In the United States, about one-third of adults and children combined have difficulty getting enough sleep. Over time, sleep deprivation will increase an individual’s risk for a host of chronic illnesses. These sleep-deprivation-related conditions include diabetes milletus, obesity, and even depression.
People are constantly looking for methods and tools, such as the white noise machine, to help them fall asleep faster and improve the quality of their sleep. In this article, we shall explore what a good white noise machine is beneficial for, and how to incorporate it into a nighttime routine.
What is White Noise Emitted by a White Noise Machine
White noise pertains to noise that contains equal-measured frequencies across the range of audible sounds. White noise is often called broadband noise because it spans multiple bands. To most people white noise, emitted by a white noise machine, is like that of the static that comes from an untuned radio or television.
Over many years, researchers have sought and studied the effects of white noise on human beings. They have found evidence that white noise, the kind that white noise machines emit, reduces crying bouts in infants, improves performance in work among adults, and may even counteract the symptoms of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in both children and adults. Several studies have also examined how white noise affects how humans sleep.
Recent results of several studies exploring how white noise affects human sleep have produced mixed conclusions. The researchers have called into question the quality of evidence that is in existence and deduced that further studies are necessary to tell and recommend fully a white noise machine as a sleep aid. There are also some instances when it had been noted that white noise has disturbed a person’s sleep and has affected their hearing.
As early as the 17th century, sleep-aiding machines that promote sleep have been in design utilizing white noise. Research conducted around the 1970s to 1990s on sleep and white noise found that it helped newborn babies sleep faster while listening to white noise. It also found that it affected how much time adults spend in the different stages of sleep when a white noise machine was played overnight.
In more recent studies, it has been found that adults fall asleep 38% quicker while listening to a white noise machine. Throughout several newer studies, white noise has had a continuous positive effect to sleep. An example of this is a person living in a crowded, noisy area of the urban city of New York who falls asleep faster and spends more time asleep while listening to a white noise machine. In another research, listening through headphones playing from a white noise machine improved sleep quality for ICU patients in a rather busy hospital ward in India.
Still, several more studies are needed to confirm whether white noise in itself improves human sleep – somehow synchronizing brain waves – or if the white noise machine and the white noise it produces primitively help just by blocking out background noises.
Disruptive sound during sleep may cause heart rate changes that suggest that the sleeping person may experience periods of semi-awakenings. A survey in New York City showed that about 64% of the respondents verbalized at least once a week of disrupted sleep due to noise disturbances. As a whole, transportations sound usually from planes and road vehicles, makes up the major contributors to poor human sleep, and that possibly with health implications. Researchers have been hopeful that the hum of a white noise machine might decrease the sensitivity of the sleeper to unpredictable environmental noise.
How a White Noise Machine Work
A white noise machine is a gadget or device that produces or gives off a steady stream of background noise. It is also sometimes referred to as a sound machine or a sound conditioner. It produces a sound that is a mathematical equivalent of a “white noise”. Although, in reality, these white noise machines also produce pink or brown noise in some instances.
A white noise machine is designed to aid people in achieving better sleep. They also serve this function by focusing on drowning out sounds that may distract sleep. This device can be more helpful for individuals with tinnitus because they mask the disruptive buzzing or ringing sound that this disease can cause.
White Noise Machine Types
There are 2 types of white noise machines. One that plays white noise sounds on the loop and the other one that generates sounds.
There are also white noise apps to note. These are especially helpful for those individuals with tight budgets. A lot of them are free or are sold very cheaply. Owing to this fact, the noise that it produces from the small phone speakers is not exactly the highest quality and may lack many of the characteristics that cause one to harbor the benefits. Thus, it may defeat the purpose of why white noise machines came around.
Some people may take little notice of these but cheaper white noise machines or apps especially become annoying over time when playing sound on a loop – even when the cut between loops is seamless. Thus, opting for more high-quality white noise machines that play non-looping sounds is still the best option.
How a White Noise Machine Helps with Medication
For those individuals who look forward to an introspective journey, getting a white noise machine will be a helpful hack to elevate a meditation practice. Here is how a white noise machine does that:
- A white noise machine creates an even meditative backdrop. Even more, experienced meditators cannot be expected to always be able to ignore noises that are brought about by urban life. Sound pollution can confront anyone in more disruptive ways possible. A white noise machine is a great countermeasure to these noises. White noise machines drown out any type of same frequency noise.
- A white noise machine contributes to an efficient meditation routine and this is not without self-perpetuating benefits. This may be owed to the point that over time routines form a new connection in the brain thereby pre-empting the body to begin having associated feelings because of the routines even before taking part in them.
- White noise from a white noise machine can fill the craving of the brain for input. And it does this without undermining the flow of the meditation. Because of the constant desire for sensory input these days, it has been increasingly hard to sit down and meditate. Utilizing a white noise machine fills the brain’s desire for sensory input without reaching the point of becoming a distraction.
A white noise machine is an effective sleep aid as well as a meditation aid. It has been proven to help individuals stay asleep without the harm of dependency.