Gift idea for colleague with insomnia and very loud neighbours
June 14, 2016 10:48 AM   Subscribe

My lovely colleague's birthday is this weekend, and i want to gift her something nice for around 15-20$. She's in her 50's, and recently ( possibly menopause related ) has been sleeping really poorly which in turn makes her super cranky. She lives above a restaurant and the noise insulation is terrible, and that's not helping her sleep. She's in an ongoing fight with the restaurant owner about the noise and is looking to move out as soon as possible, but that might take another year.

I can't gift her a full insulation job in her flat, and she already has fancy custom earplugs, so i'm looking for suggestion of things that might help her situation, or ideas you have appreciated if you've also dealt with noise and/or insomnia.
posted by PardonMyFrench to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I feel her pain. I used to live in an apartment above a bar. Right above the juke box. It was a country western bar. I not only heard Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town at least 20 times every night, I felt it, as the vibrations came right through my uncarpeted hardwood floor. My bed literally rocked. Soooo....yeah.

I used, and still do use, a white noise machine. They are just so great. I am the world's lightest sleeper.

And now, I also absolutely love earbuds with a white noise app on my phone. I put on earbuds via a headband with earbud holders on (that's just an example, there are lots of options) and turn on a white noise app. Bam. I hear nothing, and they're not uncomfortable at all.
posted by the webmistress at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Instead of earbuds, there are also sleep headphones. I looooove mine, but they aren't, like, noise cancelling or anything. They are way more comfortable to wear in bed, though.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:03 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

That's good too - my personal experience has been that using those, I still need to put in earplugs first, as I need something in my ear to drown out a snoring partner. If she continues to use her earplugs, headphones in a headband are a good option.
posted by the webmistress at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2016

Reading material? (Actual paper books or magazines).

Best case, maybe it helps relax and even get a little more sleep.

Worst case, it's still something to read.
posted by bfields at 12:25 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dubtrot? Because if you're going to get into a noise war with somepony, that is the nuclear option. A nuclear option. One of many.
posted by sourcequench at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2016

Construction headphones.
posted by aniola at 1:42 PM on June 14, 2016

White noise machines are life-changing, no exaggeration. If you do get one, make sure you get a mechanical one, rather than a fancy digital one. [*]

The fancy digital ones play different sound clips (soothing rainforest, tropical storm, rolling ocean surf) and those all sound great, but apparently their dirty little secret is that they loop, and once your brain latches on to the tiny glitch as they start over, you can never un-hear it. The mechanical ones are just simple fans with adjustable opening holes to control the volume, and from personal experience, they work very well to screen out distracting noises.

[*] Examples:
Mechanical, well rated. We use this.
Also mechanical. We used this, but it was never the same after it fell on the hard wooden floor.
Digital. Well rated, but notice the 10% of reviewers who heard it loop?
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:06 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Marpac Dohm that RedOrGreen noted is phenomenal. I picked it up after my clunky-noisy fan died, based on recommendations here on mefi, and after an initial adjustment period, I can say that it's the best. I would run out to replace it immediately if, for some reason, it died. It's out of your price range, but if there's any way you can stretch that a bit, it's just great!
posted by VioletU at 2:16 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

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