If you are the type of person who needs total silence to get a good night's sleep, close this tab. It is not necessary to continue reading. However, if you find that even the slightest noise (a garbage truck on the street, a dog barking, a spouse snoring) is a wake-up call, then you can explore the benefits of white noise.
There is nothing better than waking up from a deep night's sleep feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. A good night's sleep has many benefits beyond feeling rejuvenated the next morning – it can keep your heart healthy, help reduce stress, and prevent depression.
You may have noticed that it becomes increasingly difficult to get enough sleep as you get older. Older adults who sleep poorly at night are more likely to have memory and attention problems and have a higher risk of falls at night, according to the US National Institutes of Health .
Sleep duration , which is how much you sleep each night, is also related to longevity. The most rewarding night's sleep lasts between seven and eight hours. Interestingly, bigger is not necessarily better .
The right balance between sleeping too much and not getting enough sleep can improve daytime functioning and overall health. While hypersomnia (excessive sleep) may require the help of a sleep specialist , poor sleepers may benefit from better sleep hygiene and a simple tool called a white sound machine.
Benefits of white noise
If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up easily at night, many sleep experts recommend trying an air conditioner or white noise machine. In Good Night with Insomnia, researcher Gregg Jacobs argues that these devices work in two ways. ways: blocking distracting noises and making soothing sounds that relax and help you fall asleep.
"I really believe in white noise," says psychiatrist David Neubauer, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 'They create a kind of' cocoon of sound 'that can be very relaxing. In complete silence, people with insomnia pay more attention to small noises that can interfere with their ability to fall asleep.
2016 study published in the Journal of Caring Sciences reported that the white sound machines increased the sleep time of people in coronary intensive care from 4.75 to 7.08 hours after three days, compared to those without the machine and had no improvement.
Mufflers are widely available and relatively inexpensive, but before heading to the nearest large store, find out which one works best for you.
White machine noise
White noise is produced when sound waves from a wide spectrum of frequencies combine to produce a sound similar to the constant hum a fan makes when it blows air out. White noise machines can generate their own white noise or play it in a loop.
Research has shown that white noise can help patients fall asleep through sounds produced in the ICU, helping to block out ambient noise. Sleep deprivation in the intensive care unit has been the focus of some research, as sleep deprivation can negatively affect a patient's recovery .
White noise can be especially helpful for people with tinnitus , a condition characterized by abnormal ringing or buzzing in the ear. White noise can help mask sound that becomes more noticeable and disturbing at night.
Nature's Sound Machines
Many people find that the sounds of nature, such as rain and ocean waves, are more relaxing than white noise. Sequential and repetitive sound is easily ignored by the brain. This may not be true, for example, for machines that make ocean sounds with intermittent birdsong or misty horns.
Nature's sound machines may not be ideal for light sleepers. It is known that some high or heavy bass can accidentally wake a person.
Pink noise machines
There are also machines known as pink noise machines. Pink noise is believed to slow down brain waves, allowing for more stable and longer periods of uninterrupted sleep. Pink noise is also believed to increase productivity and concentration in the workplace during the day.
While white and pink noise cover all frequencies that the human ear can hear, the intensity of pink noise decreases with increasing frequency. While white noise may sound like a hiss, pink noise is softer and more relaxing.
When to seek help
Neubauer says there is no evidence of addiction or withdrawal in the absence of noise machines. Compare its use to any other changes in your sleeping environment, such as improving the mattress, lowering the temperature in the room, or turning off the lights.
While it is true that sleep quality tends to deteriorate with age , sleep disturbances in older people are often associated with other health problems, such as heart or lung disease, chronic pain, or mental problems such as depression. Age-related changes in the circadian rhythm , the body's daily biological cycle, may also be to blame .
If you've tried to develop good sleep habits by cutting back on caffeine and regularly before bed, but that's not enough, talk to your doctor. They will want to rule out sleep apnea , which can have the same symptoms of sleep disturbance or difficulty falling asleep as insomnia.