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"I'm Ready To Pull My Hair Out"

One Person’s Floor is Another Person’s Ceiling

I used to live underneath the loudest heel-walker ever known to humankind. All hours of the day and night, stomp, stomp, stomp. I dealt with this frustration for months and I’m not gonna lie: I was ready to pull my hair out. Months went by of getting maybe four hours of sleep, five on a really good night, due to Stompy McStomperson’s inconsideration. Soon, I started sleeping on a friend’s couch one night per week so I could treat myself to a full eight hours of heavenly bliss. I didn’t even care that it was technically a loveseat and I was curled up into fetal position, I just wanted to sleep.

I decided to try talking to my neighbor directly, with a smile and friendly tone. She said she had no idea how loud she was and said she would “walk like a bunny”. Except what happened was worse – my friendly chat turned into a spiteful act on my noisy neighbor’s behalf, and she became as loud as a freight train. Eventually, the lack of sleep started wearing on me: I was increasingly frustrated, my anxiety levels were through the roof, and I had a hard time concentrating on anything other than my complete and utter exhaustion. Once I finally complained to management, the noise became a manageable level and I could sleep again.  

 

Your Beats Be Givin’ Me the Blues

Isn’t it always fun when your neighbor starts playing their music really loud? It’s my favorite! Especially when it’s 2:00 am on a Tuesday. Just kidding. It can be frustrating to live in an apartment sometimes, right? These days, many apartments lack the proper soundproofing systems, which allows for more noise to travel from one apartment to the next. The good news is most landlords have quiet hours because they recognize that their residents deserve the right to peace and quiet.

So when you find yourself dealing with a less than desirable noise level coming from a noisy neighbor, you can try a few things.  Cork is an excellent sound-absorber, and sound absorbent wall panels will definitely help snag the sound coming from your neighbors (and muffle the sound coming from your apartment). If these don’t help, you may want to consider calling the local police station (if it’s very late) or complain to management. Most landlords are more than happy to enforce quiet hours, and furthermore, they want you to enjoy your peace and quiet just as much as you do.

 

Cry, Baby

Babies are freakin’ adorable. You know what’s not? Crying babies. They are awful! They’re worse than nails on a chalkboard. Or hearing the Emergency Broadcast System play on repeat. Or listening for hours on end to Gilbert Gottfried. I’ll pass, thanks. It’s especially not fun for surrounding neighbors who have to hear it, too. I sincerely felt awful after I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital, because ‘home’ at the time was a tiny two bedroom apartment in a quiet eight-plex. For three months, I had no control on the sound or the level of her cries, or the times at which she wailed. All I could do was comfort her, rock her, feed her, and try to get her to stop. I mean, I wanted her to stop crying just as much as my neighbors, but I couldn’t just look at her and say, “You know, little baby, you’re the cutest thing on earth, but would you mind not crying for two hours at 3:00 am?  I mean, we can work out a schedule that would be good for you and for the rest of us. What do you say?” Although that would have been *fantastic* to do.

Sleep deprivation is a special kind of torture. So… Before you talk to your neighbors that just became parents, keep in mind that they probably haven’t slept much whatsoever and they want the crying to stop at least three million times more than you. So what do you do when you are the one being affected by a crying baby? Some property managers recommend putting temporary soundproofing materials on the wall to deal with noisy neighbors, white noise makers (like a floor fan), noise-cancelling headphones, or earplugs.  If none of these options work, you might consider moving. Babies don’t come with “off” switches, as much as we all wish they did!

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