Help me earplug better

evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
It turns out my new apartment is downstairs from a elephant that keeps odd hours, and the builders didn't believe in sound isolation. As I would like to be able to sleep, I've been trying to use earplugs, but it hasn't been working well.

So far, I've tried:
1) no-name foam earplugs: Hurt my ears.
2) Hearos Xtreme protection (foam): Hurt my ears less, but was still unable to fall asleep with them in.
3) Hearos Ultimate Softness (foam): Was able to fall asleep with them in, but woke up with sore ears.
4) Silicone earplugs: Mostly work, but I have trouble getting a good seal, and when I do, I end up with pressure in my ear. When I turn over during the night, they end up sticking to the pillow, then when they unstick, they wake me up. Still, they're the best I have for now.

My problem with foam earplugs is that they feel like I'm putting something too large in my ear, pushing against the sides of the ear canal.

Anyway, any suggestions?


  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Have silicone earplugs custom made for you. As in, a guy squirts a soft putty into your ear, lets it cure, trims it a bit, and 15 minutes later, you've got custom silicone earplugs in any color you desire. Large gun shows have a booth vendor who specifically does this, as this is extremely common in that community.

  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    First, I think it would be safer for you to try a different solution. Sleeping with hearing protection is a good way to sleep through a fire alarm, smoke alarm, phone ringing, people banging on the door in an emergency, etc.

    Have you tried talking to the upstairs neighbor about the noise? Or sleeping with some ambient music?

    If you're attached to the idea of sleeping with hearing protection, try ear muffs instead. They fit over the ears and so you don't have to worry about getting a proper fit inside the ear canal.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Noise-canceling headphones with some white noise or other relaxing tracks playing worked for me in a similar situation.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    custom plugs can be had for around 100-200

    but honestly, just try some other foam ones

    I use foam earplugs from a hunting store and i sleep like a baby

    you just gotta be careful to not push them in too far

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    It takes a few nights to get used to the foam earplugs. Just like anything new on your bodybody. (try sleeping with a mouth guard....)

    I got used to them by wearing them while awake... Then transitioning to sleep.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I would be a little concerned about constantly wearing in ear protection as well. If you are the least bit susceptible to ear infections that seems like a great way to get some.

    I'd second the idea of trying ambient sounds. Background music, books on tape, even a loud fan or something. It's easier to sleep through constant noise and that constant noise will dampen out occasional sounds from up above.

  • musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    Most gun shops sell do it yourself putty plugs that harden after you mold them in your ear. I used them for a bunch of things and they work pretty well.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    How long have you been dealing with this new upstairs neighbor? After a couple of weeks, you may just stop getting woken up by them. I lived across the street from a fire station for two years (college dorm,) and after two weeks the sirens stopped waking me up. Although I'm generally a heavy sleeper.

    Earplug wise, if you can afford it, custom ear plugs may be the best way to go. You can get ones designed to cancel out specific pitches, too. Musicians use them.

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    You will eventually get used to foam ear plugs, I wear them roughly 8 hours a day at work.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I had to do this a lot last year, due to my neighbors being noisy, awful people.

    Most standard earplugs hurt my ears/jaw, but then my boyfriend found these: Howard Leight Laser Lite Foam Earplugs...and I loooove them. They don't block sound as perfectly as the larger earplugs (that hurt), but they blocked like...99% instead. It was very close. They also don't hurt my ears, which is great!

    I wasn't able to wear earplugs every night either (and I decided it would probably be bad for my health to do so) but if you have to wear earplugs at least part of the time, and the normal ones hurt, I'd suggest you check these out. They're pretty cheap, too.

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