White noise is a type of static noise. It’s created by combining all the different sound frequencies together, making a noise similar to like what you would hear from a fan. Many people find white noise to be very relaxing to listen to.
Why use white noise?
It’s ideal to mask any outside noises that can disturb sleep such as noisy neighbors, barking dogs or traffic. Or even inside noises such as snoring, heavy breathing, or noise from family members who are still awake or get up earlier than you.
It’s also great at preventing mind chatter, where you’re bombarded with a constant stream of thoughts and emotions when you’re trying to fall asleep. The brain naturally craves sensory input. If it doesn’t have any it starts to produce its own in the form of thoughts. White noise provides the brain with just enough input to stop bombarding you with thoughts so you can relax easily and fall asleep.
I’ve used white noise almost every single night for the past 3 years to help me sleep. I used to use it to block out the neighbors dog who I would otherwise still be able to hear barking through their closed porch door. But even since moving house I still use white noise. If I ever sleep away from home I always make sure I have a way of playing white noise through the night. It gives me something relaxing to focus on away from all the hectic thoughts in my mind. Whenever I hear white noise at night when I’m in bed I know it’s time for sleep. I’m sure that metal association gives me an extra edge to fall asleep faster.
Other colors of white noise
It’s called white noise because if you gave each sound frequency a color and combine them all together they would look white. But there’s also some other different colors of static noise where some frequencies are left out producing a slightly different sound.
Pink noise – Has a slightly deeper tone than white noise. Very similar to the sound of light rain or leaves rustling on tress in the wind. Research has shown the pink noise might be more effective than white noise for sleep.
Brown noise – Short for Brownian noise, also known as red noise. This noise is like a bassy version of white noise. It’s great at blocking out bassy sounds such as loud car engines.
Personally I prefer brown noise because it sounds like heavy rain or a waterfall, but give all three a try to see which one you find the most relaxing.
Where to find white noise
There’s a range of options for you to get your hands on some white noise.
- Generate it yourself using a fan
- By a dedicated sound machine
- Stream it from the Simply Noise website
- Purchase a white noise MP3 from Amazon for 99¢ (pink noise and brown noise also available)
Give it a try and see how it improves your sleep. It’s a cheap and effective way to block out nagging thoughts and to mask noises.