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Old 09-08-2010, 10:40 PM   #41
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She wakes you up when you're sleeping so return the favor. Pound on her door, throw stuff at her window, get a metal pipe and bang on your ceiling, whatever. Then tell her exactly when you're waking her up and what she can do to stop you from waking her up - this part is crucial.

It's an example of tit-for-tat, the most effective behavior modification strategy. Tit for tat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 09-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #42
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I too have a night shift. I work approximately 3 pm to 5 am Mon thru Fri. That's a 14 hour day, five days in a row. The good news is that I almost never have insomnia anymore. It takes me only about 10 minutes to fall asleep every morning. I get better sleep if I get to be before the sun comes up (even though I have the room darkened with dark blinds, my body seems to know where the sun is anyway.)

I've had this schedule for 4 years now. At first I was a Zombie 24 hours a day, even on Saturday and Sunday. After about 9 months of being a Zombie, I started to feel sort of normal.

I could only sleep about 4 hours a day (wake up and not be able to get back to sleep, even in a quiet room) for the first 6 months, then went up to 5 hours a day in years 2 to 3, now am up to 6 hours a day sometimes.

I do not have a noisy neighbor like you do (Thank God !! ). But I do have trucks rumbling back and forth at the landscaping business next door.
Believe it or not, I have gotten used to them. They used to wake me up, but now almost never.

My cholesterol, lipids, and blood pressure are the same as before I started this insane schedule, but I must admit I look a lot older than 4 years of normal aging would account for.

I tried ear plugs, but got a red irritation in the canal from them.

Luckily I am able to take naps on my job if I get tired. I almost always take a 15 minute nap every day. Often two 15 minute naps.

To summarize, I think the night shift is bad for one's health, in a general way. It just wears you down more than a 9 to 5 job. But of course it's a trade-off. I'd rather have my night shift job than the day shift jobs I have checked out, all things considered.

Good luck with the bad neighbor. Maybe she will move out.

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:02 AM   #43
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I am really sorry to hear you have an inconsiderate neighbor. I would go back to her and say "Did you know I know I could hear your radio in the morning especially when you start taking a shower and I could even hear you singing?? I don't think you would continue to do this if you knew just how much noise I could hear from where I am at." or something like that. If she continues to do so, does your city have a mediator about neighbor issues that you could go talk to (and she could participate in)? (My city does although I have never used its service.)

BTW, I am one of those people who wear ear plugs to sleep. This is what I use. (I buy them at RiteAid.) Rite Aid Foam Ear Plugs 50 pr: Health & Personal Care
They are orange in color, like the ones you posted, but they are shaped like the ones below and are very soft.
foam ear plugs , hearing protection , noise protection , Howard Leight ear plugs

I sometimes find them out of my ears, but not very often. (Maybe once a month.) I make sure and twist and push them in really good and they stay in. It may not be very comfortable until you get used to them, so maybe you can wear them on your days off to practice.

Good luck to you.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:19 AM   #44
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Another thing you could consider doing is to sleep in your living room instead in your bedroom if she doesn't make as much noise in her living room. It doesn't seem fair that you would have to make change because of an inconsiderate neighbor, but if moving is not an option for you, you may want to consider moving your sleeping space... I used to live in a 4-plex and my bedroom was my upstairs neighbor's living room - hardwood floor. (BAD DESIGN!) I can't begin to tell you how noisy it was. I wouldn't have been able to survive without my ear plugs. I moved out as soon as my lease was up - I made sure and chose a place with nobody upstairs from me. (now I wear my earplugs because of my SO's snoring!)
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:18 AM   #45
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Just want to extend my sympathy to you as I am a very light sleeper and went through 2 years with only 4 hours sleep per night - I can confirm it was not good on my health. As others have suggested, I find soft foam ear plugs the best and get those which block the highest decibels. I'm using those with noise reduction rating of 33 decibels. All the best.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:59 AM   #46
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I worked rotating shift work for 25 years. Four 12 hour days on, 4 off, then 4 12 hour night shifts and 4 off, swapping every week so never could establish a routine. I also believe that shift work is a killer but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.....
I am the worlds lightest sleeper, actually wake up if someone looks at me. I gave up on trying to get the rest of the day shift world to be quiet so I could sleep. I wore ear plugs at work and never slept well with them, they made my ears I went 100% to opposite direction. I had a twin bed in my spare bedroom tented with quilts so it was really dark and muffled noise well. Then I set up a white noise source, I used a room air filter, by the head of the bed and a vornado type fan inside of the bed tent screwed to the foot board. Hummed me to sleep for years.
Good luck!
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.<br />-Robert A. Heinlein
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:28 AM   #47
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Have you tried a white noise machine? I used one for several years when I lived in a condo years back, it worked for me. I too would weigh in on the side of payback of some sort, I also would not hesitate to let her know again the noise level has gotten loud...if after that it continued...I'd make her life as miserable as legally possible.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:40 AM   #48
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We all need good sleep. I am very sorry to her that so many people are having a hard time getting a quiet room to sleep in.

My place is mostly very quiet, I don't mind normal footsteps overhead. My upstairs neighbor seems to have insomnia, so if I happen to wake up between 2 and 4AM I usually hear him walking around.This usually makes me feel more contented as I don't feel that I am all alone. The last 10 or 11 years, leading up to and after my divorce, is the only time in my life that I have lived alone, and although I am content with this it really isn't my natural choice.

Occasionally in summer there are late, loud parties in a little rental bungalow that is close under my window. I bought some foam ear plugs for this and they worked pretty well.

Often I find that if I frame things so they do not make me angry the noise has less power to upset me, so I will tend to go on to sleep quicker. It does help that my neighbors are very considerate people. Aaron's neighbor who pays him no heed would get very annoying.

In fact, this past July the party animals moved out of their bungalow (I think someone got them evicted) and a family moved in. I found that I missed the party sounds, so for me this occasional disturbance was basically positive.

Every day would not work though. Also, since I basically hate TV, I really do not like TV sounds coming thorough the walls, that would bother me I think.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:18 PM   #49
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Update: I've been using earplugs for a few days now. It definitely helps but one day I woke up when my alarm clock was just about to stop going off. It changes it's sound, that's how I know it was just a couple seconds from stopping. Sunday morning she woke me up even with the earplugs in. These are the same earplugs I use for w*rk to protect my hearing from loud machinery but it's not enough to block out her noise. I will continue to use them and hopefully at least get some extra sleep even though it still won't be an ideal amount.

I have stopped making an effort to be quiet since she clearly makes no effort. Unfortunetly i'm too nice to be too excessivly noisey though. One thing I think I will do is when the weather gets colder, i'll turn the heat down to 50 when I leave for work. Then when I get back from work i'll have to stay awake until it warms up to 70 so I can sleep. During that time(5:30am-6:30am) i'll watch tv at a not-so-low volume. If she wakes up during that time it'll be 3-4 hours before she would like to wake up. It still won't be the 5 hours that she's been waking me up early for for the last 3+ months but it's a start.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:52 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post

I have stopped making an effort to be quiet since she clearly makes no effort. Unfortunetly i'm too nice to be too excessivly noisey though. ...

During that time(5:30am-6:30am) i'll watch tv at a not-so-low volume. If she wakes up during that time it'll be 3-4 hours before she would like to wake up. It still won't be the 5 hours that she's been waking me up early for for the last 3+ months but it's a start.
Unfortunately, I think you are at the point of having to make a point to her (since you have asked nicely, and tried to work through the association). I don't think you can be subtle. Here's where I would start:

Attach a 2'x 2' plywood piece to the ceiling (maybe use a couple poles to hold it up so there is no permanent attachment). At 5:30 AM, start bouncing a hard ball against that ceiling - HARD, NON-STOP, for a LONG TIME, repetitively, like a machine. Maybe yell out "SCORE!!!!" loudly once in a while, like it's a game for you.

When she complains, tell her you are trying this as a way to work off the stress of having to work a 12 hour shift on such little sleep. Once you work off the stress, and she quiets down, you can get to sleep. Explain that if you can get sleep w/o being disturbed by her noise FOR A SOLID WEEK (so she sees what it's like to be woken every day for a week), then you will no longer need to work off the stress. The ball is in her court, so to speak. And explain once again that the people before her were able to be quiet, you aren't asking the impossible, just reasonable quiet.

The advantage of the ball against the ceiling is it probably won't be loud enough to disturb anyone else in the building. It's similar to her walking on the bare floor in heels, the sound conducts through to you only.

Since you work with heavy machinery, and this sleep deprivation could have serious affects, I think it warrant serious measures. I understand you don't want to be aggressive like this, but I think that's where you are. Or move, and maybe face a similar problem at the new place.


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