quality isn’t always the best, if I’m honest. But you can find cheaper ones to try and see if they work better for you. You can see a review I did recently, including a video, of the Lavince headphones. They are a standard model churned out by a factory somewhere in China and sold under different names, but the article will give you an idea of what you can expect.

        3. My final suggestion is to do what I often have to do myself – some relaxation techniques with the intention of trying to ‘become’ less bothered by the noise. This is not easy, I admit. But if you can even adjust a little bit how much you let it bother you, it can help. For me, it’s all about doing some basic slow breathing in bed to stop myself from focusing on how much the noise is irritating me. Sometimes it works, sometimes I just carry on being irritated! But it’s worth trying, and maybe you’ll have more success than me:-)


    • I just want to say that I feel no earplugs will block out slamming door noise or even a white noise machine. You just have to hope your noisy neighbour is human too and will occasionally want to get some sleep at night. Its been no good talking to my neighbour, he just said I am harassing him and he will burn up if he has to think about not making a noise at night.

      • We have the same problem, there is no room to get away from the noise. And unlike you, we have never confronted them because seeing them outside can only imagine the retaliation. I just call the police and hope that sometime soon they get evicted.

        • omg I have the same issue, my neighbour comes and goes all hours of the early morning and constantly has people coming over so I am forever hearing boots and car doors SLAMMING which wakes me up. I have confronted her about this before and it went nowhere, she tells me to shut my windows (which they are) mind my own business and go to sleep. Like what the hell.. who does this. I am driving myself crazy as nothing is masking the sudden slams that wake me all the time, I am so sleep deprived and desperate for a good nights sleep.

    • My mom is the same way.

      She’s constantly in and out… IN AND OUT… all day and slams the door each time. Then she slams the microwave door to reheat her coffee. I’ve never seen anything like it, why someone needs to go in and out that many times a day is mind-boggling to me!

      I ordered some noise canceling ear plugs which come soon. And I have my fan on all night to drown out sounds but the slamming still wakes me up. I get so angry I wanna punch my fist through the wall!

      The fan registers about 55 DB (Decibels) on this decibel meter app on my phone. The slam (when standing next to the door (I purposely slammed it to check) and it reached 87 decibels at its peak when I slammed hard.

      Me being in the other room probably dampens the decibels some (probably 10 to 15 DB) but it’s still louder than my fan and sometimes shakes the whole house. How do these people not realize what they’re doin?!

      I texted the landlord to come to fix the door too and he says he will. The door has been slammed by her so many times that the latch barely works now so you really have to force the door shut, causing her to have to attempt slamming doors multiple times.

      I’m so damn sleep-deprived because I work nights and she gets up before the sun is up, slamming doors.

      • Hi Mac
        Sorry to hear your sleep is so affected by it. Slamming doors is a notorious problem for many people. It would wake me up too and stress me out if it was regular. Sometimes it can help to put draft excluding strips on the inside of the door frame, if space allows it, as that can soften the blow. Perhaps talk to your landlord and/or mum about that. It can be a cheap, quick, and easy to install process. It won’t solve it completely, but every little bit helps. I hope the earplugs help, but impact noise is unlikely to be blocked completely by them. So fingers crossed your landlord does their job!

  8. Hi,
    I don’t sleep in a real bedroom, I sleep in a loft. This means that I can hear whatever is going on above and below my loft. I can also see light from both levels, above and below my room. My brother has a really bad cough, and I can hear it very loudly (and the fact that I have Autism doesn’t make it any better). I have slept downstairs before and I was able to get a good night’s sleep. But, I can’t do that tonight because my mom is getting home really late from work today, so she will be downstairs. So, I don’t know where to sleep tonight. Please help me.

    • Hi Melanie
      Sorry I didn’t reply to your comment on the day you wrote it and asked your question. I just don’t always have the time to reply to comments on the day, so I apologise. However, perhaps I can offer my thoughts for the next time – if there is one. Is the cough a temporary thing due to a cold or flu for example? Or is an ongoing longterm illness? Hopefully it’s the first, in which case the situation will get better anyway.I think the key is to communicate with your mom. Ask her if it’s ok for you to sleep downstairs when this happens in the future. Maybe she can keep that in mind and be quieter when she comes home from work – assuming she doesn’t come home and usually spend time in the house doing essential things she feels she needs to do. Again, the key is communication with her about what works for you or not. I’d also try to distract yourself from the coughing noise. Perhaps listening to music might help if you can’t sleep. Also, it can help to focus on your breathing and count breaths rather than focusing on what is keeping you awake. I do that for noise, pain, stressful thoughts, insomnia, and it often helps me a lot.

  9. Ever since I have moved in with my roommates, they’ve never respected my sleep and stay up and talk loudly and laugh so loudly up until 3 or 4 in the morning. I have to leave for school at 6am and I get home by 9 pm from work. Therefore I’m gone for 14 hours and have only 10 hours of time to find some rest. My room is right next to the living room where they are so very loud. I’ve asked politely and they never take any ounce or care. It’s deteriorating my mental health and it’s making me even get so close to even sleep outside in the freezing cold. I have nowhere to go as I’m only 19 and I can’t even drive. If I had a car, id even sleep in there. It has gotten to the point I have actually been crying at night.

    • Hi Vincent
      I’m really sorry to hear how bad the noise problem is for you. I can completely understand, having been in a similar position before. Hopefully the tips in the article will give you some good ideas, and ones that actually work. You might find you need to experiment a little and maybe even combine some of the ideas. I would definitely think about putting up some heavy fabrics and/or furniture by the wall next to the living room and getting yourself a good set of earplugs. Have a look at my earplug review article for some information and ideas about that. But in my experience, even if they don’t totally cut out the noise, they can definitely bring it down a good amount.
      All the best

    • Lack of sleep can affect your emotional well being. Try the suggestions in this article, white noise and earplugs to some guided sleep meditation. Then make it a goal to get new roommates that have similar schedules.

    • Vincent G, I hate to be negative, but it seems to me sometimes the most appropriate action for people who aren’t listening to your concerns is to simply return the favor. They probably sleep sometime and may not like their sleep being disrupted by loud music, TV, banging on their doors and walls. When they complain about your actions, you have gotten their attention. You can agree to stop because you know they will too. I had a neighbor who use to wake me up shining bright lights thru my windows with loud parties at 1 am, 2 am even 3 am. I bought a super bright spotlight to return the favor and suddenly without having to say a word, the problem stopped. If they party till midnight, I let it go, but at 1 am I drew the line. I’m glad to say it worked.

  10. It’s been a year! I’m rarely getting over 5 hours of undisrupted sleep! I’m cranky. I get angry every day by the noise. My heart hurts when I get angry! I’m always in fight or flight mood! My neighbors don’t care! They are rude and selfish! I’m thinking of moving out which stresses me out more! It makes me feel the world is so unjust! I can’t stop wishing for justice! I wish my ugly evil neighbors will suffer just as much as they made me suffer! I pray every day that justice will prevail! I’m in so much pain and I don’t understand why my neighbors can’t cooperate! Why do they not care! How inhuman can they be! Why are there such nasty human beings on earth!

    • Hi Mina
      I hear your suffering, believe me. Reading comments like yours always fills me with sympathy, as noise is something that drives me insane at night too. I hope there is a tip or two in this article that helps you out.

    • Tell your landlord, if you hear them so do others,the landlord could lose more tenants.Tell your landlord you will go to the rent tribunal if nothing is done about it.

      • My husband has this weird tick where he CONSTANTLY sniffs, super loud, and not because his nose is stuffy or anything. I’ve brought it up many times and it only upsets him and he says he can’t control it. I am beside myself because I can’t stand to be in the same room as him but also don’t want to hurt his feelings. I am sure it only bugs me this badly because of my severe anxiety and I tend to focus on the noises that bug me… any advice??

        • Hi
          I can imagine that would be frustrating for both of you. Has he spoken to a doctor about it at some point in the past, or is he assuming there is no treatment? What methods have you tried already to block the noise? My first thoughts, pretty much as always, would be to try different earplugs until you find ones that work well for you. Personally, I think a sniffing sound should be able to be mostly, if not completely, blocked by decent earplugs.

    • My heart goes out to you, you’re not alone in feeling that way. I dislike the fact of having to be at another mercy when in my own home and sure that they don’t really care of the anguish. Moving with a new important criteria in mind is always a good option as the last resort.

  11. I have an ASD and am extremely sound sensitive. Sometimes, if bands are playing outside until midnight, I end up wearing noise reducing earmuffs half the night just to sleep, or I won’t. Or when the fire door outside my apartment bangs my wall from someone elbowing it, I end up having an instant meltdown. And sometimes the scream can be deafening. Sirens, vacuums, loud music, loud construction, loud trucks or buses, the list goes on. The frequencies vary, but they all tend to be over 70 dB. I’m looking for solutions, and possibly seeing a specialist, as it drives me crazy and affects my daily activities.

    • Hi Crystal
      Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you really struggle with noise, and I can completely empathize with you. It’s hard when noise keeps you awake and affects your mood so much. I hope there were a couple of tips in the article which you can try that you haven’t so far – and that they help! Could you ask the person in charge with communal parts of the building to put in a rubber stopper for the fire door? That is something that can potentially be improved.

  12. Hi Ethan,

    I love your article and especially the advice form your cousin about putting squares of neoprene under the bed legs to reduce the noise vibrating. I was thinking whether pieces of cork would work better?
    I’m trying to isolate the bass music from the attached bar, I can hear it more when I lie on my pillow.
    Btw I’m a misophonia sufferer as well and it really it’s very painful.

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Deni
      Thanks for your comment and kind words. I don’t know if cork would work as well, my cousin didn’t mention that as a material to try. Maybe you can experiment if you have some lying around, and let me know!

    • I have hyperacusis and nerve damage in my ear…trigeminal neuralgia. Someone in my building has been up all night gaming. My entire apt vibrates. It has sent me down a rabbit hole. What I have done is use wax/silicone ear plugs and about 30 layers of aluminum foil over my ears held on by a headband…the play white noise music on your phone hooked up via Bluetooth to a portable speaker and put it on your bed. I needed something to stop the sound coming through my mattress. I also have a rice-filled heating pad…a big one. I put that in my pillowcase. It helps block the bass…but the aluminum foil really helps….TONS of layers

      • Hi Lorena
        Wow, you really put some serious effort into blocking out the noise! Have you experimented with anything other than the foil around your head, such as a fabric?

  13. Hi Ethan,

    In recent weeks, a mysterious noise has appeared in the house. No loud noise, there are only 30 decibels in the room. In fact, it’s more like a machine purr. But it generates a micro vibration that I feel in my bed. In the morning, just look through the teapot on the table to see small ripples on the surface.

    I have not yet been able to trace the origin of this noise that could come from my house or a neighboring building. It will take a few weeks, even a few months in the best case to solve this problem. How to find a little sleep in the meantime?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Dominique
      That is unusual! Do you live in a city? Is there a lot of transport near you, or even underground below where you live?
      As for getting a little sleep, I’m not sure what you can do to stop the feeling of vibrations – potentially not a lot other than try to learn to relax and not let it stress you out. But I would definitely want to know what’s causing it.

  14. Hello Ethan,
    I lived in my detached house, for 26 years. A year ago, the next door neighbors got a barking dog and slamming their two external doors, all outside my bedroom and living room areas, causing me stress and sleeplessness. The council were involved. I’ve written note after note explaining how it’s affecting my daily life, but nothing. I’ve had secondary glazing installed costing thousands of pounds, wear earplugs, moved my bedroom to a tiny back room, but nothing works, it all comes through the walls. My retirement is thoroughly miserable, and the neighbor’s think I’m just some old mentally ill woman, so after 26 years and disabled with osteoarthritis I have to upheave and move, all because they WILL NOT close their doors quietly.

    • Hi Susan
      I’m very sorry to hear your situation – I can completely empathise with you, having lived next to similar neighbors in the past. Loud slamming doors can be really tricks to block out if the walls are thin. I hope the move changes things for you and you can get on with enjoying your retirement.

    • Hi Susan. I completely feel your pain. I have listened to slamming doors for about a year. I couldn’t go to work today and this is not the 1st time. I am here looking for solutions. My foam earplugs I just bought don’t stay in. I am sending a letter to the board of directors and I guess the next step if that doesn’t work is call the police every single night (or morning as it doesn’t stop till sometimes 230am)
      I have finally realized it’s affecting my quality of life and health. I own the condo so it’s either sell or rent it out (don’t think I could do that to someone else). I also have to listen to loud conversations outside my bedroom window I can hear with the window shut. Tv on. Bedroom door shut. I cannot understand how anyone can be so rude, disrespectful & ignorant.
      Thanks for reading this & good luck
      Tonight I will try my headphones & some kind of white noise.

      • Hi
        If they don’t stay in, they might just be too big for you. Try a smaller brand, like Mack’s foam.

        • Wax ear plugs are the best, Quies as you can mold them to the shape of your ear. Make sure you soften them up first,l use two in each ear. When people don’t suffer from misophonia they think you are just being awkward. I fully sympathize with you all. This should be out there to make people aware of this condition.

    • Hi Susan,

      I had the same problem with my previous neighbor. I think you suffer from misophonia. This condition, still not officially recognised, affects my quality of life since my teenage years. I’m 42. I wish I could help with some advice, but the only thing that’s helping me is avoiding the noise. Perhaps you can speak to your neighbors about this and show him some information you can find on internet including recent research from the Newcastle University and the official documentary “Quiet please “. Many people don’t believe this condition exists, but I am a real example that they are wrong. Certain repetitive noises hurt me in a way I can describe like they’re stabbing my brain and stomach repeatedly. My hands start sweating and I am in rage and pain. When the noise stop I need some time to recover, but then I’m just a normal person (when I’m not triggered). This (the reaction) is uncontrollable and the only thing that helps is avoiding the trigger (I don’t leave the house without my earphones and earplugs). Slamming doors were the worst, because I never knew when she’s gonna start slamming them again and that every-second-expecting was killing me. Maybe you can try and offer them to install silent doors? I feel your pain. You’re not alone and you can find friends in fab FB group for support for misophonia sufferers where I go to vent some times and also found loads of information for coping they’re the only people who understand me.

      I wish you find the best solution soon and please know – you’re not alone x.


      • What’s the FB group called please? You’ve just described the dread of expectation that overtakes me when I hear the new neighbours from hell slamming their car doors, or slamming doors above me. It’s terrifying and this is saying a whole lot because I’m a war journalist that gets deployed into hot messes around the world.

  15. Hello,
    My son just moved into his college dorm. It’s not a typical shared dorm room. It’s more like a 3 bedroom flat where he gets his own room. Unfortunately one of his flatmates plays video games practically on full blast until well past 2 am with a bunch of other kids coming in and out slamming doors. He’s already asked about keeping the noise down but that hasn’t worked. I’ll have him try a few things: moving his bed to the other wall, earplugs & noise machine (although he’s worried about not hearing his alarm in the morning) and maybe hanging heavy blankets on the wall that he shares with the noisy flatmate. I was going to suggest he hangs them with command hooks but not sure if those are strong enough. I’ve also seen some “soundproof panels” that he could try- but I’ve read they tend to focus more on keeping sound in rather than out. I’d appreciate any other suggestions. Thanks!

    • Hi Natalie
      Thanks for your comment. This is a really tricky one, as it’s a fun time for many youngsters and their ability to keep the noise down when there’s a lot of fun to be had in playing video games etc. is not always that great!
      Earplugs might help, and sound machines can be found with an auto-off timer, which should mean the alarm is fine in the morning. Hanging material might help. One other trick is to put some neoprene pads under the med posts to help reduce sounds traveling through the floor to the bed. And with the panels, it’s an idea, but needs to be done well as sound will inevitably find a way in if it’s not done 100%.
      All the best with this!

      • I experience a great uncomfortable sensation at the continuous high pitch sound of sparrows in my area…
        It is so unease that it litterly pains my ears!
        I do not know and have tried to ignore it but in vain.
        Took a few shots at them to chase them away as the sound has become unbearable to me.

        I am desperate… trying to ignore these high pitch noise at this moment I am typing this is like a sting in my ears and head!
        How can I manage? How can I cope? Please help these small creatures with their only one, at the most 2 pitch noisy sound driving me nuts!
        In contrary I find the more different notes/tones/ frequency sound of a canary very pleasant and relaxing…
        What is the difference and how can I overcome this sparrow annoying noise?

        • Hi Sylvia
          Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’re having this issue. Are they in your garden? Have you considered buying a large sculpture of a bird of prey to scare them off? That can work with some birds…no guarantees though!
          So that leaves how to block the sound out. I would try good earplugs, but also maybe try to mask the sound. Can you play different bird songs on speakers or with headphones, or maybe even a white noise machine or phone App? That might help.

    • I have a really loud roommate and whats worked best for me is addressing the door. I’ve put weatherstripping all along the inside of the door to where no light shines through from the outside. I then got a draft Blocker and placed one on either side of the door so no sound comes from below. I also bought thick curtains that claim to reduce noise by 25% and lined my walls with it. I can still hear him but its much lower in my room now to where I don’t need earplugs.

      • Hi Misty

        Thanks for sharing your techniques for dealing the noisy roommate. It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing look, but yes, lining a wall with heavy material like that can definitely help.

    • We have a teenager that loves to do this on weekends, compromise was having him get headphones for the video games so only he hears it. Problem solved. If your roommate can’t compromise then get one that does

      • Hi Adie

        I just wanted to reply with a quick thank you. I saw you wrote four comments in reply to different readers, with empathy and support. I don’t know if they will read them, but I definitely do and really appreciate you taking the time to write.


  16. I live in a room with my roommate and he uses his mobile without any earphones or headphones he watches videos even when I’m sleeping… I told him several times to use headphones but he didn’t listen…so I can’t sleep and get angry…can you suggest me any device or anything to stop the noise of his mobile

    • Hi Prateek
      Wow, that’s really inconsiderate of him. Personally, I’d be asking him again, but more firmly, to use headphones if it’s late at night. If he still refuses, get a new roommate! In the meantime, earplugs would probably be your best bet, or earphones of your own.
      Best of luck with this one

  17. Excellent blog, really well written and very informative!  I have had issues with noise pollution in my area, and recently had soundproof windows installed to help out.  They’re absolutely fantastic, couldn’t recommend them more!

    • Hi Hugo
      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, if you can upgrade your windows in this way, it can go a very long way to cutting out noise from outside the house.

  18. Hi! I have a hole in my eardrum from ear tubes! I hear ringing in the ears. How to sleep at night – do I need a hearing aid does a headband work?

    • Hi Janie
      Thanks for your question, but I’m afraid I’m not the best person to ask in your specific case. I think this is advice that would best come from your personal doctor or audiologist.

  19. Hi!
    I’m troubled with the condition of misophonia, my family doesn’t know and I’m scared of telling them. There is one person that breathes and eats REALLY loudly and I’m not sure how much more I can take. I’ve told them on a few occasions to try to keep it down but they simply ignore my request. I don’t want to be rude to them, but they are simply too loud for me. Also, I would feel they wouldn’t take it correctly if I ask to buy earbuds, put my headphones/earphones on, and border up my bedroom as well as move it. I really hope you could help me
    Kind regards

    • Hi
      Thanks for your comment. What is it that scares you about telling your family? Were you diagnosed by a doctor, and if so, what did they advise for coping with it?

  20. Hello!!!! Been with my partner for almost 2 years now, we both have different sleeping problems from different ends of the spectrum. He has sleep apnea, and i feel as if, i am the lightest sleeper on the face of the planet. It bothered me some times at the beginning of our relationship but now i feel as if i have no control. We currently are residing at his grandmother’s house. Which is a blessing but a curse at the same time. The floors are wooden and hollow and she has the tendency to wake at the break of dawn. She seems to not realize her continuous adventures up and down the hallway (about 15 back and fourth in the duration of 30 mins) is waking everyone in the house at an alarmingly early time EVERY morning. This includes not only me and my partner but our sons as well, he has one who is 6 and mine is 3. During the night i have tried every possible form of head phones, ear plugs available but i still seem to be losing anywhere between 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night. I am currently half way through my last trimester of pregnancy with our 3rd child and ive become rather irritable. Because, my assumption is, lack of sleep. Im not sure if it has become unbearable because of my current state but my partner. Is getting irritated as well especially when he finds me sleeping in different rooms of the house. Please advise me of what possibilities are still available to me im losing my mind. Thank you

    • Hi Savannah
      Sorry to hear you’re having this problem. I guess the first thing would be to speak to her about how it’s affecting you and see if there is a way you can ask her to change her dawn habits! Either that, or adjust your timings to be more in tune with her if possible.
      I will be updating the article in the near future, as I have spoken with a sound engineer recently about this problem, who had some interesting ideas. One thing he told me was about sound energy from the house basically rattling around the bedroom, especially if it has lots of wooden floors with no carpets. His suggestion was to fill the room with more objects, especially fabrics, as this will help absorb the sound entering the room and reduce how much reaches your ears – which might help the earplugs out a little more. He also suggested putting carpet with underlay down. And as a last resort, putting thick carpet patches or neoprene under the bed legs.

  21. Hi! What is the best strategy for blocking the sound of talking/yelling? Do noise-canceling headphones block those kinds of sounds?

    • Hi Jana
      If the shouting is nearby, they might help but only if you have music on as well as the noise canceling activated. But really, stopping loud shouting nearby from getting through to your brain is no easy task! Personally, I’d try some good foam earplugs first as they are cheap and can work well, before spending a lot of money on headphones that might not do what you need.

  22. Hi, Ella here
    We live in the area where it rains a lot, I thought it would be a nice relaxing noise but it bothers me so much. The rain goes through the gutters and makes so much noise. I tried sleeping on the couch downstairs but nothing works. And I also can’t use headphones because I won’t hear my alarm for school. Please help!!!

    • Hi Ella
      If you use a loud traditional alarm clock, I bet you will still hear it! You could also try putting a timer on the music you listen to so you only have it when you go to sleep.
      The alternative is to find a way to make peace with the rain noise. Perhaps accepting that it happens, that it’s nature, and not focussing on it might help. Try doing breathing exercises when it rains to focus your mind on something else other than the annoyance of the sound.

  23. I’m in an apartment right now where my master bedroom headboard wall is shared with the next door units bathroom sinks. It’s kept me up for 3.5 months and it seems to have just gotten worse. I have insomnia now. I’ve tried white noise, a bunch of different ear plugs, headphones, moving my bed… and I can still hear the plumbing pipes knocking quite loudly through the wall (at +/-60dBs) as late as midnight and as early as 5:30 for hours at a time, which does not give me much time to peacefully sleep. I’ve been trying to work with the landlord, but it hasn’t been fixed yet. I think they need to open up the wall. I’m at my wits end.

    • Hi Annalise
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you have this problems. It must be bad if all those things you tried have not helped! Have you tried putting some insulation of any kind over the wall itself as a temporary measure? Is it possible to sleep in a different room until they fix it?

  24. Hi can you figure out this conundrum?

    Moved into a flat and the neighbours have been stomping running dropping things moving furniture and screaming since 6 am every day since May. I spoke to them and at the door discovered they have removed their carpet. Landlord says there is nothing they can do for now (very lazy landlord took 2 months to fix the bathroom so it was usable)

    Neighbours excuse is they here nothing from above them so it must be me. That’s because the guy above them is a single guy and super quiet (he’s a good friend)

    I’ve tried music and noise apps (ocean etc), banging back on the ceiling, sleeping under cushions, sleeping on the sofa in a different room and if I try headphones I won’t be able to hear my alarm right?

    I tried “not caring” but that doesn’t stop it waking me up and the noise team say speak to the landlord


    • Hi Sam
      Thanks for sharing, and sorry to hear your noise problem. It sounds like it’s an older house then, so with no carpet, the floorboards can be noisy for sure. If there isn’t much insulation, even them walking around, moving a chair to get up etc, can sound much noisier to your when you’re in bed in the dark. So sometimes, even if they aren’t being unreasonably noisy, the level of ‘normal’ noise can seem insanely noisy to the person trying to sleep. Obviously, screaming is not great though and my theory doesn’t help much there…

      In terms of blocking the noise, short of putting some insulation yourself on the ceiling (imagine you’re trying to build a music studio in your bedroom!), blocking noise might be the only answer if you need to sleep when they are awake.

      If you listen to music on headphones via your phone, an alarm should cut through it. Test it out. If not, you could get a sleep tracker bracelet that has a vibrating alarm to get you up.


    • I hear a lot of running and floor- thumping from the (older) child in the flat above too! I thought only little kids did that…I was mistaken! She also bashes on the piano, which is above my bed, sometimes very early in the morning. The ceiling is like cardboard, with no insulation- it’s a rented flat so I can’t fix that. It’s been driving me insane and I’ve actually had to go out a few times because of the loud thumping- sounds like the child is jumping up and down on the floor, mentioning it politely, more than once, to the parent had no effect so I’ve just got some earplugs. It’s blocking out a lot of the noise. Can’t use them if I need to wake up with an alarm though! Noisy neighbours, and housemates, are the worst. Try some earplugs so you can at least get peace during the worst times…It’s my new plan, the alternative is to go insane.

  25. I live downstairs my neighbor lives upstairs every night she drops objects on the ceiling I tried to talk to her but I think she has a mental issue can’t sleep at all what’s the best ear stoppers i can purchase

    • Hi Lionel
      I understand your suffering, believe me! Personally, I use standard foam earplugs with a noise reduction rating as high as possible, usually around 33 decibels. It can also help to listen to music on headphones with noise canceling.

  26. I live on a terraced row of houses..every single day the children are screaming next door..they are sent to bed at 6.30pm and awake by the time we are going to be round 10pm they will scream for a while and then my husband manages to go sleep but I can’t..then we get to 1ish in the night and the screaming starts again for an hour and then stops till 3:30-45am and starts again and so my husband is up for work at 04:30am and by that time av still had no sleep..then around 06:10am the screaming starts again till gone 7:30am when the parents decide they’re going to go and sort them out..bare in mind inbetween all this the children are being shouted at constantly and they never do anything or go anywhere apart from stay in the house..we are moving house eventually after Xmas but this is killing us cos we can’t get any sleep cos it’s every single day of the week..weekends we try and get a lay in till 9ish but we can’t and so we are up at the crack of dawn on husband and I are like walking at my wits end..our tv in the bedroom is on to drown the noise out but has to be quite loud to do that and so we are no better off..none of this noise is children playing..this is children constantly screaming and the children are being totally ignored..I feel sick every day and my hubby is worn out at work plus I have insomnia anyway so really struggle..what can I do that worn disturb my innocent neighbours on the other side ??

    • Hi Ajay
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you have to put up with this – and those poor kids too. Thankfully, you’re moving soon. But I imagine it seems like an eternity at the moment. Is there another room you could move the bed too until you move out? Otherwise, you might have to try multiple methods – good foam earplugs, maybe earphones over the top to see if that adds enough sound blocking to help. But really, with that much noise, it’s not easy to block it all out completely.

  27. I live next to a school, at 3:30 am the snow clearing crews show up to start working, it is extremely loud, wakes me up and I can’t fall back asleep. I have contacted bylaw hoping that they could push back their start time to 5 am but because it is a school and a priority, nothing can be done. I am nervous about earplugs because I have a child at home who may wake up and need me (my husband works out of town). I am a very sensitive sleeper, the slightest noise keeps me up, even in the summer when we need a fan on, I have an awful time getting and staying asleep. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Jessica
      Sorry to hear you have this issue. It seems like maybe you need to stop the noise getting into the house as much as possible. Could you move bedrooms to the other side of the house? If not, can you do something to add another layer of sound proofing to the window?

    • Hi there
      I agree, for noise that isn’t too loud, headphones and music are a simple and effective solution.

  28. Hi,

    I live in a student home where there are parties every single night till 8 A.M. I have a lot of noise because of the music and screaming (I sleep 5 meters away from the party, it comes from my window). Is a noise cancelling headphone the right way to go? White noise and earplugs barely work so far.

    • Hi Linda
      Thanks for your comment. To be honest, if you live right next to extremely loud noise, there might be nothing you can do to completely block it out. Sorry!
      Noise cancelling headphones might help a little, but they probably won’t do much better than earplugs or white noise. You could perhaps try listening to white noise through those headphones if you can tolerate it.
      It might take some experimenting, but I wouldn’t spend big on headphones unless you can definitely get a refund if they don’t work well enough for you.

  29. my boyfriend is up all night slamming doors has the tv on in the bedroom and shouts till he goes to sleep in the morning. I constantly ask him to be quiet as he’ll speak quietly for 5 minutes then start shouting again I can’t cope with only getting sleep when he lets me.

    • Hi Jade
      Thanks for your comment. Do you know why he’s shouting so much and slamming doors? Is there an obvious reason for it?

  30. My husband snores and talks in his sleep. It’s only been going on for two years and I’m sure a lot of it is due to stress. I can gently roll him over, because it happens when he’s on his back, but he rolls over again and again. Last night he woke me at 3:15am. I turned him 6 times before my alarm went off at 6:30. I tried ear plugs but they don’t work as I’m a side sleeper. He won’t like it if I move to the couch but I don’t know what else to do.

    • Hi Jean
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble because of his snoring. Have you tried soft foam earplugs? I’m a side sleeper too, and don’t have an issue with them, especially if I use a soft pillow.
      It’s probably a good idea to get him to try some techniques for dealing with the snoring too, rather than it all being about you trying to cope.

  31. I have white noise, earbuds, shooting earmuffs. Take sleep aids. Still, the sound of the wood floorboards creaking wakes me up.
    Using earbuds means I hear my asthmatic breathing, shooting muffs kinks my neck. So now I get 4 hrs sleep max.
    The solution, forgive the wood for creaking and don’t allow myself to get angry. What useless advice this is.

    • Hi there
      I’m sorry you didn’t find the advice helpful. I can understand your frustration if nothing has worked for you. But I do think there’s something to be said for working on that way you cope with the noise if it’s literally impossible to stop it from happening and nothing blocks it either. At the end of the day, it might be the only thing we can actually change.

  32. I just moved to a new area, but I’ve been having a hard time sleeping due to all the traffic noise. I like your point about sealing any gaps and cracks in your windows and doors. I’ll have to carefully check my room for places that noise can get in from.

    • Hi Derek
      Thanks for your comment. Traffic noise is one of the worst for me – it rumbles right through the house if it’s bad enough. It’s amazing how much sound can travel through even small gap, so I hope it helps you if you find any to seal up.

  33. Hi!

    My husband works night shifts every eight weeks, he sleeps during the day and every other weekend he works and the kids have a hard time staying quiet while he sleeps. I’m debating on whether to buy him a white noise machine or no. Will this help? Do they sell a machine to cancel any noise outside the room?

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I understand the problem – it’s not easy getting kids to stay quiet for long periods of time! White noise might help. All the machines are created with the intention of being able to cancel some noise from outside – how well they do it or not depends on many things, like the quality and volume of sound, the type of sounds it produces, the exact external noise, how far away it is etc. If you’re not sure, you could always do a trial run with a smartphone App – there are plenty of free ones.

  34. Hello. I have a new born baby who is a very loud sleeper.
    When I am working my wife does the night feeds as I’m up early….
    What is the best thing to help me sleep and not be interrupted? As I’m a very light sleeper. Thank you

    • Hi Ryan
      Thanks for your comment. If you don’t need to listen out for the baby at night, your best bet is probably a good set of earplugs, or sleeping in a separate room!

  35. Hi,

    I’m in my early teens and I can hear my parents “doing it” in the next room. It’s really awkward to ask them to keep it down because they’re my parents, and earplugs irritate my ears. My door doesn’t shut as there are pegs hanging from it. I can’t fall asleep with music on either. Please help! :(

    • Hi there
      Oh, yes, slightly awkward one! I think short of telling them honestly to keep it down, your options are a bit limited. You could try silicone or wax earplugs rather than foam. Perhaps listen to music on headphones. Or even make lots of noise yourself one night to educate them about the lack of sound-proofing!

  36. I usually don’t have any trouble falling asleep because, for the most part, my house is pretty silent at night. However, in the morning i’m constantly being woken up by my neighbor’s lawnmowers. Not really sure why they need to mow their lawn so early… I’m also just woken up by sounds of my family getting up in the morning. I’m lucky to have a pretty silent house falling asleep at night, but staying asleep in the morning is a different story. Any tips on how to stay asleep in the morning? I’m also just worried for when I go to college that I’m not going to be able to fall asleep or stay asleep with all the activity that goes on.


    • Hi Kathryn
      Thanks for your comment. To be honest, what works at night will work, or not, at any time of the day! It’s obviously louder during the day as the world wakes up. In my experience, sometimes the best thing is to adjust your own body clock so they don’t wake you up in the middle of your night!
      As for the lawnmower, there’s no earplug that can block out such a loud sound if it’s right near your window. A friendly chat with the neighbour is your best bet.

  37. Hello,
    I am suffering from insomnia in the last 2 years. I am very sensitive to noise sound even very low frequency sound also irritate me to sleep at night. I live in a rural area, there are many crickets which chirp at night which irritate me and I feel very annoying to sleep. please help me.

    • Hi Mantu
      Thanks for your comment. It’s annoying when animals outside keep you awake. On the one hand, it’s nice to hear wildlife and nature. But on the other hand, if you can’t sleep it’s not so great! I have the same problem with birds where I live.
      Have you tried using earplugs at all? They tend to work well for sounds like crickets in my experience. And it might help to try to take your mental focus off the sounds – meditation, breathing exercises etc can help with this.

  38. Hello Ethan, I suffer from hyperacusis. I can hear a pin drop! This is only a problem at night. I have been surviving on 2-3hrs sleep for almost a year now. I have tried everything, including custom made digital noise cancelling ear plugs. I am really at my wit’s end!! Can you offer any help? Are there other earplugs that block out noise, and which one’s. I have even had a ?4mm laminated hush window installed.A specially designed material along with my normal glass window. I have sought help everywhere here in Australia but I have hit a brick wall. I really need some help. I am so sleep deprived. Could you please answer me by email. Thank you kindly. Carol. This is my first experience with posting on a site. I eagerly look forward to your response.

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