Neighbor Noise Impact On Sleep: 2020 Data

By the end of 2020, Sleep Standards team collected open data and conducted data scraping to better understand how neighbor noise disturbance and sleep are associated since the start of the pandemic. 

I. About The Analysis

The year of 2020 messed our life with the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in extended lockdowns in several parts of the world while getting a considerable of people to work from home. More people are spending time at home than ever, and this means redefining relationships with neighbors. 

Sleep Standards team collected and analyzed statistics that reveal the correlation between neighbor noise and sleep quality. Our primary objectives is to better understand the impact of neighbor noise disturbance on sleep quality, top ranked annoying factors and the solutions that people have brought in to use in coping with the situations.

II. Key Findings

Highlights

  • The U.K. Leeds City recorded 1.171 noise complaints in April 2020 while the number was only 780 over the same period in 2019.
  • Noise complaints reportedly increased in New York City since the the start of the pandemic, reaching 107,200 in June 2020, compared to the same period last year, the number was only 58,845, according to data provided by NYC 311 logs.
  • Top ranked annoying sounds from neighbors that affect sleep quality come from:
  1. Music and instrument noise
  2. Pet noise
  3. Next door kids making noise
  4. Sex noise
  5. Construction noise

Coronavirus, Extended Lockdown and Nightmare Neighbors

While this might settle well with some people since it promotes a sense of community and company during this hard time. Others are finding it unbearable because the neighbors are making their lives a living hell.

In a report published by BBC, there was a rise in noise complaints since the lockdown in the U.K. Leeds city council recorded 1,171 complaints in April, in comparison with 780 over the same period last year. 7 On Your Side Investigates also reported an increase in noise complaints from New Yorkers since the start of pandemic. 

Loud noises at night can affect your sleep. At first, it would lead to short-term issues the next day like fatigue, but over time it may result in sleep deprivation and long-term mental and physical consequences.

Sounds of neighbors laughing at night can prevent you from sleeping or can wake you up, leaving you unable to go back to sleep. Noise can create restlessness in sleep, even if it doesn’t wake you up fully. These interruptions can affect your sleep quality throughout the night. 

Top Annoying Sounds From Neighbors That Affect Sleep Quality during the covid-19 pandemic

  • Noise from music and music instrument is ranked number one among top annoying sounds from neighbors that affect sleep quality, with 39% of complaints. Bass and drum playing are the most common types being present in the analysis.
  • 27.9% of comments complain the noise issues from pets, mostly targeting dog barking.
  • Kid yelling and crying take the third place as a next door factor that leads to significant sleep problems, with 19.4% of votes. It is well established that since schools shut down during the pandemic, parents working from home have been spending most of the time around their kids.
  • Sex noise and construction noise are also reported in the list of top annoying sound from neighbors, with 7.2% and 6.5% respectively. While many may not notice, these sounds when reaching high noise level can create restlessness at night. Construction noise comes mostly from the act of hammering, drilling and blasting.

Music and Instruments Noise

39%

Pet Noise

27.9%

Next Door Kids Making Noise

19.4%

Sex Noise

7.2%

Construction Noise

6.5%

Should we consider Taking an act of revenge?

It is not easy to stay patient, especially when the noise annoyance from next door keeps ruining your sleep and your daily life. No matter how mad you’re at your neighbor for having loud sex every night or for having people till late at night, try to put aside the thoughts of revenging against your noisy neighbors. We’ve been in tough time and revenge will only worsen the situation, and you’ll get into a continuous loop of competition. To prevent such scenarios, it’s wise to consult a mediator who can help you and your neighbor resolve the issue.

Ways To Protect Your Sleep Against Noisy Sounds Next Door

Use Earplugs

Earplugs are probably the most effective solution when it comes to getting rid of ongoing noise during the night. If you live in a noisy place, head to your local pharmacy and purchase a good set of earplugs so you can have a peaceful night’s sleep.

White Noise

White noise is a southing and ambient sound that can mask loud and intolerable noises. They also help you relax so you can fall asleep quicker. Their sounds are available online, CDs, or apps designed to play soothing sounds to dilute the harsh background noise that can interrupt your sleeping cycle. You can also turn on your fan or air purifier.

Re-arrange your furniture

If your bedroom or house wall connects your neighbors, try to distance your bed from the wall. Move your furniture as further away from the source of the noise as possible. And if you have large furniture like a wardrobe, place it against the wall, since it can help to dampen the noise coming through.

Soundproof your room

If your indoor doors are hollow, consider replacing them with a solid one since they can act as a great barrier against harsh sounds. Also, drought-proof your front doors. If there are holes around your window frames, ventilation grates, and electrical sockets, fix them up.

Use heavy curtains to dampen the noise coming from the street or noisy neighbors. Hang the curtains from your bedroom window to limit the sound coming from the outside.

Communication

Sometimes you just have to talk to your neighbor but ensure you keep super calm when explaining to him or her why their screaming baby, dog, or music are driving you crazy. Tell them you have no problem with what activities they’re doing, but the time of day they’re doing the activity doesn’t resonate with you. Don’t rush to stop a party at night, relax, wear your headphones, and go to sleep. Visit the neighbor tomorrow when the activity is over and they’re well relaxed, then bring up the topic calmly.

 

III. Methodology And Limitation

To rank the annoying factors from neighbors that affect sleep quality, we analyzed over million comments and threads across the legal subreddits. Factors were analyzed based on the proportion of “loud sound” and “sleep issues” for every comments and threads.

Please note that issues such as telescoping and exaggeration can influence responses.

IV. Fair Use Statement

If you know someone who could benefit from our findings, feel free to share this project with them. The graphics and content are available for noncommercial reuse. All we ask is that you link back to this page so that readers get all the necessary information and our contributors receive proper credits.

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