Breaking Down The Facts About White Noise And Sleep

Breaking Down The Facts About White Noise And Sleep

Since sleep permeates all other aspects of our lives, it makes sense that a lot of importance would be placed on making sure that you get the most out of that sleep. There have been many studies undertaken which have proven the various benefits of getting enough sleep, and they extend far into the hours of wakefulness.

Of course, since everyone is different, exactly how you get that rest will depend on you. Some of us are content with just wearing a sleeping mask and then falling into our slumber while others need a bit more effort to get to bed. Today, we are going to be talking about one of the more popular methods that people use to help them sleep.

We are going to be covering white noise and its relation to sleep. While you may have already heard this term, you may not know what it means, or you may not know how it is linked to your sleep. First off, we’ll cover what you need to know about white noise itself to make sure that everyone is following along.

Man wearaing headphones while lying.

After we give you some basic knowledge on white noise, we can move on to the effects that it has on you when you are about to fall asleep, what it can do, and much more. If you have been looking for the best way to help you get some restful sleep, then you have come to the right place.

What is White Noise?

Of course, if you are looking to learn more about the link between white noise and sleep, you will need a white noise definition. There are not many defining characteristics to white noise, and it can take the form of many different actual sounds, but the similarity between all of them is that the frequency is regular.

There aren’t too many shifts in the modularity or the tone of the sound in white noise, which means that it will remain somewhat constant. It is for this reason that waves and jungle sounds are also considered white noise, as they will not change much from the sound’s baseline.

You may be surprised to find that leaving the TV on before you go to bed at night is a makeshift form of making your own white noise. As you can see from some of the examples that we have provided, white noise is linked closely to sleep, and you may already be using it to help you get to bed.

Keep in mind that raw, unfiltered white noise will actually sound like static, and it may not be all that pleasant to your ears. A lot of the time, we don't use pure white noise to help us sleep due to the simple fact that is sounds grating, so we opt for more natural forms of the sound.

How Does White Noise Make Sleeping Easier?

So you may be wondering why so many people use a white noise generator to help them sleep. Can it really be that helpful when it comes to getting to bed? Well, to understand why white noise helps so much in falling asleep, you will need to take a look at how human hearing evolved and why it did so.

There is a reason that we can hear in the first place, and the biological purpose was not so that we would be able to listen to music or to even communicate. Primarily, human ears evolved as a sort of predator warning system to help keep us alive, mainly while we are asleep, as our eyes are closed.

Man sleeping.

If your primary sense is going to be shut down while you are sleeping, you will need a second one to take over, and this is where sleep comes into the picture. If you have ever wondered why your hearing gets so sensitive when you are on the verge of sleep, then you likely understand now.

As you can imagine, any small sound is amplified because it could be a predator coming out of the shadows to attack you. Now that we no longer live in jungles and caves, it can be a bit of a challenge to trick our biology into believing that we are safe enough to go to sleep in the first place.

You may be able to guess exactly where white noise comes into play in helping us sleep. Since our ears developed as a warning system, they only catch sudden changes in the tone of our surroundings. White noise works to mask those shifts in ambient noise by playing over it at a uniform frequency.

As you can see, there is no hidden magic to how white noise helps you sleep, it just subconsciously calms your ears (and mind) down. While our minds have evolved past the point of our old hunter-gatherer selves, we have yet to develop sufficiently to get through all of the kinks.

Options For Generating White Noise

If you are looking to create some white noise in your bedroom before going to sleep, you will have a few options at your disposal. The most evident option would be a white noise machine or a white noise alarm clock, but those would require an extra purchase, and you may not want to go out and spend money.

For those of you looking for more affordable options, you can leave on a fan during the night so that you can have a source of white noise as well as a way to remain cool. Another option would be to leave on the TV before going to bed on a show or movie that you have already seen, but you won’t want too many loud noises and shifts in sound.

Is Sleeping With White Noise Healthy?

There are no health concerns that are associated with sleeping while white noise is playing. In fact, you may find that you are much calmer when going to sleep with white noise playing, which helps lower your blood pressure.

Woman holding a shell next to her ear.

Conclusion

White noise can help immensely if you have issues with sound before going to bed. Thank you for taking the time to read through our guide on the topic.

Resources:
NCBI
Time

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