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I've lived in an apartment with my two housemates for 10 months. One housemate is not very problematic. The other, however, has become very noisy within the past few months.

Ever since summer has started, she has kept her door open during the night to keep her room cool. The issue comes with her being very loud during the night in her room, either streaming video games or talking on the phone (on speakers mode, mind you) with someone. She does this very late at night, usually from the hours of 9 PM to 2 AM, and it has been affecting my sleep schedule because of how hard it is for me to fall asleep around loud talking/yelling.

On top of this, she also has her makeup and a big mirror in the hallway right outside of my room, which she sits in front of and talks to people or listening to a video on loud volumes, again using the phone's speakers. Quite literally, the mirror is against the wall that is 2 inches away from the door to my room.

I've asked her politely several times to be more quiet at night. However, I'm getting annoyed that I have to keep asking her on a weekly basis. I don't mind if she is streaming or on the phone, as long as she isn't being loud. I'm not very sure where to take it from here. Some ideas I've thought of:

1. Talk to the apartment manager about it. I don't know how much power the manager has over the noise levels inside of each individual apartment, or even if they can impose any sort of punishment at all. I almost feel as if I'd be wasting the manager's time with something that is more of a personal problem.

2. Soundproof the door to my room. This doesn't seem very worth it, since soundproofing can get expensive. I also am considering finding a new apartment after my 12-month lease is up, so spending the money on something that will really only be used for a couple of months doesn't seem very worth it in my opinion.

3. Just put up with it. Like I said above, I will most likely be moving out after my lease is up to find a more quiet place to live if the noise levels do not go down. So, I may as well just keep quiet and put up with it and give up.

Neither of these seem like very good ideas to me. How can I ask her to be a bit quieter?

Some additional points:

  • My other housemate does not seem to mind her being loud at night. He is usually also awake late at night, but he is a lot more quiet. They have shared an apartment together for a year before I came into the picture, so I would have expected him to say something in the past if he had any problems.

  • I've also considered using earplugs, but I'm worried about missing my alarm in the morning because I can't hear it.

  • Neighbors have called the police on her for noise complaints in the past. This did not phase her though, and she blamed the neighbors for being too sensitive about noise.

  • Hi and welcome! We do have some similar previous questions here like interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/18621 and interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/17654 if the answers there help. Just to make sure I understand, she doesn't get offended or annoyed when you've asked, she just seems to forget later? What have you typically said when asking her to be quieter? – Em C Aug 7 at 12:36
  • @EmC Thank you! I'm sorry I didn't see those questions before I asked mine, but I will take their solutions into consideration as well. I usually ask her via text, saying something like "Hey, I'm trying to sleep because I need to be up in the morning for work. Would you mind being a little quieter or closing or your door? Thanks!" She will usually text back with a sorry and quiet down a bit or close her door halfway, but lately she seems to be getting more annoyed when I ask. I can't say for certain, but to me it just seems like she forgets within a few days or prioritizes her viewers/caller. – jon.s42265 Aug 7 at 20:34
  • No worries! The info in your comment would be great to add to the question (I wonder if the way you're wording it, she thinks it's only a problem on the particular nights you ask, instead of any work night?). – Em C Aug 7 at 20:45
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Whenever I have had a conflict with a roommate, I have always found that a calm discussion at a neutral time was the best way to resolve the situation. I once had a situation with a roommate who would always leave the bathroom light on. There was a faulty screen in the bathroom window and overnight the room would fill up with bugs who were attracted to the light. She went to bed a lot earlier than me and the bugs would escape again by morning, so she never saw the problem, but I did. I tried leaving notes, but it didn't get through. Finally, I found a time when neither of us was busy or in a hurry, and calmly explained the situation to her. I explained how much it bothered me to go into the bathroom at night with moths everywhere. It turned out, she didn't really understand how many bugs were coming in and she was also having a problem because there was no light in the hallway and she was having trouble coming up the stairs at night after walking her dog. Once she understood how bad the bug situation was, we were able to find a solution together; she started only turning on the bathroom light when she was headed out for a walk and turning it off again on her way back in, so it wasn't on all night.

So, you can make one more hail-mary attempt at reasoning with this person. Find a time to sit down with her at a neutral time (not when you've just been woken up by her and tensions are high) and try to calmly explain the seriousness of the situation; that you can't sleep due to her activities at night and it is affecting your work/life/etc. Come armed with solutions: ask her if she would be willing to make some reasonable accommodations, like wearing headphones when she is watching videos and closing her door when she wants to talk on the phone. These are very small requests and any reasonable person would grant them, but she doesn't sound like a reasonable person; if a visit from the police did not alert her to the seriousness of the situation, I don't believe there is any way you could phrase your request that would get through to her.

Have you considered a white noise app for your phone? This should drown out a lot of the outside noise without disturbing your sleep or anyone else in the apartment. You can set it to time out before your alarm goes off so it doesn't interfere with your morning. A friend of mine uses one because her husband works late nights and was always waking her up on his way in, and it has worked very well for her. I think this will be the best solution until you can change your living situation. Good luck!

  • To add to your white noise suggestion, a fan is also very effective at creating white noise to cover up disturbing background sound. – ekl Aug 16 at 17:20

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