Closeup of a white noise sound machine with a blue glow on a nightstand

Why Does White Noise Help Some People Sleep?

July 29, 2023 8:03 am

If you have had trouble falling asleep before, you’ve likely tried several different helps, such as melatonin, meditation, blackout curtains, herbal tea, counting sheep, and/or a sound machine. Many people and parents swear by the soothing sound of white noise to help them and their children sleep. But what makes white noise so effective?

Playing “noise” to fall asleep may seem counterintuitive at first. White noise, however, is special in that it combines all different frequencies of the auditory spectrum, resulting in a neutral blanket of sound that many find soothing. Think of a gentler version of television static and you’re not far off from white noise. Other repetitively soothing noise settings typically found on a sound machine are ocean waves, pattering rain, chirping crickets, and the hum of a fan.

How a Sound Machine Aids in Sleep

It’s not uncommon that certain sounds can disturb your slumber, whether it’s your pet scratching themselves in the night, your partner snoring, or a nearby train. That’s where white noise or a sound machine can come in handy. Having a calming, repetitive sound playing neutralizes any sudden background noises that would typically jolt you awake. Additionally, the meditative drone of white noise or a similar sound can help quiet your thoughts and signal your mind and body that it’s time to sleep, allowing you to drift off with ease.

There are other types of broadband sound that you may find helpful, including brown noise, pink noise, and green noise. These varieties play at different pitches and frequencies, so you might consider trying one of these other options if white noise, ocean waves, etc. aren’t your thing.

Your Sleep Specialist in Raleigh, NC

A quality sound machine may be the answer to your nights spent tossing and turning. But if quality sleep continues to elude you, it might be time to schedule a visit with our team at RespAir Sleep. We offer treatment for sleep apnea to help patients sleep better and live happier, healthier lives. For more information, contact us today!

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