As long as mankind has lived we’ve had trouble sleeping. Not only is it one of the most common problems among adults, but it’s one that has actually increased over time. Between light pollution, sound pollution, busy streets and alternatively-scheduled jobs there are countless things keeping us up at night. It’s been reported that around 25-30% of people have trouble sleeping every single night, with almost 70% of people experiencing that problem each week. Billions of people around the globe are tossing and turning, often left wondering about what solutions there might be to their sleeping problems. Now that the average person is working longer than ever before, many recreational or family-related activities get pushed into the late afternoon or evening. Leaving little time for sleep.
The truth is that there are quite a few answers available. From ambient and rainforest noise machines, to weighted blankets and scented candles. Many of these particular machines and devices are designed to give you a sense of peace and calm, but can sometimes be just as distracting or detrimental as the outside world. However, studies have shown that the most effective solution could be the simplest: a white noise machine.
Why Does White Noise Help?
For those that live in loud neighborhoods, or for the many that have to sleep during the day because they work at night, white noise machines have been invaluable to getting a good “night’s” sleep. But why exactly is that? First let’s discuss what it is that white noise machines actually do. One of the many issues that give people trouble when sleeping is noise or distractions. If you happen to live in a busy neighborhood, have neighbors causing a raucous, or keep alternative sleeping hours you might find it difficult to simply lie down and focus on sleep. That’s where white noise machines come in.
By delivering high or low frequency sound waves, similar to the white noise we used to hear and see on our televisions, the machines help your brain to drain out bothersome noise and focus on sleep. As loud or consistent noises can disrupt your sleep, having the white noise play consistently keeps your brain from getting distracted and it keeps you from waking up. The truth is that noise, in that case, actually comes in many such “colors”. While black refers to silence, colors link Pink and White can produce soothing sounds and noises played at frequencies that the human brain finds “soothing”. Surprisingly, many “white noise” machines are actually producing pink noise, which is arguably less harsh.
Now that we’re familiar with what exact the white noise machines are capable or, let’s discuss the best ways to experience them!
The Best Ways To Experience White Noise
White noise machines are starting to sound pretty appealing, aren’t they? Thanks to the growing market, there’s a wide variety of styles and sounds that you can play to help gently guide you to a good night’s sleep. The simplest and earliest versions of the machines played simple tones or static, just like the white noise we’re familiar with, at lower frequencies that would help to mask the louder and more disruptive sounds going on around us. The only problem with these machines is that light tones or white noise isn’t necessarily for everyone. Over time, machines have developed other forms of sound to play consistently, like rain, forest or ocean noises.
Many white noise machines often come with particular settings that allow you to modify your personal experience. Over time, the machines have actually evolved beyond just “white noise”. As we mentioned before there are different colors associated with different forms of frequencies and sound waves. At first, white noise was the go-to level of frequencies for these machines. But over time, studies have discovered that white noise includes high frequencies that can be less beneficial than other noise counterparts like pink noise. As pink noise is one of the most common signals in biological systems, many have suggested that it could be more “calming” overall than white noise.
The Sounds Of A Good Night’s Sleep
If you’ve decided on getting your very own white noise machine, what details and specifications should you look out for? While there are many affordable options, the machines with the most diverse settings and the widest variety of sounds will end up being a little more expensive than the simpler options. It’s typical for some machines to exceed $100 in cost, but there are plenty of options under that, so don’t worry! First, let’s discuss the typical differences between these machines.
The features that these machines have will actually be the determining factor in whether or not you get the restful sleep you’re looking for - so what exactly are those features? Simple features like alarms have been significant additions to white noise machines. It certainly wouldn’t be helpful if your white noise machine “helped” you to sleep through an alarm or deadline. Size and shape can also be a determining factor, as there are countless travelers around the globe trying to acclimate and sleep in new environments. In order to do so, they’ll need to be able to take a travel-sized white noise machine if they’re looking to get that same level of relaxation while on the road.
Looping is also an important detail to look out for when looking at various white noise machines. Though many are set on a timer, “looping” will ensure that your white noise machine either: turns off after a certain amount of time or plays continuously throughout the night. Whatever your preference is, looping should be able to accommodate your needs. However, the most important factor that comes with choosing your machine is the variety of noises and frequencies.
As we mentioned before, white noise can actually be rather harsh to sleep through, so many white noise machines actually use pink noise. Rainforest, rain, animals, calming oceans, soothing seas, all of these sounds can be categorized under “pink noise”. It might be disappointing news, but if you’re looking for a wide and diverse variety of sounds and frequencies, you’re most likely going to be spending on an upscale machine. But when it comes to getting the rest you need to get the most out of your day, find a machine that’s right for you. Your body and mind will thank you later.