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Old 12-01-2016, 05:28 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,405 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm not sure what to do at this point. My upstairs neighbor has very heavy feet, slams drawers and cabinets from about 10PM to 11:30PM (sometimes later) on weeknights, around the time I am trying to get to sleep. I get up early in the morning and I need good sleep to function. I am very noise sensitive and have missed days of work because I've been up until 3 or 4 because of the anxiety she puts me under. Here are the things I've done to try to fix this problem:

1. Talk to her about it (She was nice at first but little changed)
2. Text her about it (She was outright rude to me. Told me that's city living, suck it up. I simply wrote her back and apologized to her, just trying to keep the peace because I'm at her mercy.)
3. Tell the landlord (They talked to her but nothing changed. When I approached them again to speak to her because nothing changed, they told me to deal with her personally. See 1 and 2)
4. Wear earplugs (They really hurt my ears. Ringing, pain.)
5. Wear bluetooth band that emits sound into my ears for sleeping (Also painful)
6. Stay up a little later and go to sleep at 1130 when she's quieted down (doesn't work always because she's a bit of a partier. Last night she came home at midnight after I tried this method and she proceeded to stomp and bang until about 1AM. It takes me about an hour to fall asleep under good circumstances so that's 2AM sleep time at best.)
7. I take benzos and Ambien now (not at the same time). I try not t take them every night but I've had to for the past three nights just to get some sleep. I do not want to become dependent on sleeping pills.
8. I've tried meditating before bed. Light reduction. No screens. Reading. Square breathing. Her stomps cut through every attempt except for the medication, which I don't want to have to take.
9. Therapy...a ongoing attempt at some sanity.

Do I have any rights here? It's not like she's playing music. She just gets home late and bangs around. I don't care what she does during the day but this is right over my bed. I feel like I've bent over backward for her and the only other step is moving. I love my apartment. I do not want to move. I've been here five years and the people who lived above me before were wonderful, mature and went to bed at reasonable, predictable times.

I am tired of the anxiety. I probably sound crazy but this has been going on for two years and I've tried all of the above to little success. I don't think I'm being unreasonable. I know it's an old building, but I haven't had a problem with anyone else but her. Lived in the city for 13 years.

Huge thanks to anyone who offers advice.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:31 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
306 posts, read 189,189 times
Reputation: 221
You can actually call the police, they may or may not respond but perhaps the visit from them would let her know your serious. Also are there rules in your building about carpeting ? I ask because in NYC each apartment has to have carpeting to deaden the noise, not sure if we have same thing here but likely a call to the city could answer that and if so you have leverage with the landlord to check (enforce). Sometimes squeaky wheel gets the most grease so multiple calls to landlord may also help.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:55 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,653 posts, read 28,672,666 times
Reputation: 43646
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenelizabeth View Post
........... I am very noise sensitive.......
People who are very noise sensitive should not live in apartment buildings. Apartment buildings are noisy.

Your neighbors are allowed to walk and open and close doors and cabinets. There is nothing that anyone can do about it and if you call the police to complain that you can hear your neighbor walking and opening and closing doors, you are not going to get any sympathy.

There are assorted ways to try to filter out the noise, but it sounds like they are not working for you. The only other option is to move and hope that your next neighbor is quieter.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:14 AM
 
3,900 posts, read 2,742,272 times
Reputation: 7177
You can't control someone else who is just being normal. And you shouldn't be stressed about it.

If you are that sensitive, you probably should move to a detached home.

If you don't want to move, have you tried listening to your own music or talk on your phone? Maybe that would be more soothing and her sounds wouldn't be so jarring to you. You can fall asleep to iheartradio or books on audible.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:26 AM
 
13 posts, read 21,690 times
Reputation: 15
She is entitled to keep her own schedule, and walk around and open and close drawers when she wants in her own home.

It's possible that she's stomping and slamming drawers more loudly than usual, but some apartments just amplify sound like that even when a person isn't being excessively loud. Normal walking around makes super loud noises. (In my old apartment, I once walked around with shoes on at 8:30 AM because I had forgotten some things I needed for work and was too hurried to take them off for 2 minutes. My downstairs neighbor flipped out and beat on the ceiling with a broom.) Plus, people walk the way they have walked all their lives, and it's not that easy to just change the way one walks, especially if she's getting home late and moving around her apartment in a hurry to get to bed. Approach her with the attitude that this is not a problem with her behavior but a problem with the noisy building and your light sleeping that you would really appreciate her help with, and I think you'll get a better response. I know it's frustrating but it really is part of apartment living - you have to limit optional noises like loud music to a certain extent, but you have to deal with non-optional noises like people walking around and accessing their items in drawers, and not every neighbor's schedule will match yours. (You probably wouldn't stop moving around your apartment at 7pm just because your downstairs neighbor worked an early shift, right?)

Three ideas: You could offer to buy her a large area rug for the area she walks around on and a rug to put underneath the furniture she is slamming drawers on to absorb some of the noise. You could move your bed to a different part of the apartment that isn't directly underneath the room she's in at this time of day. Or, you could ask your landlord about getting on the waiting list for a top floor apartment so you can get rid of the overhead noise without moving buildings.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,159 posts, read 10,339,034 times
Reputation: 33141
The only thing you can do is move or use sound machines etc... This person isn't doing anything wrong. Apartment living is not for you.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,102 posts, read 5,387,964 times
Reputation: 12612
OP, have you considered moving your bed to a different room? Maybe setting up your living room as your bedroom is not conventional but it might save your sanity.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: in my mind
4,753 posts, read 6,524,948 times
Reputation: 9477
Some of it may be due to construction.

I live in an older building. When I moved in a number of years ago, I couldn't hear my upstairs neighbors at all. But in the past couple of years, the floorboards have started to give out, and now I can hear them. I can't hear the woman, but I can hear the man because he is bigger/heavier and walks harder.

You've tried every possible thing that a person can do to cope with the noise. Your neighbor is unwilling to change her behavior. So that leaves you at a standstill. I think your only options are to either move your bed to another room, or move out.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,405 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks all for the advice and feedback. Can't really get a house right now due to finances but that's a nice idea. I managed to get on some long term (safer) sleeping meds and they're working great. Figured I had little to no legal recourse here anyway and this seems to be a good solution until I can move.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,357 posts, read 1,107,735 times
Reputation: 3438
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenelizabeth View Post
Thanks all for the advice and feedback. Can't really get a house right now due to finances but that's a nice idea. I managed to get on some long term (safer) sleeping meds and they're working great. Figured I had little to no legal recourse here anyway and this seems to be a good solution until I can move.
If you are noise sensitive and HAVE to live in apartments look for top floor, end unit, facing the back (not the parking/common area). That's probably the most quiet location as you don't have to deal as much with the noise of people and vehicles in the parking/common area, you have less shared wall space on the end and you aren't underneath anyone.
Yes, downstairs neighbors can be really loud too, but it's a lot less likely to be noticeable than someone above you.

Another option if you can't climb stairs is to look for apartments that are built using concrete instead of wood, especially between floors. They are hard to find, but they are somewhat less likely to have noise issues.

Best of luck to you!
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