I know why you landed on this page….. You probably have a noisy neighbor blowing your ears drums off late in the night or perhaps want to know if you can play music late in the night. Right?
But the question to how late you can play loud music can be answered taking into consideration your locality.
For instance, in the United Kingdom and the United States, 11pm-7am are recognized as night hours, and during these hours you cannot exceed certain noise levels. Read this article If you live in other countries, you should first check the laws set regarding night hours, but according to my research, I discovered that most western countries have 11pm-7pm considered as night hours and noise levels should be at a minimum during these hours.
For starters, it’s also good to know that even during the day, certain noise levels can be exceeded depending on the environment.
How Loud is Too Loud?
What is music to oneself is noise to others? The way people perceive sounds is subjective. But how loud is too loud?
To conclude certain sounds to be noises and compare sounds in different situations, it’s important to note that noise is measured in decibels (Db).
An increase of 10dB is considered as doubling of volume level. But how can you know if sounds are above the set governing laws?
Here’s a simple experiment you can conduct:
Stand 3 feet away from your friend and the following rule of thumb will apply:
- For noises, not exceeding70 decibels, you’ll be able to hold a conversation without raising your volume.
- For noises 70-90 you can only communicate to your friend with voices raised.
- For noises 90-100dB you can only communicate with each other shouting loudly
- From 105dB it’s not possible to communicate with each other.
Impacts of noise on body and Soul
Hearing loss is permanent and cannot be reversed. It’s not only ears that get affected by loud noises.
Unwanted noises can trigger the release of stress hormones resulting to increased blood pressure. This can in turn lead to aggressive behaviours when interacting with others and increase the risks of heart attack, stroke, and tinnitus.
Unwanted noises can also prevent you from relaxing, impair concentration, affect sleep and performance.
What can you do when your neighbor is playing loud music?
Just like you, I’ve been a victim. Remember how I dealt with the college kid upstairs? Imagine not being able to get a good night sleep and having to wake up early at the same time to catch a bus to work?
It can be frustrating right?
Sleep is just like a diet and plays an important part in your overall health. Did you know that lack of sleep is considered carcinogenic and can lead to cancer? Still, don’t believe me? Read this article.
Now you know the risks associated to lack of proper sleep, let me show you what you can do when you have a noisy neighbor.
1. Talk to your neighbor
The first step to solving your noise problem is not calling the cops but speaking to your neighbors first.
It’s likely that they’re not aware that their music is making their neighbors not to enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Additionally, your neighbors may be revenging. Probably your blender is too loud for them in the morning… or your kids or dog barks all day long.
In short, your actions could be provoking them.
So holding a conversation with them and letting them know that they’re noisy can solve the problem.
Here’s an article on how you can connect with your neighbors. But remember if you suspect that your neighbors could be aggressive, approaching them could not be a wise idea. Instead alert the property manager or the landlord and see if they can solve the noise problem.
2. Call the cops
If the first step doesn’t work, it’s time to call the cops. You should also call the cops if say the neighbors are drunk and approaching them would only result in unnecessary drama.
The cops will be more than willing to help, and they will solve the problem in no time.
For your safety, it’s important to call the police anonymously or use a phone booth or let the cops know that you want to stay anonymous. This will ensure that the neighbors won’t know it’s you who called the cops on them. They might revenge if they suspect- who knows.
For starters, you should be aware that the cops will only request the neighbors to keep it down. In some parts, the cops have no prosecution powers for this type of offence. So the neighbors can either ignore the police or comply with them. But since most people don’t know this, they will comply.
But in major cities, the cops have the powers to take actions when noise is a problem, but on certain days like Friday and Saturday nights.
3. Get some ear protection
It’s always good to have ear protection to protect you before calling the cops or speaking with your neighbor. Here are some ear protection products I recommend.
They might be basic products, but they will play an important role in protecting you from the noisy neighbors.
5. Soundproofing/noise proofing your home
I’m sure you know what soundproofing is- right?
Did you know that you can soundproof your home from the noisy neighbors; external sources of sounds as well soundproof your bedroom from noises from your own home as well? And all these can be achieved using cheap sound deadening materials?
But first, you will have to figure out how sound is making its way into your house and then find some solutions.
If it’s through windows or vents- (learn how to soundproof windows in my latest article), you can them in simple steps. (learn how to sound deaden the vents without completely blocking them). As long as you know how the noise is leaking into your house, you can learn how to prevent it from gaining access to your house again.
6. Report the noisy neighbors to the council
Local councils are responsible for handling noise complaints. If you find that noise from your neighbor is too much and something must be done, I would recommend you to report the neighbors to a local council.
To support your complaint, you should:
- Record the music problem to give the council an idea of what you’re experiencing.
- Keep what I call noise diary. This is just a list of the dates and specific times when your neighbor played loud music. The purpose for this is to create a pattern for the relevant authority to determine to the extent the nuisance was.
Living with a noisy neighbor can be a real problem. But the real problem comes when they decide to interrupt you at the time of the night when you need to be relaxed. But with the above tips, you can deal with the noise problem once and for all.
Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.