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Dear Dr. vybe: How Can I Sleep With the Constant Construction in My Neighborhood?


Dear Dr. vybe,

Ever since I graduated from Drexel University with a degree in nursing, I knew I wanted to stay in University City because of the proximity to all my college friends and my new job. I was so excited to start working at CHOP that I forgot my first few years of my career would probably revolve around a less-than-ideal schedule. I know I won’t be working night shift forever, but I’m currently losing my mind with all of the nonstop construction happening during my new bedtime!

I never thought I’d be complaining about the rapid growth of the neighborhood, but the constant construction is making adjusting to my new sleep schedule next to impossible. Can you share any advice on how to sleep when there’s so much happening right outside your window?

Seriously Sleepy


Dear Seriously Sleepy,

Most city dwellers run into this problem at some point, and I’d hate to see your current predicament drive you out of living in Philadelphia. There are definitely steps you can take – and getting used to your new sleep schedule is the biggest one.

Once you’re in your new day-to-day routine, there are things you can use to drown out the noise of the jackhammer tearing up your sidewalk. The best would be a fan or other source of white noise to help soften any sudden external sounds. If you can’t wait for one to come in the mail, there are phone apps and Spotify playlists dedicated to this same idea.

Another common suggestion for general sleep issues is reserving the bedroom for two things only. One is sleeping, and you can guess the other. Don’t lie in bed to watch TV or browse the internet. This way, when it’s time to hit the hay, your body knows just what to do.

Generally speaking, over-the-counter sleep aids like melatonin have mostly a placebo effect. If none of the above tips are working, your struggle to sleep could be correlated to a sleep disorder. A vybe provider can evaluate your symptoms and if needed, refer you to a sleep specialist to get you rested for your future shifts.

Sending Lots of Sheep Your Way