Do you ever have trouble sleeping or relaxing because of noises around you, or a lack of ambient noise? This is a very common problem for a lot of people around the world! Sounds can disturb us at any time, whether we’re awake or asleep, but there is an effective way to help combat this problem in your daily life.
White noise is a term you may be familiar with already. You may have heard that white noise helps you sleep better, relax during the day, mask private conversations, and makes your environment more pleasant. While that’s true, do you know why it does all of those things? How does white noise work to your benefit?
This is exactly what we’ll be looking at here. Hold on, because this information could rapidly lead you to a much better quality of life!
What You Need to Do to Use White Noise
There’s no secret to making white noise work for you. No one is trying to keep the real information from you. Using white noise is a very simple process, whether it’s for sleeping or for daytime use. Here is all that you’ll need to do to get started:
Get a source of white noise
White noise doesn’t just come from nowhere. You have to have a device that can play it or a natural white noise machine to create that perfect sound. Many electronic devices are available to play white noise for you, and you can even get a natural white noise machine that makes the sound with a small, enclosed fan.
Find the best noise for your preferences
Just because white noise hits all the frequencies doesn’t mean it all sounds the same. The source of noise and the actual sound of the noise itself can vary. Choose one that you like the best and adjust it further if you need so you will feel fully comfortable and relaxed while it’s playing.
Place it carefully
Think about where you want to put your white noise machine. Place it close to you if you want to be the only one hearing it, but put it in a more central location if it’s supposed to give a shared benefit to a few people at once.
Ensure there is enough power for the white noise producing device
If you want to use a white noise machine at night to help you sleep, make sure it will have sufficient power to last the whole night. Plug it in if possible, but if you can’t than recharge the batteries each day to keep it fresh and long-lasting.
Turn it on and relax
Once you’ve gotten it all set up, just turn it on and enjoy!
How White Noise Actually Works
The basic concept behind white noise is this: even when you’re sleeping, your brain still receives sensory inputs. Though you aren’t consciously doing it, you can still smell, touch, taste, and hear. Sudden or unexpected noises, loud and irritating sounds, or a complete lack of all sound can either wake you up or keep you from falling asleep. White noise masks all the obnoxious sounds you might be hearing at night and creates a great ambient noise for you to listen to and relax your mind.
Simply speaking, your brain still pays attention to noises it hears during the night. If it’s very silent around you, every tiny little noise will be picked up by your brain and might disturb you. On the other hand, too much noise or a lot of sharp and loud noises will overload your brain and keep it too distracted to sleep well.
What does white noise do to help you stay relaxed or sleep better? Here is how white noise works:
1. It releases sound in all frequencies, masking other noises
The technical definition of white noise is a noise that is equally loud in all frequencies that can be heard by the human ear. What this means is that no other sound can be heard as well because it will not seem as loud. Your ears are already hearing some level of sound in the same frequency, making the sudden loud noises seem quieter and helping you to focus on them less.
This isn’t just for sleeping. It actually helps in a lot of scenarios, such as when you want to keep conversations in your office more private or if you want to mask loud ambient noise in a cubicle or office space. It’s also great for meditation, as you can block out the rest of the noise of the world and focus on your meditation more easily.
Most people that work swing shifts at work and have to come home and sleep during the morning or afternoon find white noise to be irreplaceable for helping them to sleep.
2. It keeps your brain from getting restless
During the daytime hours there is almost always something making noise around you. Maybe you can hear a nearby street, a train, people talking, dogs barking, city sounds, mowing lawns, cooking, or anything else that’s happening around you. At night these sounds cease and your brain suddenly struggles to find something to keep it active. White noise does just that by providing it enough input to relax and avoid restless tossing and turning.
Without white noise, some people will start to hear even the most insignificant of noises at night, causing even more restlessness and lack of sleep. Many people can sleep in a completely silent room, but those who can’t will probably fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer while using white noise to improve the environment.
3. It helps you to stay focused on one thing
Because there are so many noises happening all around you during the day, you might get distracted by the sounds and not be able to focus well on whatever task you’re doing. This is especially true in loud office spaces, when you’re working at home, or when you need to study in a noisy environment (think of a college dorm room, apartment building, etc.).
What white noise does in this situation is it will cover all of those noises partially and help give your brain a rest from trying to hear everything going on around you. For example, if you are a college study and you need to study, but your neighbor is playing loud music in the floor above you, it can be difficult to pay attention as your brain is focusing on that sound and trying to understand everything about it. If you have white noise going on in the background, that music will be masked enough that your brain won’t care about it so much and you can focus on whatever you need to do instead.
Pro Tips to Get the Most from White Noise
What can you do to get the most benefit from listening to white noise? Try some of these pro tips and see if they work for you too!
Adjust the frequency to something you like the most
You might find traditional white noise a bit too high-pitched. Try out what’s called pink noise instead, which simply means that the lower notes are louder than the higher notes. Anyone suffering from tinnitus will probably like pink noise more than white noise!
Focus on the quality of the speakers playing the noise
If doesn’t matter how many options an electric white noise machine has if they sound coming out of it is awful. Poor sound quality will defeat the purpose of white noise and make it sound annoying to you. Instead, go for something that has great speakers or plug the device into your own speakers when possible.
Check out natural/organic white noise machines
Electric noise machines aren’t the only options. Try a natural/organic white noise machine for a richer, fuller, and more authentic sound. These are sometimes called sound conditioners.
Look for non-traditional white noise
Traditional white noise is often compared to static or whooshing air. If you don’t really like the sound of it, try something else that will work the same way such as ocean waves, babbling brook waters, rain sounds, storms, or fireplace sounds.
Use headphones if you need to
Some electric white noise machines come with a headphone jack. This is perfect if your partner doesn’t like the sound of white noise or if you want to use it during the day in an open environment, such as your workplace.
Switch the noise up every week to keep it fresh
Sometimes your brain can get used to a certain sound and start to tune it out. If you like more than one white noise sound, see if you can remember to switch back and forth between the sounds you like every week or so to keep them fresh in your mind and help yourself not to get too used to one or the other.
Get Your Relaxation Started Now!
So, now that you know a bit more about white noise than you did before, do you think you want to try it out? How helpful did you find this guide?
Using white noise is so simple! White noise works wonders for a lot of people that need help concentrating or sleeping. Maybe you’re one of those people who could really benefit from it. You never know until you give it a try!
If you have anything to add that I might have missed, let me know in the comments below!