housemates keeping me awake
Sleep Problems

How To Sleep When You Have Noisy Roommates [10 Suggestions]

(Last Updated On: August 22, 2022)

While sharing a home can be rewarding, providing the opportunity to bond and share experiences with like-minded people, it can also be fraught with challenges. Noise is among the leading causes of conflict among people sharing a home.

Learning how to sleep with loud roommates can be challenging and requires significant compromise. As the Journal of Applied Psychology explains, people have different tolerances to noise while sleeping. This can lead to tension in a shared habitat.

If your roommates are keeping you up at night, consider explaining this and agreeing to some house rules that suit everybody. If this still doesn’t yield results, block the din with a white noise machine, earplugs, or headphones, assuming you feel secure this way.

Noise can be minimized by focusing on problem areas. Lay a rug on a hard floor that creates heavy footsteps, and use cotton pads or something equally soft to prevent cupboard doors from slamming. You can also soundproof a bedroom through reorganization.

All efforts to resolve noisy living situations shouldn’t fall on your shoulders. Do what you can to find a way to work alongside your roommates for a mutually agreeable living scenario. Remember it’s their home, too, and focus on taking care of your sleep needs.

How To Sleep with A Loud Roommate

It can be challenging to know what to do when roommates are loud, preventing you from sleeping. Sharing a home is about compromise. Nobody wants to appear unreasonable, and we all have different thresholds for what is considered acceptable noise.

If your housemates are keeping you awake, find a way to have an honest and open conversation with them. It’s sometimes surprising how effective this can be, especially if people do not realize just how loud they are being.

Such a conversation doesn’t need to turn into a conflict. If you’re still reluctant to have this chat or have done so and found that it has no impact, here are ten ways that you can improve your ability to sleep with loud and noisy roommates in the home.

1/ Compatible Roommates

We don’t always get to choose our roommates, with landlords sometimes making the decision or circumstances thrusting us into living situations. If you get a say in who your living companions will be, ensure your lifestyles are compatible.

If you work in an office between 9 am and 5 pm, you may want to be in bed and drifting off to sleep by about 11 pm – waking up again at 7 am the following morning. Now, imagine your roommate is a bartender who works from 6 pm to 2 am.

This roommate may not get home until 2.30 am, waking you by opening and closing the front door or running the shower. This can be frustrating, but try to remember something. In the morning, you may wake them by showering and leaving the house.

In this instance, you’ll likely be considered the noisy roommate, even though you’re behaving perfectly reasonably. This is why it’s so important to find roommates with similar lifestyles to yourself.

how to sleep with noisy roommates

2/ House Rules

If your roommates have noisy hobbies or interests that keep you awake at night or habits that tend to create sleeplessness, you may need to suggest some house rules.

If your roommate enjoys listening to heavy metal music and you don’t, it’s not fair to demand they never play their music out loud. Instead, compromise and agree that music should be played through headphones after 9 pm.

The same applies to roommates that stay up late watching movies or playing video games. This is their business but requests that a pair of wireless headphones are used, and they refrain from yelling at the screen while you are trying to sleep.

It’s not just hobbies that require this level of compromise. Consider the impact of running electrical appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, or tumble dryers at night. Keeping any noise to a minimum overnight will help everybody.

3/ Block the Noise

Of course, if you can’t stop your roommates from making noise, you could just block it. Wearing headphones in bed is a possibility. Use wireless models to minimize personal risk. Foam earplugs are another option if you find these comfortable.

The concern with blocking all noise from your room is that it may prevent you from hearing anything important. Can you still hear a fire alarm if you’re wearing earplugs or somebody entering your room uninvited if you have headphones on?

A safer option may be to fight sound with sound and get in a white noise machine. If you’re wondering, “does sleeping with white noise affect sleep?” the answer is yes – for the better. The soundwaves will distract you from the din created by your roommates and lull you into a state of relaxation.

4/ Soundproof Your Room (DIY-style)

It’s possible to soundproof a bedroom without getting in noise-canceling wall renders:

  • Move your bed away from the noisiest wall.
  • Place a bookshelf against the nosiest wall – this will absorb some of the noise.
  • Fit draft stoppers under your door to prevent noise creeping in this way.
  • Seal cracks in the door with a self-adhesive strip.
  • Hang a soundproof curtain over a door and close it at night.

The only thing to remember when soundproofing a room is ensuring that you can still leave in a hurry if you need to and still hear any sound that would be considered an emergency, such as a fire alarm.

5/ Noise Desensitization

It’s possible to desensitize yourself if you have sufficient nerves and patience. The secret is to expose yourself to noise a little at a time until it no longer interferes with your ability to sleep.

Record the noise that keeps you up at night and play it during the afternoon while awake. Next, try playing the noise early in the morning if you attempt to sleep late or during a nap. Choose slots that will not interfere with your main evening slumber.

Eventually, your brain will start to tune out the noise through exposure. It’ll become an everyday part of your routine and stop preventing you from sleeping at night. Keep up the exposure therapy long enough, and you’ll barely notice it any longer.

The potential hazard with this approach is similar to those outlined above. It could be considered a safety hazard if you desensitize yourself to all noise. Ensure you only sleep through the din associated with your roommates – do not train your brain to ignore alarms.

6/ Muffle Problem Sounds

If you identify certain noises during the night that are keeping you awake, consider if you can resolve the problem without involving your roommates. Examples of this could include:

The living room has a hardwood floor that creates loud, echoing footsteps.Get a sound-absorbent rug to lay on the floor, masking the sound of walking.
Your roommate tends to slam cupboard doors in the kitchen or bathroom.Tape cotton pads inside the doors, forcing them to close softly and gently.
The doors slam in the wind, or your roommate can’t close a door quietly.Get a cushioned door jammer that enables the door to close but prevents it from slamming.
Your roommate showers late at night, and the water flow is loud.Switch shower heads to a silent model, and talk to your landlord about the water pipes, as they may need clearing.

7/ Keep Communal Areas Tidy

Other than noise, cleanliness is something that many roommates clash over. If your roommate considers you messy, they may be compelled to clean while you’re trying to sleep, which can get loud.

To avoid this necessity, keep all communal areas clean. Suggestions include:

  • Vacuuming and sweeping at a social hour, so nobody needs to turn on an appliance late at night.
  • Wash the dishes and put them away after dinner so nobody is clattering around late at night.
  • Get your laundry washed, dried, and put away, so white goods are unnecessary overnight.
  • Make communal items, such as crockery, cutlery, and glassware easily accessible so nobody turns the house upside down looking for them.

When discussing house rules surrounding noise, agree upon a cleaning rota to avoid conflict.

What to do when you have noisy roommates

8/ Natural Sleep Aids

Plenty of natural sleeping aids will assist you in drifting off, including:

  • Chamomile tea. Psychotherapy Research discusses the sedative effects of the chamomile plant aid for natural, quality, restorative sleep.
  • Lavender. Get a lavender spray for your pillow. The Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine stated that the scent of lavender is a natural sedative that lulls us to sleep.
  • Bananas. Eating a banana late in the evening will help you doze off, as this fruit encourages the production of melatonin, the so-called “sleep hormone.”

Consider walking 10,000 steps or taking a late evening walk, and you’ll likely find that you sleep soundly throughout the night, regardless of how much noise your roommate makes.

9/ Fall Asleep First

If you’re a sound sleeper, you can always attempt to fall asleep before your roommate starts to create noise. That is potentially challenging if they make a general din all night, but if your issues arise from sleep apnea and thin walls, falling asleep first will help.

To achieve this is by training your body to doze off at a set time through sleep hygiene. Assign yourself a reasonable time to retire for the night and get to bed as scheduled each day. In the time before this:

  • Avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed and remove electronic appliances like phones, tablets, and laptops from your bedroom.
  • Open your bedroom window and take a shower to lower your body temperature.
  • Don’t eat too late or consume caffeine for at least six hours before bed.
  • Clear your mind before bed – try not to bring worries and stress to bed.

There’s no need to go to bed at 7 pm to avoid the noise of a selfish roommate who doesn’t care about your rest. If your housemate can’t help being noisy, sleep hygiene will enable you to fall asleep quickly.

10/ Sleep Again Later

If you’re struggling to sleep, don’t just lay in bed silently seething and cursing your roommate’s name. The more frustrated you get, the harder it’ll be to fall asleep. You’re better off getting up for a while and starting the sleep process over.

If your roommate is up and making noise, try politely explaining that they’re disturbing your sleep. If that’s not an option, make yourself a drink, read a book for 20 minutes, or meditate.

Sharing a home with loud roommates can be a miserable experience. Try not to allow it to derail your living experience, though. Work through the issues and look for a compromise.