Question: My upstairs neighbor wakes me every time I speak in my sleep. Since I moved into this apartment in January I have not sleep more than 3 hours a night. I nap – often, but he never goes out and wakes me usually about 40 minutes after I fall asleep.
My doctor has put me on an anti-anxiety med because the torture I endure each night has affected my health and ability to work. I missed 21 days this year. I tried talking to the neighbor who said, “I don’t hear a thing.” Yet the only time I hear him is when I’ve been asleep.The methods he employs are heavy loud objects, that startle and make my nerves jump. Sometimes when my tv is on and a woman is speaking, he’ll drop something on his floor, thinking it is me.Lately he’s got something that sounds like thunder. My doctor has been working with me to try to reason with my unconscious mind, that the noises aren’t harmful and I should stay asleep. I’ve also tried hypnosis. Years ago people would throw things at my home. People need to be educated about this because they only exacerbate the problem. In the mean time – what do I do?So tired.

Answer: Hey Rita, I’m not sure I understand. Your neighbor is waking you up because he is hearing you sleep talk, and is apparently annoyed with it? And other people used to throw things at your home because they could hear you sleep talk? Meanwhile, your neighbor claims he is not making any noise at this time of the night?What if you set up an audio recorder and left it on through the night. Play back the tape in the morning and see what you hear (if you have a digital recorder you can jump to the part with spikes in decibels when you view it on a computer). Maybe you’ll have a sense for the volume at which you’re sleep talking, or evidence to present to your neighbor of his disruption of your sleep.

Thanks for your question and good luck,