Do you know why white noise helps you sleep? Some people find it hard to fall asleep without a fan whirring while others find the sound of a blow dryer, purring cat or washing machine soothing. But how come making more noise can help with sleep? Isn’t a silent room the most conducive to getting a good night’s rest?
Actually that isn’t always the case, and some people even buy white noise machines or download white noise apps to ensure they get to sleep quickly and easily, and stay asleep until morning. A lot of people have hear it works but don’t know exactly why white noise helps you sleep.
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What is White Noise?
This consistent sound comes out across all audible frequencies evenly, from the lowest to the highest. It is something like a band and every musician is playing a different note on his or her instrument, covering all the notes.
White noise masks other noises so if your partner’s snoring bugs you or you are a light sleeper and wake whenever a car outside toots its horn or when your next door neighbor slams a door, white noise might help you.
Some people might find they can fall asleep on a noisy bus or in a nightclub but when a dog up the road decides to start barking at 2AM the noise wakes them right up. This is where white noise might be helpful because it will mask the sound so it does not startle you. Why white noise helps you sleep is all about masking other sounds and giving you one sound to tune into.
White noise can be played by itself or with some kind of music or nature sounds superimposed. For example, if you find the sound of the rain comforting, you might like to listen to white noise with raindrops too. Other people might prefer the sound of rolling thunder over the white noise, or a campfire, tumble drier, air conditioning units, or even whispered suggestions such as ‘relax’ or ‘sleep now’.
Alternatives to White Noise
Pink noise is basically white noise with the higher frequencies less high, so you might prefer this if you suffer from tinnitus (ringing ears) or happen to dislike higher notes. Then you have violet noise, brown noise, and so on, each of which is slightly different.
Finding what is best for you might take a bit of experimentation, since what is perfect for one person might keep another awake half the night! White noise can work for babies too, but don’t give them too much, since hearing a range of noises (not just white noise all night) helps them to learn and develop.
Example Videos of White, Pink and Brown Noise
These show you what the noises sound like, but for the best results, pop on a pair of headphones (SleepPhones are the best so you can lie on your side without feeling them), lie down in a dark room, adjust your bedding and position until you are comfortable, close your eyes and hopefully sweet dreams will soon come your way!
Where to Get White Noise
Now you know why white noise helps you sleep you might want to try some apps. Although running a fan in the bedroom or investing in a white noise machine might suit you, many people these days like to use apps. Try White Noise by TMSoft which is very popular and offers you 40 sounds to choose from. You can mix these sounds together to create your perfect playlist.
Another option is Relax Melodies by Ipnos Soft, with about 90 sounds along with 6 binaural beats. Both of these have free and premium versions, so you can try them out first. Alternative take a look on YouTube. Just search for White Noise and you will find plenty of options in addition to the example videos above.