How To Sleep With Noisy Roommates: 7 Tips That Work

Whether you're a student living with inconsiderate roommates, you work nights or your roommates are incapable of controlling the volume as soon as they have a few drinks, noisy roommates can be a nightmare when you're trying to sleep.

If you're struggling to sleep right now...or you anticipate that your roommates are likely to cause issues later then here are 7 tips you can use to help you sleep through the noise:

1. Use White Noise

White noise is designed to cause all noise across the audible spectrum to blend together.

White noise machines have many benefits and are a great way to tune out any noise including loud voices, music or TV as they use a combination of all frequencies detectable by humans.

White noise machines make a variety of noises (including the classic white noise TV static sound) including pink noise, brown noise, waterfalls, road noise and much more.

There are also plenty of white noise apps available.

2. Don't Focus On The Noise

Often when you hear a noise that is disturbing your sleep such as your roommates voices, loud music or a TV it is natural for your ears to tune into it, listening intently in the hope that it will die down or go away.

This is a bad idea as this primes your nervous system making you feel more awake and making it far harder to sleep.

The key to falling to sleep with disturbing noise is to avoid tuning into the noise, you can do this by finding a way to distract your mind from the noise.

A couple of things that may help are:

  • Allow your mind to wander: thinking about something else, anything else, takes your mind off the noise disturbance and allows it to wander, this will allow you to relax and eventually fall to sleep. Think about something that doesn't make you more frustrated (don't think about a recent argument) such as a recent holiday, someone you love etc.
  • Breathing exercises: Slowly breathing in and out can help relax you and take your mind off the noise. Focus on each breath, start by breathing our for 3 seconds then in for 3 seconds, slowly build the time up to 7 seconds.

3. Prepare For Bed

Ever noticed how when you're tired enough you can sleep anywhere regardless of the distractions?

Maybe you've fallen to sleep at the airport, cinema or in a class.

If you're tired enough your brain will be more prone to naturally drifting off regardless of distracting noises.

shot of exercise biek pedals

Preparing for bed helps ensure that you can get a decent sleep even with irritating background noise.

Some things you can do to help get your body and mind into a state where you will be more ready to sleep include:

  • Do some exercise during the day: it doesn't have to be much, just 20 minutes of exercise at some point during the day can make a big difference when it comes to sleeping (check out our quiet cardio workouts for some ideas).
  • Have a warm bath before bed: to fall asleep our body temperatures actually need to drop by 2 or 3 degrees, having a warm bath helps with this because it causes your blood to come to the surface of your skin, when you get out of the bath you will lose heat from your hands and feet far more quickly than you otherwise would allowing you to fall asleep faster.
  • Turn off all electronic devices: The blue light that phones, laptops and TV screen emit restrict the production of the melatonin hormone that is responsible for controlling your sleep cycle. Getting in the habit of turning electronic devices off an hour before bed is a guaranteed way of both improving the quality of your sleep and making it easier for you to fall asleep.

4. EarPlugs

Howard Leight by Honeywell Max Lite Low Pressure Disposable Foam Earplugs, 200-Pairs (LPF-1), Green

Earplugs are one of the easiest ways to block out unwanted noises.

Earplugs are designed to allow you to still hear close proximity noises such as your alarm going off in the morning, but they will easily make background conversation, music or TV sound completely inaudible.

5. Block The Noise

If you can hear your roommates talking in the corridor outside your room, or they have left their door open and noise is traveling down the corridor into your room then a simple solution is to block the noise.

Most doors have a small gap underneath them so that they don't drag on the carpet or flooring.

how to soundproof a door

This gap is the main culprit when it comes to noise getting through your doorway.

To block the gap simply roll up a towel, blanket or piece of clothing and push it tightly against the gap. This will help dampen any incoming noise.

6. Rearrange Your Furniture

Impact noise travels through ceilings, walls and floors as the structure carries the vibrations.

If your roommates are playing music which has heavy bass in it this can much more difficult to block out than airborne noise as it will travel directly through the walls.

Instead a better option is to move your bed to the other side of the room so that the offending wall isn't right next to you, being as far away from the source of impact noise will create more space so that by the time the vibrations reach you they will be less impactful and will sound quieter.

7. Talk To Them

Chances are if you're reading this article that talking to your roommate isn't an option or you have spoken to them but their disruptive behaviour has continued regardless.

However if you haven't spoken to them it is always a good idea to do so.

roommates having a conversation

Often your roommates may be completely unaware of how loud they are being and how their noise is affecting you.

When you approach your roommate be polite, honest and calm in the way you speak to them and bring it up at a convenient time (rather than in the middle of the disturbance when you will be angry).

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda,

I'm Dan, I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out.

This is my place to document what I've learnt on my soundproofing journey.