Some neighbours become monsters after nine p.m. Whether they’re moonlighting as tap dance coaches or hosting a murder mystery party, all noisy neighbour are enemies of sleep, calm, and health, and it’s often difficult to find a resolution. In this guide, we’re going to give you some options for solving your neighbour noise issues (without ending up in jail).
Talk to Them
Visit your neighbours and politely but firmly ask them to be more considerate with their noise, if necessary try and find a way to agree on certain rules, like no loud music after 10pm. But let’s face it, if you need this guide you’ve probably already tried this. Some people just won’t listen to reason. If that's the case, try the following.
Block it out!
The first solution is the simplest one, block out noise with a good pair of sleeping ear plugs. This is particularly good for noise that’s relatively consistent: a loud TV, a radio, or just a dinner party conversation that doesn’t seem to end. The Earjobs Silicone Putty is a great introduction to ear plugs, they’re comfy and hypoallergenic, plus the silicone can be shaped to fit all ear shapes. They have an SNR of 22, which means they’re going to dampen about 22 decibels of noise, perfect for creating that soothing sleep atmosphere.
Cover it up!
Unfortunately, not all noise is amenable to ear plugs. Particularly sharp, intermittent, or sudden noises like heavy footsteps or slamming doors, there’s a category of sound that always finds its way through ear plugs, waking you up. At this point, try a white noise machine. White noise machines operate by creating a calming wash of sound, designed to create a flat, consistent soundscape with which the brain can easily fall asleep. For example, say your upstairs neighbours are walking around the apartment at random intervals, waking you up. A white noise machine would create a flat sound texture that covers the sound of the footsteps, stopping the noise from intruding. Our pick is the Avantek. It comes with 24 different sounds, including white noise, fan noise, and ambient tracks (“streams, waves, wind, rain, birds, crickets, a campfire and a clock”). As an added bonus, white noise machines can be combined with ear plugs for maximum sound blocking.
Of course, you may find that you and your partner have different sleep styles, and so a one size fits all approach is not effective. In this case, try a pair of sleeping headphones. Like a sleeping headband, the SleepPhones are a comfy product you wear over your ears while you sleep, allowing you to listen to your favourite podcast, music, or relaxation track, blocking out all external noise. Coming in either a wireless bluetooth or a wired style, they’re great for when you’re sharing a bed with your partner but still wanting the benefits of a sound-based sleep aid. A significant advantage over the traditional white noise machine is that you can choose what you’re listening to: no matter what you find calming, you can play it to soothe you into sleep.
Dealing with noisy neighbours can be a nightmare, but it’s manageable. It might also be helpful to question whether you have healthy sleep habits. Some minor changes in your bedtime routine can generate big returns, for more information view our extensive sleep optimisation guide available here.