Getting back to sleep
February 17, 2013 7:44 AM Subscribe
How can I get back to sleep quickly after being awoken in the middle of the night?
posted by antonymous to human relations (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
First - a wee bit of background - I moved into a new place a few months ago, and noticed after the first week or so that the creaking from the hardwood floors is really loud, especially from the unit above me. I figured that I'd get used to it and that my body and sleep schedule would adjust, but that doesn't appear to be happening.
The couple that lives above me doesn't do anything that's intentionally loud, but I can definitely hear loud floorboard creaking with every single footstep taken, especially in the bedroom, which is right above mine. In addition, I can hear one of them getting ready early in the morning (around 6 or 7 AM) - the opening and closing of drawers, occasionally setting/dropping things on the floor, etc. Once I hear this, it's generally difficult for me to get back to sleep.
Last night, the more heavy-footed of my upstairs couple comes home after bar close (around 2AM) and it takes him/her about 20-30 minutes to finally get to bed. They weren't stumbling around or anything, but since I woke up as soon as they set foot in the bedroom, it seemed like an eternity before they finally made it into bed. At that point I was so frustrated with my inability to control whether I could sleep or not that I just got more and more upset and my mind started racing - I think I finally got back to sleep around 4:30, a full two hours after I had been awoken. This is especially frustrating because I made a concerted effort to get to bed early, and as I write this I'm feeling the exact opposite of what I had hoped for.
So I'd like to take a bit more control of this situation and was hoping for advice along a few lines, and to see how others have dealt with similar issues in the past. First, is it safe and effective to use those little disposable foam earplugs during sleep on a regular basis? I prefer falling asleep with the radio on as background noise, but could live without it if it means a full night of sleep.
Second, are there any effective strategies for getting back to sleep after being suddenly awoken? I know that most "things that go bump in the night" are one-time events, but sometimes due to the nature of living below neighbors, I have no control over how long it takes them to get ready in the morning or what time they come home at night. I'd prefer not to confront my neighbors, as I don't think their actions
Third, am I not even asking the right question here and should I just break my lease and find a different place to live? I have no experience doing that, and I'm only a few months into a year-long lease. I like the location but nothing else about my unit is special - now that I think more about it, I'd been planning to move at the end of my lease anyway. I've lived in similar buildings in the past and have never heard as much from my neighbors as I have in this one.