You are so loud
July 10, 2016 8:59 PM   Subscribe

My neighbors are really loud until late at night. They are loud until maybe six hours before I need to wake up.

Mostly it's slammimg doors. Outer doors, iner doors, closet and cabinet doors. But there is a lot of my apartment above theirs shaking every 2 minutes. I don't know why 9pm to midnight is time to slam all the doors. Ok, this happens sometimes during the day as well. I've asked them to make the slamming stop and they agreed with minimal change. They are moving in a few weeks. But I'd really like to sleep more than six hours a night between now and then. It's also hard for me to sleep after this because the shaking is really jarring and leaves me feeling very anxious. They also wake my child uo frequently. He sometimes wakes up on his own as well (ok often) due to a number of medical/standard toddler issues. So I really need to try to sleep from nine or ten to five or six to get a functional amount of sleep. Any tips for getting more sleep with loud neighbors? The previous neighbors in this unit were much less loud, but tips for light sleepers in multi unit housing (who need to hear their toddler with medical issues) are welcome. Right now I use white noise in both our rooms and a baby monitor to hear him.
posted by Kalmya to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As another light sleeper, I rely completely on earplugs (Mack's silicone ones, to be specific) to help me get a full night's sleep. Since you need to use a baby monitor, is there any chance you can get one that vibrates or lights up, and use it in conjunction with earplugs? They make them for parents who are hearing impaired.
posted by mollywas at 9:11 PM on July 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Personally, the next time they wake up your toddler, and s/he is really awake, I'd pick up the crying little one and truck down to their door to ask them to keep it down (assuming that isn't too disruptive to your child; I don't know how awake they get). And then the next time they slammed something, I'd go down again (hopefully alone this time) to angrily tell them to cut it out.

It would be one thing if it weren't possible to be quiet. But you know it's possible to live in their unit without slamming doors since the previous tenants did.
posted by salvia at 9:33 PM on July 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

You wake up before 6am? Do you have any doors that only they can hear (not your other shared walls, or your sleeping family)? Make a point of slamming them every morning, maybe once when you wake and another time before you leave (in case they fall back asleep). You should see some change within a week.
posted by rhizome at 10:11 PM on July 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Is it a wood constructed building? If so, there's nothing that really can be done that wouldn't involve completely stopping their lives. Old construction often means no insulation between your floor and their roof. This also means they probably hear your every footstep, too.

I currently live in a 60s era wood building and I can hear my upstairs neighbors go to the bathroom at 2am if I'm not wearing earplugs. They aren't stomping or anything, it's just the crappy situation of the building.

Also, if you are expecting no noise at all past 9pm, living in a soundproofed apartment is the only way to get that.
posted by InkDrinker at 10:19 PM on July 10, 2016 [16 favorites]

Vinyl stick on bumpers (like tall dot stickers) for the doors and cabinets help a lot, maybe ask if the landlord will put them in before the next tenants?

Can you tighten up your bedframe or put it on casters to reduce the shaking?

Since it's only a few weeks and you've already asked, I wouldn't expect big changes from them.
posted by momus_window at 10:55 PM on July 10, 2016 [12 favorites]

"I'd go down again (hopefully alone this time) to angrily tell them to cut it out. "

Yeah, don't do this, there's enough "anger" in the world right now. It will likely only provoke them and they have nothing to lose since they are moving in a few weeks.

Look for a peaceful solution.
posted by HuronBob at 4:51 AM on July 11, 2016 [20 favorites]

I'm curious to know how old your apartment is. I live in a house built in the 1870's and I've had my neighbors complain about noise/slamming. I didn't think anything of it until they started complaining about times when I was out of town. Turns out, when I have certain windows open it creates a cross draft that slams my doors/cabinets shut and it is particularly noticeable at night when everything else is quiet. It can be pretty jarring.
posted by Marinara at 10:33 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Our last house was from the 1900's, and it's built with a wooden frame and wooden floors. Our neighbour told us that he could hear the doors. So Mr Nilehorse went round to the house, and I closed lots of doors and cupboards on our side, and we pinpointed the particular doors/cupboards that were a problem. Could you do this with your neighbours? Maybe if they were to hear how loud slamming doors are in your apartment, they would remember to be more considerate past 9pm.
posted by Nilehorse at 2:18 PM on July 11, 2016

For another POV many or most times in my professional life I have been unable to be home before 9ish, thus making 9-1am cooking dinner, light cleaning (obviously not vacuum or etc), dishes, relaxing. I completely understand how maddening it is to have a bad neighbor upstairs (I have had several who would make sounds like moving furniture or dropping weights directly on the ground at literally any time day or night--10am, 4am, literally whenever, I don't know if or when they slept) and how stressful it is--but based on the type of sounds you describe and the times, they are almost certainly not doing this out of spite.

Please note during these times I would also have to be up around 7-730 for work and the one time a neighbor came up to yell at me I was pretty grouchy and said "WELL I GUESS I'LL GET SOME BETTER RUGS THEN" and basically slammed the door on them. (I did not buy nicer rugs because I am not a millionaire). A nice note would have been better received, like, "I'm a med student so I need to be up at 4am" or whatever and a cell # so we could text and work out a solution.

If you could offer them cushy carpet pads (I assume some of the slamming and shaking is just walking around based on apartment living forever) or door stops and those little sticky felt pads at a time when you are not angry, they would almost certainly be amenable to that. Doors that hang at an angle are usually impossible to close without slamming, as well as poorly installed drawers--see if the landlord can work with you guys to make any repairs. Also make sure your lighting fixtures are screwed in properly as that can minimize the shaking sounds. If possible see if your landlord is able to make your cabinets more secure to the walls, etc..
posted by shownomercy at 7:52 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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