Author Topic: Desperate - loud noise only in middle of night from either lobby or windows  (Read 9208 times)


  • Guest
Hi all,

I just moved due to this exact same problem, only here it is much much worse.

People are coughing loudly in the middle of the night (never during daytime or evening!) and I don't know if it's coming from the lobby, or from outside the windows - I moved into a ground floor apartment, so it could be either.

I don't want to pay thousands to replace the windows (and the landlord didn't say I could, yet) if the loud coughing is coming from the lobby.

It happens so far at around 2 AM and between 4 and 5 AM.

I tried sleeping in the little hallway between my bedroom (with the bedroom door shut) and the bathroom last night.  Still got woken around 2 AM by very loud coughing and I was too out of it to jump up and go check the living room windows and lobby to see if I could see anyone.

I moved into this place because I have no neighbors next to me - only one above who's separated by concrete and I hear nothing from them.  Again, I hear NO loud noises or coughing during the daytime or evening - only in the middle of the night! 

I am desperate.  Can anyone PLEASE offer inexpensive soundproofing advice for at least the bedroom?  The bedroom has a window facing a busy road on the ground floor and anyone can just walk right up to my window.  But the bedroom is the farthest room back from the lobby.  Yesterday I had two layers of drapes put up in the bedroom so that passers-by outside hopefully wouldn't be attracted by seeing any light on in the bedroom.

My bedroom door is on the east side of the wall between the bedroom and bathroom.  The lobby is outside a door on the west wall of the apartment, maybe 5 or 6 yards away from the bedroom door.

I am literally physically sick with stress and sleep deprivation (and have been for months since where I moved from, the guy started doing it deliberately after I complained about it).

I am seriously desperate; at this point it's become a matter of life or death.

I can't face another move right now and if I did move I'd probably have this same type of problem PLUS the booming of neighbors' loud stereos day and night.  Actually, although the thought of moving makes me feel sick to my stomach, I'd be willing to move, but I'm afraid my situation still wouldn't improve.  But I'm still open to the option of moving into maybe another apartment in THIS building because of the concrete floors.  But then I'd still have hall noise and stereo noise from other people next to me.

If anyone can PLEASE offer advice and solutions?  I would be incredibly grateful - oh, please help.



  • Guest
Hi all,

I'm now thinking in terms of finding an inventor who could make some sort of supplemental ear piece (I already use foam earplugs) that would render me completely deaf while sleeping.

Then it wouldn't matter where I had to live - I'd be pretty much protected anywhere.

Does anyone know of any such type of inventor?

Again, with extreme gratitude,



  • Guest
Well, you have to know where the problem is coming from.  Determine that first.  It might be that someone is grabbing a smoke right outside your window.  Or maybe a sick, homeless dude trying to grab some sleep nearby. 

You can add inexpensive sounproofing to your door and/or window, but figure out which one needs it, and do it first.

There is no inventor of which you seek.  If someone found a way to negate sound in that manner, he/she would be very famous and very rich.  And the world would be a much more peaceful and sane place!


  • Guest
Try ear muffs with your earplugs- see

The reason earplugs alone don't work is because your mastoid bone behind your ear is not covered.  Ear muffs help cover that.

BJ Nash - Senior Soundproofing Technical Specialist
Super Soundproofing Co


  • Guest
Dear John, and BJ,

Thank you so much for your advice!

Yes, a friend is going to come by to do a noise test while I stand in various areas, to try to determine where the noise is coming from.  I now strongly suspect it's coming from the lobby because ever since I put up light blocking drapes over my bedroom windows, there has been no noise disturbance from outside the window.  I think that perhaps, John, you were right about people outside - attracted before the drapes went up by the light coming from my window.

BJ, thank you so much for telling me about how the ear muffs work.  I had no idea!  I'd need to adapt to sleeping on my back because I'm a side sleeper, but if it works I'll do whatever it takes to adapt.

I've been in contact with two inventors.  They're both very nice.  The first one said such a thing (noise cancelling ear buds) could not be invented.  The second one was more willing to consider the invention, but said the cost would be anywhere from 5K to 25K dollars!  In his second letter, he suggested that instead of crafting them from scratch, to try modifying something like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones I tried in December.  But they were useless and I returned them.  At best, they only reduce sound by maybe 19 decibels, whereas the noise that has been plaguing me at night is closer to 110 decibels (but I don't know its sound frequency).

My friend found a company in Oregon that makes, I believe, recording chambers, but they also make other sorts of chambers including ones people have bought to sleep in.  However, they are not completely soundproof and it would cost 10K!  For that money, we may as well put a down payment on a house!

So, you are right - the costs are incredible.

BJ, can you recommend any particular type of ear muffs, or would just any kind do?

And John, once I can determine where the noise is coming from, could you offer any suggestions for inexpensively soundproofing either the entry door to the lobby or the window?

Thank you both so much!  I'm so sorry it took me so long to reply; I was corresponding with those inventors and completely forgot I had posted my problem here - please forgive me.

Yours truly,


  • Guest
Oh, BJ, I see now that you DID give me a link to the ear muffs!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!



  • Guest
Hi Gail,
Our products at Optixshield are both inexpensive and effective. They can dramatically reduce noise whatever the source, from high traffic roads to dogs and people. If you are not in a location serviced by our contractors our parent company, Magnetite, might have the installation resources to help you. Please visit our website if you want to know more.


  • Guest
If the sound is coming from the lobby, you're in good shape.  If you can get some good seals and sweeps on both the entry door and your bedroom door, you can reduce the noise significantly.  But, to be safe, you might want to make a window plug for your bedroom too.

I tried sleeping with ear muffs once - sorry, doesn't work.  Not unless you're one of those lucky people who can sleep as still as a corpse all night.  Most people toss and turn.

Skip the 'inventors'.  The premere acoustical labs in the world are working on the problem of practical noise-cancellation and if they haven't come up with a solution by now, I doubt some dude in the phone book is gonna be able to crack it.

I do, however, remember reading an article a few months ago about the air force allocating money for custom-fit silicone earplugs for their pilots - the same kind used by a lot of big-name musicians.  They claimed the NRR was in the mid-40 dB range, compared to about 30 dB for regular earplugs, and musicians and airforce pilots have speakers implanted inside to hear the music/radio transmisions.  The cost?  About $220 per pair plus the cost of an earmold by a local doctor, but they are infinitely more durable than the throw-away kind. 

The article mentioned they are manufactured by Westone Laboratories.

Here's the links:

But keep those as a last resort - you can add seals, sweeps and a window plug for about half that price.