There’s nothing quite like waking up and feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Unfortunately, many people struggle in snoozeville. One reason may be the fact that it’s difficult to create the ideal sleep environment: cool, calm, light-free, and quiet. White noise machines can help with at least one part of this equation.
White noise machines provide steady, continuous noise that blocks out all the other stuff, like sirens, barking dogs, and your roommate’s TV. There’s even some science to back up the fact that white noise machines can give you sounder sleep.
Read on to get the details on how this simple sleep tech works.
What is white noise?
White noise is a combination of various sounds at different frequencies that are audible to the human ear.
It can often sound like hissing or a “SHHHH” sound, similar to television or radio static.
You may have even heard white noise machines in a doctor’s or therapist’s office. In these settings, they help keep sessions private.
Researchers have found white noise helps people not only get to sleep but also stay asleep.
“White noise is more than just recordings of ocean waves and rain sounds,” says Molly Szkotak, community manager at Yogasleep. “Sonically, white noise is a collection of sounds that has the same intensity through the audible range, creating a uniform sound perfect for masking loud disruptions.”
This masking effect helps block out other sounds so you can sleep.
White vs. pink noise
Similar to white noise, pink noise consists of all the frequencies audible to the human ear.
However, the energy isn’t evenly distributed among them, and there’s more intensity of lower frequencies, creating a deep and even sound.
Examples of pink sounds include:
- rustling leaves
- steady rain falling
- strong wind
- waves crashing on a beach
How white and pink noise can help you sleep
White or pink noise can help people sleep by blocking out outside sounds and masking disruptive sounds.
Research has found that sleep disturbances caused by noise pollution have health consequences for our biological systems. Both duration and quality of sleep can be impacted by outside noises.
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