Maddening Mornings: When you’re woken by another’s alarm

by epi on April 2, 2012

Q: I’m a nurse and rent a room from a lady and have the run of her house and use of all the facilities. My problem is two fold. She goes to work at 9 am and her alarm clock goes off at 7 AM and rings for one hour (you guessed it, beep, beep, beep etc) and then the radio comes on for one hour. I work shift work and when I work evenings or my day off this is quite disturbing. She also does this on her days off as well. Recently she has rented the next room to her female cousin. Every night about 11:30 she comes in with her boyfriend while everyone else is in bed trying to sleep and then the alarms start going off as early as 5:30 and neither of them go to work before 9 AM. It has been no fewer than 4 alarms every morning and since the cousin moved in the landlady (her cousin stopped having the alarms go on for one hour but now the radio is on for 2 hours. I believe this to be very rude behavior. I never allow my alarm clock to go off for more than a few seconds, one minute at the most. And being quiet while others are asleep is common courtesy. At 52 I don’t sleep as well as I did when I was younger and it disturbs me greatly to contend with this behavior. What is the proper way to attend to this behavior?

A: It is a delicate situation. However, you might consider speaking to your landlady and say something along the lines of “I don’t know if you realize it, but I can hear yours and your cousin’s alarm clocks and radios in the morning when I’m sleeping. I understand hitting the ‘snooze’ button and then switching to the radio, but it wakes me up and it’s hard to go back to sleep. Since I don’t sleep as well as I did when I was younger, is there any way both of you could low the volume of your alarm clocks and radios? I’d really appreciate it.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

person April 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Please buy yourself some earplugs.

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Jerry April 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Seriously? I would start looking for a new place if the landlady didn’t learn to keep it down. Earplugs? Give me a break.

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Jody April 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

The original advice is the best, in my opinion. The landlady and her cousin may be so used to the noise they don’t realize how much it carries. If the situation doesn’t improve you may need to look for another place, as Jerry suggests. Don’t use the “I’ll need to move” card unless you really intend to move though, because the landlady might call your bluff.

Earplugs don’t work for all noises. I regularly use them at night because I have some noisy upstairs neighbors. They keep out enough of the noise that I can get to sleep but they don’t block everything.

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