When you hear someone talk about white noise, they are talking about a sound that has a large number of frequencies, all of which are being emitted at the same level. If that definition sounds confusing, there is a much simpler way to think about it.
When you turn on the television and get snow or static, the sound that is emitted is a great example of white noise. Another example from nature is the sound of a rushing stream. With these sounds, no single frequency stands out. Instead, the sound that is produced has a static-like quality where everything is the same volume level.
You may be surprised to learn that listening to white noise can help you sleep. One of the primary reasons is because it blocks out other more disruptive sounds that are going on around you.
Sounds that are consistent in volume generally are less disruptive for sleep than sounds that change in volume or that suddenly come out of nowhere. For instance, sleeping through the sound of an air conditioner running is a lot easier than sleeping through the sound of a barking dog.
Because white noise is totally consistent in terms of its sound and volume, it is ideal for sleeping. By turning on a white noise generator or playing a recording of white noise at bedtime, you can eliminate distracting sounds that would otherwise keep you awake. This is an excellent option if you live in an area where there are a lot of outside noises that you can’t control.
For instance, if you live next to a busy street where people and traffic are going by all night, using a white noise machine is a great option. Similarly, if your neighbor’s dog continually barks when you are trying to sleep, you can block out the sound of the barking with white noise.
White noise is also beneficial for new parents who are trying to get their babies to sleep. Daytime naps can be challenging when there are a lot of outside sounds. Putting a white noise generator in the nursery creates the ideal environment for sleeping. This works equally as well for toddlers, too.
Before investing in a white noise generator, you can conduct an experiment to see whether or not you sleep better with white noise playing in the background. There are a lot of free samples of white noise available online that you can download. To see if it helps you sleep, simply play the track at a medium volume while you are going to sleep. Chances are, you will fall asleep right away.
Another option is to experiment with leaving a fan on during the night while you are sleeping. The noise generated by fans is a form of white noise and can help you get a better idea of whether or not it is an effective sleep aid.
If you have good luck with your experiment, you can then look into buying a white noise generator. These machines are inexpensive and provide white noise on demand, making them a great investment if you want to get better sleep.