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What Is White Noise And How White Noise Machine Can Help You Sleep

We all don't get the sleep we need. Why is that? Things like work, stress, or just having difficulty winding down before bedtime are just a few reasons why people have trouble sleeping.

Countless studies on sleep quality have shown that adequate sleep results in better overall health, a better sex life, lower risk of injury, and better mood to name a few benefits.

Inadequate rest can cause a plethora of issues, such as decreased productivity, inability to focus, bad mood, weight gain, and the chance to develop chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.

I'm a40 year old father of two young children (age 6 and 4), and I'm married, so trust me when I say that I know how important sleep is! I'm also a snorer and a sufferer of mild sleep apnea, which keeps me and my family awake at night.

I've just recently moved to the countryside. I used to live in a flat where I could hear everything my neighbors were doing, particularly their TV and the occasional dog barking at night. This is when I began to experiment with white noise for sleeping issues.

What Is White Noise?

White noise is commonly heard when your TV has no reception, or when your radio has no signal. Click the play button below to hear it, or if you've ever wondered what does white noise sound like. The term "white noise" can be used in various contexts, from signal processing to discrete time, butwhite noise will pertain to audio in this article, its most common context.

To understand what white noise is, look at the name. The term gets its name from 'white light', which is all colors, or the frequency of all colors, combined. White noise is a combination of all the frequencies of sound you can hear.

For a more precise definition, white noise is the frequency created when all different frequencies of audible sound that the human ear can perceive are put together at a similar level. The frequencies we hear are between 20 - 20,000 Hertz.

A good example is when you're waiting for a game to start in a sports stadium. Thousands of people are talking, and it sounds like a blurred roar. White noise has a similar effect. Hearing so many different tones at the same time blurs into a hissing or hushing sound.

This is why the sound of rain, wind, waterfalls, and oceans are included on white noise machines. They're similar to white noise due to various tones. White noise is used to drown out any outside noises in the environment.

It creates a "masking effect", which blocks out sudden changes that disturb light sleepers or those that are trying to fall asleep.

You now know what white noise is and what it's used for, but what do you know about white noise machines?

What Is A White Noise Machine?

A white noise machine is a device that produces random sounds, like rushing water, wind blowing through the leaves of a tree, ocean waves, or the sounds of traffic.

These devices usually do not produce actual white noise (which has a harsh sound), but pink noise, which uses the frequencies of other colors to produce softer sound. These machines can also produce brown noise, which is like pink noise except even softer.

Listen to the difference in noise in this video.

The Use Of White Noise Macines

These machines are created by various manufacturers and come in many forms for a variety of uses. Each manufacturer of white noise generators make the following products: audio testing equipment, sleep-aid devices, sound-masking products, and power-nap machines.

Nap-machines and sleep-aid products can produce sounds other than white noise. Sounds like wind, rain, music, and ocean waves are mixed with white noise to get a more mellow sound. White noise machines are also used by sufferers of tinnitus to mask its symptoms.

Each sound has its own measurement and color coding technique, which allows specialized users to pick the correct noise needed for the user.

For example, a psychiatrist may need a noise generator that gives off a mellow sound. For their needs, a pink, or even brown noise generator would be best for their therapies and treatments.

Patients suffering from insomnia down to anxiety can overcome their conditions at a mental level with these machines. Sounds produced by these generators are not truly random. They're pre-recorded short tracks that loop at the end each time.

Manufacturers recommend that the volume on sound-masking devices initially be set to a comfortable level. As the ear becomes accustomed to the sound and begins to tune it out, increase the volume.

For sleep aid and power-napping devices, manufacturers recommend that the volume be set to slightly louder than the normal level at which music is played, but still within a comfortable range.

The Design

Modern electronic models generate sound using audio test equipment via played-back digital audio recordings.

A basic setup for a simple white noise generator uses an enclosed fan and an optional speed switch. The fan moves air through slots in the machine casing, making the desired sound. To see a white noise generator in action, scroll down to Marpac Dohm-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine.

You may wonder: Well yes, that's sounds like a great remedy for sleep problems, but do white noise machines work? The answer is yes, they work rather well. If you would like a recommendation, a few are listed below.

What's The Best White Noise Machine I Can Buy?

1. LectroFan - White Noise Machine

LectroFan - White Noise Machine

The LectroFan's biggest perk is that it mask disruptive noises. It can block out your neighbor's TV, create a study area free of noise, keep all your conversations private, or help you fall asleep. The LectroFan has various settings that will mask noises and more.

It can also help a baby go to sleep. The soothing sounds of the LectroFan will put babies to sleep and create a steady, consistent sound to mask noises that would otherwise wake them up. You can carry the LectroFan anywhere with you to calm your baby down.

The LectroFan comes equipped with 10 options for white noise, 10 different fan sounds, a sleep timer, and various sleep setting recommendations for any and every situation. This white noise machine comes loaded with options for any situation that may need white noise.

This sound machine is small and portable, making it easy to carry anywhere. It's perfect for that business trip you need to take in the fall, during your vacation at the beach, or for that family adventure to Spain.

Here is a quick review video I found on YouTube on LowerMyPressure channel.

The cost of this machine is around $45 on Amazon, $50 at Target, and $45 at Walmart, so I would say that the price for the LectroFan would fall between $45 - $50.

2. Adaptive Sound Technologies - Sound+Sleep, Sleep Therapy System

Adaptive Sound Technologies - Sound+Sleep, Sleep Therapy System

This white noise machine gives you a healthy, steady sleep that instantly masks out any noises you may find disruptive. You'll be able to enjoy quality sleep all while listening to relaxing sounds. Need I say more?

Just like the LectroFan, Adaptive Sound Technologies also has 10 sound settings you can choose from. Choose sounds taken from the natural environment or non-repeating fan and white noise sounds.

Adaptive Sound comes with technology that automatically adjusts the volume to accommodate for environmental noises and createto abalance atmosphere.

Probably one of its most handy features is that you can power off the machine once you've drifted off. Set your Sound+Sleep or Sound+Sleep MINI to power off once you're asleep.

If you're not happy with just hearing ocean waves or white noise, you have the option to combine several tracks to create your desired noise.

Here is a quick review video I found on YouTube by Jamie CHoyt.

Sound+Sleep, Sleep Therapy System by Adaptive Sound Technologies cost around $100 on Amazon and Target.

3. Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine

Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine

The Dohm can mask unwanted noises, making it easier for you to relax, wind down, or drift off. To accomplish this, Dohm uses a "shhhshh" sound, similar to air moving around but it does not actually move any air around.

It is made of a adjustable and compact acoustic housing which is surrounded by a electric motor with a fan that's asymmetrical. This makes for a natural, yet customized sound that is not a pre-recorded track.

If you're like me and you like to have something going on in the background, the Dohm provides just enough noise for when it would be too quiet otherwise.

The Dohm is recommended for fussy infants, restless sleepers, exhausted shift workers, busy students, spouses of those who snore, apartment dwellers, and others who may suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, sleepwalking, night terrors, and the like.

It's easy to use. When you first use it, use either the "high" or "low" setting with the flip of a switch, then you can fine-tune the sound to your preferred volume by twisting its cap and collar.

To make sure that quality and durability, along with easy care are taken care of, the Marpac Dohm-DS is made in the US with sturdy plastic.

This noise machine is 3 inches high with a base diameter of about 6 inches, which will leave plenty room on your table or nightstand for other items. Weighing 1-1/2 pounds, the Dohm is easy to take with you when traveling, and it's also backed by a one year warranty.

Video by Robbie TwoScraps.

The Marpac Dohm-DS seems to go for $50 wherever you buy it, from Amazon down to Bed Bath & Beyond.

4. HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Machine

Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine

You'll be able to create a relaxing environment anywhere atanytime with the HoMedics Sound Spa Portable Sound Machine. There are six different digital pre-recorded tracks for you to play back to create an atmosphere of calm and relaxation.

It even comes equipped with an auto-off timer that turns the machine off after 15, 30, or 60 minutes. It's perfect for travel too, coming in a compact size. You can operate the Sound Spa machine with either a power cord adapter or 4 AA batteries (sorry, but the batteries are not included).

Packaging may vary, but the Sound Spa machine contains the following sounds: ocean waves, summer night, light rain, thunderstorm, the running water of a brook and your traditional white noise sound.

This machine is pretty cheap. You can find it for around $20 on Maybe not the best one compared to the ones above but it's safe to say that this one's a best deal from from the lot.

Final Words...

Everyone loves a good night's sleep, but that may be hard for some of you to come by. If so, a white noise machine may be just the thing for you.

White noise is a blend of all sound frequencies the human ear can hear, which creates a mellow sound for those who have trouble falling asleep or light sleepers.

A white noise machine has either pre-recorded tracks of natural sounds, pre-recorded tracks that can be combined, or generic white noise that can be programmed to comfortable volume settings to relax you.

Above are four white noise machines that I'd recommend you try. All of them have the ability to relax you, they're portable, they don't take up much space, and they're generally affordable if you know where to look.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below. If you're having difficulties going to sleep or staying asleep, follow these steps to correct the issue.

  • Go to the doctor: Make sure it's not a chronic sleep illness. If so, you'll now know how to handle it.
  • Tell your doctor you would like to use a sleep machine and if they think it's okay for you to do so. The doctor has the best opinion!
  • Enjoy a good night's rest! Take care and have a great white noise sleep!

About the Author Robert J. Hudson

Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!

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