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Sleep deprivation
Old 09-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #1
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Sleep deprivation

Since my new neighbor moved in in june, I haven't gotten more than 4 hours of sleep most days. I've tried using hearplugs but it's very uncomfortable. If I could sleep on my back then maybe it would work but I can't. I w*rk 12 hours shifts of manual labor then get 3-4 hours of sleep before going back for another 12 hour shift. Will the body eventually get used to reduced sleep? I don't want to rely on sleeping pills because I don't want to become dependent and also don't want to sleep thru my alarm. I do get 7-8 hours sometimes when I don't work because then i'm sleeping the same time as my neighbor so they don't wake me up as soon. Is that enough sleep or should I take some measures to insure more sleep. I've thought about moving but that costs a lot of money and time.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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My sincere sympathy, since I have had neighbors like that in the past and wouldn't wish them on anyone.

Yes, you need more sleep.

I don't know what to suggest for getting it, though. Maybe someone else has an idea.

You are right that selling the condo probably isn't the solution, given your tight budget and the fact that you haven't had it very long.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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I agree with W2R that YES, you need more sleep. I have had to deal with noise disturbing my sleep and I can vouch for the fact that you WILL GET quite used to to wearing ear plugs. I did find them uncomfortable at the beginning but after only a week or 2 of wearing them, I no longer notice that I have them in my ears and I sleep soundly every night. I would caution you that you should move your alarm clock closer to your bed if you do wear ear plugs to make sure that you can still hear the alarm going off. Please do give yourself a week or two to get used to to wearing ear plugs. This investment of time is well worth it. I sleep amazingly well now and feel so rested when awake.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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I agree with W2R that YES, you need more sleep. I have had to deal with noise disturbing my sleep and I can vouch for the fact that you WILL GET quite used to to wearing ear plugs. I did find them uncomfortable at the beginning but after only a week or 2 of wearing them, I no longer notice that I have them in my ears and I sleep soundly every night. I would caution you that you should move your alarm clock closer to your bed if you do wear ear plugs to make sure that you can still hear the alarm going off. Please do give yourself a week or two to get used to to wearing ear plugs. This investment of time is well worth it. I sleep amazingly well now and feel so rested when awake.
What is your sleep position. I sleep on my side usually so the earplug is right where I lay my head down on the pillow. That's what is uncomfortable. The last time I tried to sleep with them in I woke up with one of them gone. I can get ear plugs free from w*rk so maybe i'll try the other kind. The ones i've been trying to use hang out of the ear a little further than the other ones I have access to.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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I start on my back but usually end up on my side so it's probably 1/2 and 1/2 throughout the night. The ear plugs I use are soft foam, you roll them between your fingers to make the tip smaller, insert them in your ears, they will expand once inside your ears. I also use my finger to push them inside my ear lobes after insertion (there is no risk of going to far, hurting your ear drums or any such thing, they are short and made of foam like I said) so there is no protrusion beyond the ear so they are not likely to fall out of your ears. I'll look for a photo on the internet and will attach the photo of what I use when I post again so you can see exactly what I use. Good luck with trying them tonight. Everyone I know complain that they are uncomfortable but you TRULY will get so used to them, you won't remember they are in your ears! Sleep well! Get some rest!
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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I've always taken a few days to adjust to major changes in sleeping environments. However, I always seem to make the transition after a couple of nights of restless (or no) sleep. Then I'm so tired, I could sleep in a train station.

Don't reject the idea of a sleep aid if you can use it to transition to your new "environment". BUT, by all means ask your doctor what to use (OTC) or have her/him prescribe a mild sleep aid. If you can reestablish your sleep pattern, you may find that you can sleep without the aids (or even ear plugs) fairly quickly. Humans are very adaptable.

By the way, I had trouble sleeping when I went from a high traffic area (outside, of course) to a low traffic area. The quiet bothered me for a while.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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First, let me say that this (lack of sleep issue) is a medical question and, as such, you should seek the proper source for correct advice.

As far as the Ear Plug question goes: I have used ear plugs for many (20?) years while sleeping. Not all Ear Plugs are the same and you probably just haven't found the one for you. I use Flents "Quiet Time" but while they are quite comfortable they have a Noise Reduction rating of 31 -- meaning they blot out almost all noise -- and may not be right for you.

flents +"quiet time" - Google Search

I get the "50 Pair" container at the Wal Mart Pharmacy department for ~$10 and it last me a couple years. (They become less malleable in use, so you need a new pair every week or so.)
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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The ear plugs I use are soft foam, you roll them between your fingers to make the tip smaller, insert them in your ears, they will expand once inside your ears. I also use my finger to push them inside my ear lobes after insertion (there is no risk of going to far, hurting your ear drums or any such thing, they are short and made of foam like I said) so there is no protrusion beyond the ear so they are not likely to fall out of your ears. I'll look for a photo on the internet and will attach the photo of what I use when I post again so you can see exactly what I use. Good luck with trying them tonight.





I was trying the reddish colored ones but I can also get the yellow ones free from w*rk so i'll try those. I think the yellow ones will go in the ear further and may work better for me.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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Try a "white noise" machine--my sister-in-law swears by it. It really does cover up noises.

White noise machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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I think I should probably go and buy a second alarm clock. One right next to my bed so I hear it then another one far enough away that I have to actually get up out of bed to turn it off so i'm less likely to fall back asleep. Right now I don't have one right next to the bed, it's about 8 feet away on my dresser.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:08 PM   #11
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I think I should probably go and buy a second alarm clock. One right next to my bed so I hear it then another one far enough away that I have to actually get up out of bed to turn it off so i'm less likely to fall back asleep. Right now I don't have one right next to the bed, it's about 8 feet away on my dresser.
This is the technique my son uses. He is on permanent night shift and has to sleep during the day with all the noises such as lawn mowers and weed whackers.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:11 PM   #12
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Since my new neighbor moved in in june, I haven't gotten more than 4 hours of sleep most days. I've tried using hearplugs but it's very uncomfortable. If I could sleep on my back then maybe it would work but I can't. I w*rk 12 hours shifts of manual labor then get 3-4 hours of sleep before going back for another 12 hour shift.
Are you working 12 hours out of 24, or are you working 12 hours out of every 18?

If it's 12/24 then would you be able to nap as soon as you get home for 20-60 minutes, get up for a few hours, and then get another 3-4 hours of sleep?

If it's 12 hours out of 18 then you're describing a sleep/watch cycle that submariners keep up for months, admittedly with 1-2 days per week when a couple more hours of sleep is available. But your rack doesn't go to periscope depth every six hours.

The bright yellow open-cell foam earplugs can squeeze your ear canals pretty tightly, which takes some getting used to. The further inside your canal they are then the less discomfort on your pillow ear. You won't damage anything by sticking them in that far although admittedly they can be a bit tough to extract. It just doesn't feel right to push a set of tweezers or needle-nose pliers into your ear canal.

The bright orange closed-cell foam earplugs are a looser fit but they don't have the same sound-deadening quality as the yellow ones.

The Christmas-tree earplugs (usually red or blue plastic, a central stalk surrounded by baffles spaced every few millimeters) are custom-sized to your ear canal (small/med/large) and can fit "just right". I don't personally think they work that well (even when they're the right size) but I haven't seen that model in over 20 years.

I've read of specialty alarms made from vibrating wrist buzzers or flashing lights, mostly for those who've lost their hearing.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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This is the technique my son uses. He is on permanent night shift and has to sleep during the day with all the noises such as lawn mowers and weed whackers.
That's the schedule I w*rk(5p-5a). After w*rk, I try to sleep 6am-2pm but get woken up at about 9:30 and kept awake all morning. By the time she (my neighbor)stops making excessive noise it's nearly time for me to wake up anyway.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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The earplug suggestion is a good one. Do check around for the most comfortable ones--EAR brand is okay, but there are some softer ones you may find to be even more comfortable (the best set I ever had was a free pair passed out by Delta for overseas flights.)

Yes, I'd agree that a second alarm clock is in order. Also, if you can find one, maybe get one of those old "Big Ben" alarm clocks with actual bells on top--you're gonna need something loud. (Don't worry about waking up the neighbirs. Tee-hee)

In my experience, one does adapt to getting less sleep. When I did this (for many months) I would go to deep sleep very quickly once I got into bed. I did learn to function on less sleep, but it's not optimum and it's certainly not healthy. And, your body may take any opportunity to grab some sleep, even at work or while driving.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #15
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Is the noise traveling through a common wall? You can reduce noise transmission by a lot by slapping another inch of drywall on the common wall. If you want to get fancy install a set of studs attached only at the ceiling and floor to make a second wall. Insulate with fiberglass, then add your inch of drywall.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
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That's the schedule I w*rk(5p-5a). After w*rk, I try to sleep 6am-2pm but get woken up at about 9:30 and kept awake all morning. By the time she (my neighbor)stops making excessive noise it's nearly time for me to wake up anyway.
That is very tough, and our son has recently been having trouble sleeping but we seem to have helped by suggesting heavy drapes. A week ago we helped him shop for them and then install them in his bedroom. I don't know if it helped with noise (although they claimed to be noise reducing as well) but it's a LOT darker in there now.

His schedule is 9:30pm to 7:30am Monday through Thursday so he sleeps 8am to 3pm and then shifts it round so he is out and about during day hours over the weekend.

You guys have my admiration in being able to maintain these schedules
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:28 PM   #17
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And, your body may take any opportunity to grab some sleep, even at work or while driving.
That's what i'm concerned about. I operate potentially dangerous equipment so being sleep deprived isn't optimal. No one has died doing my job(as far as I know) but there have been many hands/arms crushed and a couple fingers taken off so it is dangerous.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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Okay, I'll put the 800 pound gorilla out there (or maybe she's 120 pounds dripping wet). Have you spoken with your neighbor about the noise? With tact and humility, you might approach her and see if she is willing to abate the bulk of the noise. Most "noisy" operations, whether child care or washing the car, can be made quieter with very little effort.

No, you don't have the right to "demand" the change, but many people are very responsible and reasonable when confronted with a sincere request that costs them very little. You might even "bribe" her in some fashion.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:31 PM   #19
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That is very tough, and our son has recently been having trouble sleeping but we seem to have helped by suggesting heavy drapes. A week ago we helped him shop for them and then install them in his bedroom. I don't know if it helped with noise (although they claimed to be noise reducing as well) but it's a LOT darker in there now.
I have shades AND blinds covering my bedroom windows so that problem has been solved.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:34 PM   #20
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Okay, I'll put the 800 pound gorilla out there (or maybe she's 120 pounds dripping wet). Have you spoken with your neighbor about the noise? With tact and humility, you might approach her and see if she is willing to abate the bulk of the noise. Most "noisy" operations, whether child care or washing the car, can be made quieter with very little effort.

No, you don't have the right to "demand" the change, but many people are very responsible and reasonable when confronted with a sincere request that costs them very little. You might even "bribe" her in some fashion.

Just a thought.
Yes, I talked to her a while back and she said she'd be quiter. Lasted about half a day

If I talk to her again face to face I may end up in a smaller place. Maybe about 8'X10' if i'm lucky. I don't think it's worth talking to her again.
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