It happens to everyone from time to time. You can’t sleep because you’re neighbor’s dog barks throughout the night. Your neighbor’s teen, or your own, plays loud music at all hours. You live on a really busy street with tons of traffic. Your neighbor works a late shift and his car radio is really loud when he gets home at odd hours. Maybe your upstairs apartment neighbor has children who are really loud when they’re playing games, or they jump around and cause a lot of overhead noise.

While it’s easy to get irritated and defense about the noise and the way you feel as a result, it’s really important to address the problem diplomatically. Your neighbor may not be aware of the problem and may be more than happy to help you find a solution. That said, you won’t know until you ask.

Don’t Start with the Police

I’ve heard a lot of people tell others, “Just call the police when they’re loud.” This is horrible advice. If you have an ongoing problem that borders on purposeful harassment, the police may be able to help. If you are just calling because you’re aggravated, you’re going to earn yourself a bad reputation, especially if you’ve never spoken to your neighbor about the problem. They’ll become irritated and less likely to listen to you when you try to have a rational conversation.

Opening the Lines of Communication

Walk over to your neighbor’s home and pick up the phone. Don’t make it a stressful, urgent visit or call. Tell your neighbor that you have a bit of a sound problem and ask if you can get together to talk. Invite him over for a beer or a cup of tea and be cordial. Explain the problem and what you think might be some solutions. Your neighbor, for example, might know that his teen plays loud music but may not realize it carries all the way to your house. He might know his dog barks but may not realize the neighbors are bothered. That late-night driver may be trying to keep himself awake on his drive home and may not realize he’s waking up the neighborhood with his arrival.

So what might be some solutions? Asking the teen to close his bedroom window may work. Making sure the dog is indoors at night could help, too. Making your neighbor conscious enough to turn the volume down when he gets back into the residential neighborhood may solve the radio problem. If the dog has to be outside, or the house has no central A/C and always has the windows open, you may still have noise problems.

In many case, you’ll find simple solutions though neighborly conversation. If that doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to start looking at sites like to find ways to soundproof your bedroom. At least then you’d be able to get a good night of sleep.

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