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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the keep-it-down dept.

Education 561

First time accepted submitter zmitch32 writes "I live in a dorm, and I have ADHD, so every little noise distracts me. I know this annoyance isn't limited to those with ADHD, so how does everyone else block out the noise? I can't really cover my walls in soundproof foam because I live in a dorm. I can't just listen to music because I find it too interesting and just end up getting distracted by it. I use ear plugs to block out small noises, but they don't block out human voices very well at all. What do you guys/gals recommend?"

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I covered my dorm room with Pink Floyd... (5, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177609)

... and Phish tapestries.

No reason you can't put up foam and cover it with... Pink Floyd and Phish tapestries.

Re:I covered my dorm room with Pink Floyd... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177683)

he's fucking hilarious, but seriously, tapestries work fabulously. Wool blankets from the army navy store, if they're cheap right now, work well. Used carpet works wonders. White noise generator helps substantially for some (but not all) ADD folks. I've only used ANR headsets flying, but that might help as well. You're also likely to find that certain types of music are uninteresting enough to help you tune out. Goa and Rasputina (don't ask, I'm me and you're not) helped me substantially. And, rum. Lots of rum.

Re:I covered my dorm room with Pink Floyd... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177891)

Do your headphones help you ignore the freaks doing bong hits 4 feet away from you?

Re:I covered my dorm room with Pink Floyd... (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177979)

I wish I had mod points, that was funny!

...damn, you made me knock my bong over =(

Noise canceling headphones (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177627)

Get a pair of noise canceling headphones. You don't even need an audio source, just some batteries to run them. A good pair of those will give you dead silence in all but the noisiest environments.

Re:Noise canceling headphones (4, Interesting)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177715)

noise cancellation headphones work well for airplanes, trains, ..., I am not so sure they work very well for voices (or at least I haven't found any that do, usually they make voices even more annoying as they cut the background noise and make the voices stand out even more).

Re:Noise canceling headphones (2)

marcansoft (727665) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177759)

The active noise cancellation indeed only works for low frequencies, but noise-cancelling headphones muffle higher frequency noise by design too. I find them quite acceptable in very noisy environments, and I suspect they will work well anywhere where there's a wall between you and the noisy human anyway. If you must, feed them white noise to drown out what remains.

Or White Noise (4, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177733)

Good noise canceling headphones are expensive. Another, cheaper, alternative is to get a white noise generator. I know some people who swear by it. Personally I find it distracting, but each to their own.

Re:Noise canceling headphones (1)

rworne (538610) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177767)

Not quite silence. I have the Bose (I know, I know) noise canceling headphones and they work great for their intended purpose - cutting out noise. They do not totally cut out voices though - but people in the next room, A/C noise, etc. should be silenced.

Do those rainfall, wind, cricket and water noise generators have headphone jacks? If they do, using one with these headphones should do the trick shutting out the noisy outside world.

Re:Noise canceling headphones (3, Informative)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177825)

Might not even need noise cancellation- a good pair of aviation headphones work great. They're designed to cut down 100db+ of aircraft engine noise into a low, dull roar. They work wonders, and you can get a decent pair for ~$100. Plus, the headset part operates on a standard 1/4in connector that's easily converted to 3.5mm, so you can listen to music, white noise, or an audiobook through them if you need to.

Re:Noise canceling headphones (1)

B'Trey (111263) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177937)

NC headphones help but by themselves won't block out everything. Get some noise-cancelling headphones and play music - just don't play music you like. Find something you don't completely hate but that really doesn't float your boat. Something without vocals is preferable. You can grab all sorts of classical, big band, early jazz ensembles, etc. for free. It's not going to grab your attention and distract you like music you really like, but it will block out the sound around you. At least, that works for me. I use the trick for writing in public spaces.

White Noise (5, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177629)

Use headphones with whitenoise. Something like a waterfall []

Re:White Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177699)

Bose noise canceling save me in the server room.

Re:White Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177869)

Noise cancelling is great for getting rid of continuous noise, like server rooms, plane engines etc. It doesn't work so well for speech or music.

Re:White Noise (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177813) is an excellent white/pink/brown noise generator.

Re:White Noise (4, Interesting)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177873)

Yes, this ^^^. There are several guys in my office (we are propeller heads, so it's ok to be weird) who have closed headphones on with white noise playing. It is a well known technique for concentrating because it creates a baseline background noise which your brain tunes out quite quickly but still masks irregular noises.

Some people are mentioning noise cancelling headphones. In my opinion these won't work for your purposes as they are not well suited for cancelling voices. They work great for filtering out constant predictable frequencies.

Re:White Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177909)

Having formerly been a graveyard worker and a resident of an apartment complex by busy streets, I found a box fan often worked well as white noise. Pointed at the wall when the flowing air was annoying. Place where it will help circulate the heat in cooler weather.

Re:White Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177971)

How about a simple floor fan? Lots of cheap, white noise...

stop being a baby (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177633)

ignore it

Re:stop being a baby (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177645)

what were we talking about?

3M Peltor H10A Optime Earmuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177639)

I use them at work and to shoot guns. Comfortable and effective.

Brown Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177643) - Try Brown Noise.

White noise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177647)

I have the same problem with music being too interesting. I listen to an ocean sounds CD, which blocks out most distracting noise.

Re:White noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177725) is great, not exactly ocean sounds, but its perfect to nod off to.

EAR PLUGS (2, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177649)



Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177795)

So you read the title but skipped the article?


Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177907)


Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177651)

What types of music have you tried listening to? I find that listening to classical music, or music in a language in which I'm not fluent is very effective.

better earplugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177659)

find earplugs with a better db rating that can block human voices...

naive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177663)

You assume there's a viable solution. There doesn't have to be. You could just be totally fucked.

White noise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177665)

Try -- they have mp3s of falling rain, other natural noises that have no breaks, so they can be played in a loop all night.

Obvious answer... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177667)

Smoke weed. Lots and lots of weed.

Instrumentals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177669)

Use music with no lyrics. Words are the main distracting component of music. I've used Buckethead tunes when I've needed to drown out everything else. Moby has some good stuff too. Classical... there is a lot of variety.

Just don't fuck up your ears with excessive volume. Seriously.

Re:Instrumentals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177723)

Being someone that identifies with music being too distracting, I would have to say this does not work for me at all.

Ear plugs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177673)

Ear plugs. Buy them in bulk.

Throw them away and use a new pair every 12 hours to avoid ear infections.

Also, I usually ignore the label instructions and insert them the minimum required for them to stay in. That reduces effectiveness but minimizes irritation.

Dear slashdot, sorry this post is too short.

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Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177675)

Give away your ADHD. Problem solved.

No such thing as 'soundproof foam'... (5, Informative)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177677)

as the subject says, if 'soundproof foam' existed folks building recording studios, vocal booths, practice rooms and so on would have a lot less issues!

As somebody that is also easily annoyed by noises and especially by people talking, the only things I can suggest are noise isolation headphones and a suitable source of noise (pink noise or something like raindrops, running water, etc.), the noise isolation headphones to lower the outside noise as much as possible, and the pink noise to mask it (otherwise you'd have to have the volume in your headphones way too loud).

You will find that pink noise or water noise masks voices pretty well if in tandem with the above, I sometimes even have to use isolation headphones (similar to the headphones that pit crews use on racing tracks) AND foam earplugs AND [] (with thunder disabled) to be able to concentrate in my current work environment.

Re:No such thing as 'soundproof foam'... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177773)

Colleges don't allow covering walls with very much. Else, the RAs get cranky about firecode.

Re:No such thing as 'soundproof foam'... (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177849)

That's right... foam is like McBain's safety goggles against a river of acid... they do nothingggg

The foam inside recording studios is there to reduce echo inside the room, not block sound transmission to the outside. The only thing that blocks sound transmission is MASS. A one-inch thick concrete wall will block hell of a lot more noise than a one-inch thick foam wall.

Van Gogh Style (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177679)

You don't need two ears!

white noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177681)

use a white noise generator
something like this

White noise though noise cancelling headphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177685)

Works for me.

odd technique (5, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177687)

With whatever you're doing, silently use your internal somatic voice processing system in your brain to process the audio of counting from one to ten (basically process it as if you were going to say it, just never move your mouth). When it combines with whatever else you're doing, it will use up all that part of your brain's resources and you won't be able to hear/process any sounds around you. It's a technique that I learned very quickly when learning to speed read. It works very, very well.

Re:odd technique (5, Funny)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177935)

Counting to 10 sounds more like an even technique to me. Might I suggest 11 or 9 instead?

Re:odd technique (4, Funny)

rherbert (565206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177955)

This weird trick also boosts my testosterone.

Noise, exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177689)

I expect you fall asleep when you get tired. So why not exercise so you get tired quicker? Or you could try sounds that are less interesting than music. In the summer I like the noise of my cieling fan.

Re:Noise, exercise (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177927)

I find exercise before bedtime helps me fall asleep faster. 5-10 minutes of rapid one-arm pull-ups, while I'm lying in bed... then I'm asleep 30 seconds after jizzing.

Noise Cancelling Headsets and a white noise (1)

El Micko (118401) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177697)

When I'm trying to study at home I find that listening to white noise works well.
(A white noise generator on a laptop/pc)
It masks the noises the family make pretty well.

Best done with a pair of headphones that actually surround the ear rather than earbuds.

Noise cancelling headphones might help filter out some of the distractions too.

Its far from perfect, but it works for me.

(I have a pair of Phillips noise cancelling earbuds... and I'd have to say that they are a waste of time and money. There is no perceivable difference when noise cancellation is activated. Other brands might fare better,I dont know. My experience with these has been poor.)

Move (4, Informative)

Alex Pennace (27488) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177707)

Move. I mean that seriously. Not all dorms are alike, and chances are there is a quieter room available. You will have to approach your student services office or similar about your situation, and bring documentation. They may not be able to accommodate you entirely but they may find some arrangement that would be of benefit. For example, they may make a triple in a quiet dorm into a double with a known-quiet roommate.

If you want further information, give us the name of the school. Maybe someone here knows about a quieter dorm on your campus.

Alcohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177711)

Drink a lot. It makes me sleepy every night.

CAPTCHA: swerve

Move out of the dorm (3, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177713)

I don't think it's possible to block all the noise in a dorm unless you have designated quiet dorms.

Move out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177717)

One of the primary benefits of living in a dorm is the social environment. You either need to be prepared to enjoy living in close quarters with lots of young adults, or you should move out. Both are perfectly valid options, and your own predispositions will play a large role in succeeding with either choice.

It's OK to be annoyed by living in close quarters with lots of other people that don't know how to conduct themselves now that they're living on their own. You almost assuredly annoy them too.

Use thick, heavy, soft material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177719)

... such as thick, vinyl sheets. Lead sheets are too dangerous, and expensive.

Vinyl works significantly better than any kind of foam.

I believe that sound proofing wood composite panels are available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They are cheaper, but they aren't as good at blocking sound as heavy vinyl.

Or, just tell your neighbors in a creepy way that you can hear their conversations and that you can always tell "hear" they are positioned in their dorm room.

My way (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177729)

I don't have ADHD, but I do have High Functioning Autism, and I had the same problem in college, even though I wasn't diagnosed yet (and wouldn't be for another 10 years).

The two solutions for me: A white noise generator to drown out the sound next door, and a "mix tape" of my most boring songs for when I couldn't stand the white noise anymore. Would be a playlist without shuffle now, of course, but MP3 players didn't exist when I was in college. Once your brain gets used to the order of songs, say about the 100th repetition or so, you can tune them out.

Another equally good option today that did not exist when I was in college is noise-canceling headphones.

Dorm noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177731)

I used to always play music at low volume in the background. Too quiet can be bad too because your mind starts looking for noise. Easy to dismiss background noise was the best for me.

Noise canceling? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177741)

In the future I guess it will be just a matter of switching on an active noise control device to make your room silent, but since so far the technology is only easily applied to headphones, how about a nice pair of those? You don't have to listen to music. You just have to find a pair that is very comfortable to wear and then play whatever low-volume sounds of nature (since silence on noise canceling headphones feels weird for some people).
If you don't like the idea, I would also try different earplugs. I mean during my army training they gave us these very inexpensive earplugs (like foamy rubber you would squish into your ear) for the shooting field and the commander would then be yelling commands on the loudspeaker as loud as he could and yet his voice barely registered! The actual 7.62mm shots were audible of course, but definitely tolerable. So give it another go with earplugs - soundproofing a room is much, much harder and can be very expensive.

REAL earplugs (4, Insightful)

RedLeg (22564) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177745)

I'm guessing you've tried the cheapass foam plugs....

First (cheapest) option is to look for triple-flange earplugs. Look at a sporting goods store in the firearms department.

If that doesn't work for you, look into getting custom molded plugs made. I have a set from my time as a competitive shooter, and when they are in, and correctly seated, I cannot hear ANYTHING, even though I can feel the noise in many cases. For voices and random dorm noise, that should be sufficient.

Another option is a set of noise canceling headphones. Just don't feed them any input and they will still reduce ambient noise. I would recommend you borrow a set from a friend before investing, as the best are "over the ear" types, and they tend to create a sensation of pressure in your ears. Some folks find that uncomfortable.

Hope this helps......

Red (retired Field Artillery Officer)

Comming from someone with ADHD... (3, Insightful)

Random2 (1412773) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177747)

Listen to a set of music until it's nearly worn-out, and use that as your noise-cancellation. For example, I have a set of ~700 songs that I've listened to almost daily for the last 5 years and I now know most of them down to the chord progressions. They've become so familiar that, while I still enjoy them, there's nothing 'new' there to distract me from work. This counts double for strictly instrumental songs, they provide even less distraction by lacking words to interpret and grab attention.

I imagine there'll be recommendations for things like noise cancelling headphones and such but I find they tend to make it worse; largely because they leave my mind too idle and I start looking around and get distracted again. Having the 'white noise music' keeps the wandering parts of my mind occupied so the rest of it can focus on the task at hand.

Headphones (1)

Prien715 (251944) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177753)

I'm guessing by "music" you mean stuff with lyrics -- hence your comment about human voices. I have ADHD too and here's my advice.

My personal favorite for getting work done is Rodrigo y Gabriela's first album, but if you're not into that sort of thing, there's also classical, post-punk (Godspeed/Turtles), ambient (Brian Eno), orchestral video game music (Nobuo Uematsu) etc etc. If music fails, white noise may work but has the issue of your brain wanting to pay more attention to the noise you're trying to block out since what you're listening to is boring. A friend of mine also with ADHD loved to listen to fast-paced Celtic music when reading during college.

There's also noise-cancelling headphones.

Great White Noise Website (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177755)

Use to drown out other noise.

Easy, cheap solution (2)

mattashburn (150456) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177765)

Get some better quality earplugs.

Coffee shop whitenoise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177777)
Plays coffee-shop-like background noise. Not intelligible enough to be distracting.

Earplugs+noise cancelling headphones+white noise (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177783)

I use foam earplugs with Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones which cover the entire ear (rather than just sitting on top of them). I then use a white noise app on my phone called SimplyNoise. It offers a few options for types of white noise; I find brown noise works the best. This combination blocked out three screaming babies on a recent overnight flight.

That said, why are you studying in the dorm if it's too noisy/distracting for you? Go to a library. With a little exploring, you will quickly find various cubby-holes where you will not see another soul for hours. You can also see what sort of meeting rooms are on your campus. These are typically hardly ever used outside of business hours in my experience.

double whammy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177785)

I use both white noise, and ear plugs. Makes it a bit difficult to get comfortable at first. Be wary of heating up, make sure your room is cool.

Earplugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177787)

Make sure you're using a good pair and wearing them correctly. These are very good, but a bit uncomfortable due to the dense foam and large size: You can buy them in bulk (200 pair) from amazon.

You need to roll them very tight, pull on your earlobe, and insert completely. If the insertion doesn't feel like you're being violated, you're probably doing it wrong Don't worry, they're safe; OSHA has researched the hell out of these things since they're intended for work sites. Just pull them out gently, rotating back and forth; the change in pressure could theoretically damage your eardrum, but I don't know if it has ever actually happened.

When I wear them correctly, human voices are almost completely squelched. And I don't mean "almost" as in "not really," I mean "almost" as in you won't notice someone calling your name unless they're shouting.

If you need to, you can further wear earmuffs or closed-ear headphones over them. If you can tolerate it, running pink noise through the headphones will further drown out signal.

If this isn't enough, you're basically screwed. Only low frequencies will get through, and those are the hardest to do anything about.

Custom-made ear plugs + noise cancelling headphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177799)

You can get custom ear plugs made to block specific noise types (voice, machine, etc.) They are made specifically for your ear canal and fit snugly.
If necessary, combine these with noise-cancelling headphones. This gives me silence on almost any airplane (except small propeller planes).

Hello? Hello........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177803)

I'd answer that, but honestly, what are the odds that you are still reading this thread?

I'm sorry, that was terrible.

White Noise Helps!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177809)

Loud fan..white noise generator..helps blanket...sorry, what was I saying?

No you don't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177817)

I have ADHD.

No you don't.

1. ADHD is a childhoood disease.

2. You're self diagnosing.

3. Post a Psychiatrist's diagnosis or STFU.

4. Grow up.

Different Music: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177821)

I know the problem you describe well.

White noise (I actually prefer pink noise with a rolloff at higher frequencies) works well for me. Several people have posted links to mp3s of rain, surf and such.

I personally found that Tangerine Dream, Kitaro, and the like were quite good for studying and covering distractions, but it may vary for you or still be too distracting.

White Noise Generator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177831)

Perhaps in conjunction with noise cancelling headphones?

Same problem, here is my solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177833)

The only music i can listen to that increases my concentration is electronic/trance. Don't know why, but when i got that going my concentration is like a laser beam.

Lots and Lots of Trains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177839)

Buy the lots and lots of trains dvd set and learn all about trains. If you have ADHD you probably are slightly autistic as well.

Better earplugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177843)

"I use ear plugs to block out small noises, but they don't block out human voices very well at all."

Buy some better earplugs, the type used by construction workers that can be found at almost any home improvement store. I prefer the orange 3M tekk product that is good up to 32dBa isolation - around $12 for a package of 80 disposable foam earplugs and you can realistically use them more than once. I realize you are probably on a fixed budget in college, but we are talking about your sanity/sleep/well-being, right?

Re:Better earplugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177879)

Sorry, that should have read 32dB, not dBa.

Library (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177847)

Do what everyone else who lives in a dorm does when they need quiet. Go to the library.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177851)

ADHD is simply a lack of discipline of the mind. This is not a real disorder. Focus.

Learn to cope, its a useful skill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177853)

Not trying to be nasty here but out in the work place your ability to regulate your environment may be limited so getting used to being able to focus when surrounded by people making noise will be a useful asset.

why no foam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177855)

You can certainly get eggshell foam and attach it to your walls, not the prettiest thing, but as someone else mentioned you can cover it with tapestries/posters.

Unless its a fire code thing, if its just taped up to the walls you can remove it without damage to the walls.

Re:why no foam? (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177903)

Pink Floyd and Phish tapestries, to be more precise.

i feel for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177871)

I also have adhd and I can't stand noise that isn't made by me. It's so bad that I can't even be on a computer next to someone else because the sound of their typing makes it impossible for me to do things as simple as read text with full comprehension.

blocking drowning out (1)

cathector (972646) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177887)

lots of good suggestions here, including maybe getting a different dorm.
i think i recall there being a 'quiet' dorm at UCSC. ("live here if your main interest in being at college is .. academics", i guess)

but mostly the suggestions seem to be either Block The Sound or Drown The Sound In Noise.

i'd highly recommend going for the former before the latter, for the kinda obvious reason of hearing damage.
i'm not an expert, but my tinnitus gives me a gut feeling that chronic exposure to even background-level noise can't be good for the cilia.

Dear SlashDot.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177889)

My feet get cold inside of my shoes... If only there was some kind of intermediatary layer that I could wear between my feet and my shoes... Anyone have any suggestions?

Fan (1)

y0ttabyt3 (2865951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177897)

I live in New York, and there are always those maddening muffled voices, footsteps, TV, or sex noises happening somewhere nearby while I try to sleep/meditate/write/read/think. What works best for me is a fan with a nice hum. Easy to tune out, keeps the air flowing in your room, doesn't get repetitive.

Didn't read any other advice. (-1, Troll) (245670) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177905)

Get over it.

You're in the lowest-cost, lowest-responsibility living arrangement available in the first world short of living in your mom's basement. If you want privacy and quiet, you'll have to pay more or find a sugar daddy. So finish school and get a job where you can afford to live among a higher class of people. Climb the ladder and make more money and move into better accommodations as your income increases. That's how life works.

Ear Buds (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177913)

Ear Buds, MP3 collection.

If you find music too distracting, just put the ear buds in and turn the device WAY up for a while. After a while you'll have completely destroyed your hearing. Problem solved! You're welcome!

earplugs should work.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177915)

Wow...the foam earplugs block out about 30 Db. If you can hear people through your walls/door, with earplugs in, these people must be talking pretty loudly...can you do your work in the library with earplugs in, and only sleep in your dorm room after the "quiet time" has started?

I have the same issue... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177919)

I solve it a number of ways.
1. Have a large HEPA air filter (a friend gave it to me) that I took the air filter out of and I run it to sleep well. The white noise this thing makes is natural soothing air flow, and it fills the room I am in.

2. At work, I use in-ear ear buds, the silicone ear peice combined with music or other sound greatly diminishes the external noise.

3. Motivation wise, I saw this problem affecting my children, and after I saw that my behavior (I expressed out loud that some sounds they made irritated me) then they started having similar problems. No. Way. In. Hell. Was I going to pass this on to them. So, I stopped expressing my irritation, and oddly, this made it easier to start facing the problem directly in my mind.

4. Mentally I started expecting certain noises and have made a goal to come to peace with them. I have tried really, really hard to be okay with certain sounds. At first it was incredibly agrivating and tremendously irritating on a level unexplainable to those that don't have this issue, but persistent work and effort to accept the noises has ultimately paid off, that they just hurt less now.

5. Diet, there are likely foods that irritate you and you may not know it, and this makes the sounds worse. (caffine makes it worse, etc...)

6. Sleep and exercise. This is the #1 thing, if I am tired, the noises are worse, even after all the things above. if I am stressed (exercise is _very_ relaxing after it's over) and I have little sleep, all the sounds invade my head like armageddon.

Take control, decide to live a healthy life style, control your mind and your body and this will help with this and many other issues.

I hope the best for you, and that you over come this difficult issue, I am 37 now and have been working against this for most of my life, and it only started to get better when I decided I could do something about (even when no one else thought it was possible).

Do not listen to people who will turn you into a victim, take control of your mind and start controlling your body, and everything in your life will look a little brighter, and the sounds will be not be so close to you anymore. You will be able to push them off and ignore them much easier.

Same way you did in your moms basement (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177921)

play louder music.

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm? (1)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177923)

Earphones playing white noise.

I've had this problem (4, Interesting)

Harvey Manfrenjenson (1610637) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177925)

The best solution: Foam earplugs, the kind you can buy at a drugstore that are rated for 29 decibels (or something similar), that you wad up and stick well into your ear canal. Combined with a decent pair of headphones (ideally wireless) playing the sounds of a rainstorm.

Actually any white-noise-like sound will work, including actual white noise, a radio tuned to static, crashing waves, etc. For a month or two, I used the Fripp/Eno ambient tune "Wind On Water" playing on an endless loop. Watch your decibel levels-- it doesn't need to be played loud to work.

This setup will drown out the fucking zombie apocalypse.


I use a fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177939)

It's weird, but I have ADHD too and this is the only way I can sleep (even when not in a dorm).

I sleep with a fan pointed towards my face or the back of my head.

The fan makes a constant rumble that is white noise and blocks everything out, and the flow of air puts me to sleep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177949)

That's all you need. I use to keep my baby from waking up with any little noise.

Masturbation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177959)

Earplugs? neh... White noise? meh... Noise canceling? blah... I masturbated frequently when I was in high school and never had any problem sleeping. YMMV

Earmuffs plus earbuds (1)

treadmarks (2528414) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177965)

If you want to shut absolutely everything out, get some high quality earmuffs (the kind they use at gun ranges) and wear earbuds (or earplugs) inside of them. Then start your playlist or get a white noise mp3 from amazon or wherever. A bomb could go off in your dorm and you probably wouldn't hear it. On the other hand you probably wouldn't be able to hear fire alarms or anything either, so use with caution...

my recommendation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177973)

i recommend you fuck off with this stupid shit. sound proofing material dumbass. fuck off. stupid article . lame slashdot.

Noise Isolating in-rar headphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177975)

I have the same problem at work, really noisy and chaotic at times. The sealed in ear headphones tend to work the best,
This site has a good comparison of noise isolation (note they also have the bose noise canceling listed, most of the in ear win out)

I use these:
at work some one can be standing in front of me and talking and I cannot hear them when I have some music on, of course you can use white noise

Also you might also try to find some where else than your dorm room to study, where I went the College of Engineering had lots of places set up for students to study.

Ritalin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43177985)

I don't mean to sound like a D***, but when I take my Meds, my abillity to read / do something difficult goes from ~0-5% to about 95%

I wasn't diagnosed until later in life, and it's a major "regret."

My biggest problem is remembering to take them, (and just as important) taking them early enough for them to be effective when I need focus, late enough so I'm not driving when coming down, and still early enough so I can sleep.

People rarely discuss the "Hyper ADD" that happens when the meds wear off, and I'm guessing you're studying late, and taking classes early? If you take your meds in the morning, there is no way you're going to be able to study at night... if that's the case, I suggest you find the right timing. I typically find lectures engaging, so using the medication then wouldn't be as important as when I have the book in front of me.

If you are medically unable, try sitting on an exercise ball when using headphones. I don't know why, but this for some reason helps people according to a study I read a while back, and it did seem to help me too, but I don't use them because I'm 6'0 260lbs, and I need a rather large ball to sit comfortably which is quite obnoxious.

YMMV, IANAD, & all other standard /. disclaimers apply.


Just curious (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177991)

I live in a dorm, and I have ADHD

Self diagnosed or professionally diagnosed?

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