I recently moved to the top floor of a three story home that is near an infrequently used express track (primarily on weekends during construction on the local line/once or so an hour). A train passing under causes the house to rumble hard and generally wakes me. It's an old home, and it seems prone to vibration.

To minimize the train vibration in my bed (metal frame with four legs on risers, wooden slats, foam mattress), I put folded-in-two yoga mats beneath each pair of risers. Each riser also has two dense hockey pucks beneath the bed legs. I added a fully inflated air mattress between my bed and foam mattress. Beneath my bed are boxes of books for added weight; two ten-pound weights are on the bed-frame. No part of the bed is touching the wall.

It's helped with the train vibration, but it hasn't helped with what seems to be the entire upper floor shaking very rapidly and constantly. It tends to start in the evenings during the weekdays. This past weekend, it was on the entire time. My landlord (lives on the first floor; I'm on the third) said he's never heard of nor experienced something like that in the years he's been there.

My second floor neighbor doesn't seem to be experiencing anything (but he also mentioned that his family's encounters with the trains seems to be far milder than mine). He also mentioned that he doesn't have any vibrating machines in use (fan, AC, etc.)

We had some boiler repairs recently (I don't know what was done), but the vibration continues even when the radiators aren't fussing about. It's still active when our refrigerator dies down. I tried recording it with the VibSensor app and got rates of 9.7-10hz, but I'm not sure if that's the app just picking up itself. No music, broadcasted or performed.

The room's former occupant (who I don't think spent much time in the apartment during the winter) doesn't recall any such vibrations.

Is this something new? Is something broken? Could it be something 'normal' and otherwise present but now accentuated because it's colder outside? How do I stop it? I'm very sensitive to my environment, but my landlord is at least in his late fifties, so I'm concerned he might not pick up on the vibrations.

  • 1
    Follow the money. Low-frequency sound takes exponentially more energy to create than high. That's why there are 500 watt amplifiers, it's not to drive tweeters. Somebody's paying the cost of that energy. Start by shutting off utility service (NOT gas) and see if you're paying for it. This answer had many thoughts. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/33064/… Dec 8, 2016 at 15:08
  • 4
    Bring your landlord, or other non-residents, in to see if they notice the problem. If they don't, well, it's the analysis couch for you :-) Dec 8, 2016 at 16:33
  • Are there other 3-story houses in the area? You may see if you or those residents experience the same thing in other houses. Tall(er) buildings sway more in the wind, although I would find it hard to believe the effect is detectable at just 3 stories up...
    – mmathis
    Dec 8, 2016 at 17:31
  • Is this a single or attached house? Your next door neighbour may be running a washing machine, and you would be feeling vibration during the spin cycle. And they may never admit it to you.
    – ajeh
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:22
  • Got a cell phone? If so, you can probably download an oscilloscope App for it. That will help you track down the spot(s) where the vibration is worst. Sep 13, 2020 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


I had the exact same problem for over two years and sometimes I could hear the vibration. It drove me just about crazy. I would feel it when I laid down in my bed, lay on the floor, standing in the kitchen, laying on my couch, etc. the vibration and sometimes noise would come and go and odd thing is that some people said they felt it but most could not. I tried everything to trace the vibration down. Checked with my neighbors but no one had the problem. Call specialist but they were honest and said that it would cost a small fortune to set up equipment and no gaurentee that they would find any thing. I add the water and electricity company check it out, both negative. I went on line and found people around the world (English speaking) had the same problem but no solutions. Then one early morning around 3 am laying in bed the solution came to me. I realized it and that morning I booked an appointment with my GP. I told him about feeling these vibrations and sometimes noise and told him I think it is my body that is actually vibrating. He never heard of such a problem. I beg him for sleeping pills so I could get a good nights sleep. He reluctantly gave me a 5 day supply. For 5 days I took the pills, slept well, and the vibrations stopped. Every once in awhile the vibrations come back, like tonight which prompted me to write this and post it on line. But that is because I've been under stress and not sleeping well. I'll take some 5mg Melatonin (find it among vitamins in drug store) along with a glass of warm milk, get a good nights sleep - may take a few nights of good sound sleep, rest my body, and the vibrations will go away.

  • BTW, I had shut off the electric power at the main switch and the main water valve for the house, the vibration was still there. I but m,y ear to the wall,and could hear and feel the vibration.
    – Rnixi
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:49
  • The #2 reply from Carl Witthoft, Dec 8, 2016, is partially correct, but not an analysis, a doctor.
    – Rnixi
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:54

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