So you may have heard of this “white noise” thing that will supposedly help people to sleep better, but does it really work as advertised? As a small experiment, I used a white noise app as a sleeping aid for 3 days and came to a conclusion.
Yes, just why did white noise not do so well? What is white noise and when should we use it? I did a little more research and share them in this guide – Read on!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|What Is White Noise?
|Does It Work?
WHAT IS WHITE NOISE?
First, let us start with a quick not so scientific explanation for “white noise”. This section is dedicated to you guys who have heard of it, but do not want to read through all the “crazy science stuff”.
A QUICK DEFINITION OF WHITE NOISE
White noise is sound that includes all frequencies audible to the human ear—between 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz—played at an equal intensity or amplitude, measured in decibels.
And that is the crazy science definition of white noise. In layman’s terms, white noise is simply “soothing good noise” that can potentially help people to sleep or concentrate better.
PINK/BROWN/BLUE COLORFUL NOISE!?
Just do a little more research, and one will eventually bump into the cousins – Pink noise, brown noise, blue noise, and even grey noise. Yes, noise has “different types and colors”. To explain in easy terms once again, these are simply variations of noise at different intensity levels. Some examples to better illustrate:
- White noise – TV or Radio static.
- Pink noise – Softer. Leaves rustling.
- Brown noise – Deeper. Waterfall.
- Blue noise – Sharper, higher frequency. Hiss or sizzle.
- Grey noise – “Subdued white noise”.
WHITE NOISE – THE GOOD
What is so good about white/pink/brown/colorful noise then? Just do a quick “white noise benefits” search on the Internet, and there is an entire cult of people who are raging over how good white noise is:
- Studies have been done on how white noise affects humans.
- Evidence suggests that white noise can help to reduce crying in infants.
- It can cover street and environmental sounds, potentially helping to create a less annoying surrounding.
- A less annoying environment equals to better concentration for work.
- White noise also seems to trigger a “relax reaction”, helping people to loosen up and sleep better.
WHITE NOISE – THE BAD
The above list of “white noise is gold” can go on, but it is not as good as some may think. There is a dark side to white noise that some researchers have pointed out. So what happens to someone after using white noise as a sleeping aid for years? What happens if white noise is not available?
Yes, some people seem to become psychologically addicted to white noise after years of sleeping with it. They are so attuned to white noise, that they can no longer sleep properly without it. Even though this is not a “legit addiction”, this is still something to take extra note of.
DOES WHITE NOISE HELP SLEEP?
Is white noise good, bad, or just a myth? There’s only one way to find out – Try it out for yourself.
WHITE NOISE GENERATOR
Now, there are specialized gadgets for producing white noise, but I am not using that as this is not a hardcore experiment. Instead, I went for the most budget-friendly way to run this little experiment, by using a white noise mobile app. Specifically, using this app on the Play Store.
EXPERIENCE WITH WHITE NOISE – WHAT WORKS
Switch off the lights, close the doors, windows, and switch on the air-conditioner. A nice cozy room and a comfortable bed are already perfect for a good night’s sleep – But let’s top it up by setting the smartphone into “do not disturb night mode”, and putting the white noise on a 1-hour timer.
The first night went well, a light rain sound managed to fool the brain into “hibernation deep sleep mode”. The second night also went seemingly well with a soothing gentle grassland breeze. Finally, for the third night, a waterfall sound is “too noisy” and I decided to switch it off instead.
CONCLUSION – WHAT’S THE POINT OF WHITE NOISE AGAIN?
- If you already have a quiet-enough and cozy room, then what’s the use of white noise? It simply becomes an unnecessary white elephant.
- Vice-versa, if your bedroom is stuffy and noisy to start with, no amount of white noise is going to coax you into sleep. Fix the bedroom instead.
- White noise will not help with bad sleeping habits – Sleeping late, looking at bright screens before sleep, heavy eating, drinking too much water, etc…
- If you are thinking of using white noise to increase productivity – It is kind of dumb to try to drown the environmental sounds by raising the volume of the white noise… The white noise becomes more annoying instead.
So, that is my conclusion after 3 days of using white noise as a sleeping aid. A white elephant. But ultimately, this is only a personal opinion. If you are having trouble sleeping due to some medical condition, a soothing white/pink noise may help. No harm trying.
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this short guide. I hope it has helped to answer your doubts. Good luck and have better nights of sleep!
LINKS & REFERENCES
- What Is White Noise – Sleep Foundation
- Why White Noise May Help You Get Your Best Sleep Ever – Health Line
- What Is Pink Noise and How Does It Compare with Other Sonic Hues? – Health Line
- Colors Of Noise – Wikipedia
- 6 Awesome Reasons Why White Noise Helps You Sleep Better – Yoga Sleep
- Why Not Everyone Should Sleep with a White Noise Machine – Time