What I Learned from a Noisy Neighbor

Getting a good night’s sleep is a result of understanding your neighbor and yourself.

“Shh. Do not disturb.” (Source: Inmagine.com)

“Shh. Do not disturb.” (Source: Inmagine.com)

I have a neighbor who likes to play his music loud. He loves it even more when the bass level is way up, and one can feel the vibrations coming through the wall and the floor. We’ve talked to him several times in the past about keeping it down, especially during nighttime when everyone’s asleep. And while he’d comply from time to time, there are moments he can’t help himself and plays music even in the wee hours of the morning. Like 3:00 in the morning!

There goes my ‘beauty rest.’ Unfortunately, too, I find it hard to fall asleep once I’ve been awakened.

One time, when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I decided to write a letter to the owner of this neighbor’s condo unit. I didn’t want to confront the neighbor, not because it’s not my style, but it’s the proper way to address issues like these. I think the letter (and an accompanying memo) worked because thereafter, the neighbor seemed to keep it low. I don’t know for how long he can keep things that way, but I’m not very optimistic.

Nonetheless, the whole situation got me thinking: sometimes, it’s easier to focus on what others are not doing right. But maybe I’m also doing something to sabotage my attempts to get a good night’s sleep. True enough, after reading some online articles, I discovered personal habits that are keeping me awake, too. Working out late, having late dinner or snacks, surfing online till I feel drowsy are absolute no-no’s if one would like to experience almost uninterrupted sleep.

Shortly after these realizations, I decided to change my habits posthaste! Initially, I found the very idea of getting into bed early (try 9:30 p.m.) when everyone else was still awake amusing, if not absurd. I’m an adult; I should’ve been done with this practice when I left high school! “You’re also an adult who has to get up early tomorrow because of work,” my brain reasoned out. End of conversation.

I’ve only been a few days into my new p.m. schedule, and I admit I already feel great! It helps that I’ve been off coffee for years now (five, to be exact) and that I don’t indulge in sugary drinks, both of which could deeply affect our sleeping routine, especially at night. I can almost hear protests from aficionados of both beverages, but studies do back up this claim.

Like the neighbor who likes his music loud and pulsating, I don’t know for how long I can keep from not staying up late, especially during weekends and holidays! But since I’m experiencing immediate results, I think this new habit is a keeper. After all, who doesn’t want to wake up early and ready for whatever the day brings? I do!

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