Sleeping in a quiet environment can be extremely peaceful until a noise disturbance in or outside your home abruptly wakes you from a deep sleep. Even if they don’t fully wake you, certain noises can have a detrimental effect on your sleep cycle.
If you sleep in an environment where you are regularly woken up by random sounds and background noise, sleep aids may help you achieve a better night’s rest. Here’s how noise machines can promote a good night’s sleep, along with tips that can help you choose the best noise-producing aids for both you and your partner.
How Do Noise Machines Help You Sleep?
A noise machine can help eliminate certain disruptive noises from your sleep environment, or distract you from those noises by making them less noticeable. Household appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and air conditioners might kick on at any time during the night to rouse you from sleep, as can sounds from neighbors, traffic, and airplanes.
Noise machines can produce ambient sounds such as rainfall, wind, soft music, and static that drown out unwelcome noises to prevent you from waking and help you sleep better.
One study found that the effect of white noise on sleep in a group of healthy individuals was similar to that of a hypnotic drug commonly prescribed as a sleep aid — minus the side effects. Noise machines can be a safe and effective way to fall and stay asleep, compared with many over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids.
What Are the Best Types of Noise Machines for Sleep?
The best noise machine to use while sleeping depends on your personal preferences and that of your sleeping partner. Some people enjoy listening to music as they fall asleep, while others may prefer the sounds of nature. People who relocate to rural areas from urban areas may be used to falling asleep to the backdrop of city sounds like sirens and traffic, so they may prefer machines that produce these noises.
Types of Noise
When exploring your options for noise machines, consider the type of noise to which you prefer falling asleep. Sleep experts categorize noise machines into white, pink, and brown noise.
White noise is a steady, constant sound similar to that produced by radio static or a stationary fan, while pink noise combines high and low frequencies that sound more natural than white noise, such as the sound of a steady wind. Brown noise is similar to white noise, but tends to be deeper with more bass, such as the sound of ocean waves during a storm.
Types of Machine
Consider choosing a noise machine with an automatic shutoff feature, especially if you generally only struggle with falling asleep. If you feel as though you could benefit from listening to different noises while sleeping every night, look for noise machines that offer a variety of sound settings. Alternately, you can try downloading noise-producing sleep apps on your smartphone that are designed for people with insomnia or sleep apnea, who need help falling and staying asleep.
Is There a Positive Link Between Music and Sleep?
One study states that more than 50% of people with sleep disorders use music as a sleep aid. Certain types of music were shown to relax the nervous system and improve calmness by slowing heart rate and breathing and reducing blood pressure. The study also found that music with frequency levels between 0.01–2 Hz can induce deep sleep.
People who listen to relaxing music as a sleeping aid have found that it can improve their sleep. If you like the idea of falling asleep to music, look for albums or playlists with songs specifically designed to help you sleep better. Explore the sleep playlist selection on your favorite music app, or download a music and sleep app that contains a large library of music proven to promote quality sleep.
Using Noise Machines With a CPAP Machine
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a common treatment for sleep apnea. Most modern CPAP machines are quiet, but some CPAP users and their sleeping partners may find that these devices are highly disruptive to sleep.
One report states that any loudness coming from a CPAP machine may be due to a blocked air filter or faulty mask valve. If switching to a new CPAP mask or wearing earplugs fails to muffle the noise from a CPAP machine, a noise machine may be your ideal solution.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, an at-home sleep test can be an easy, convenient way to find out. Lunella allows consumers to take a sleep apnea test from the comfort of their own home and receive a proper data-driven diagnosis from a board-certified sleep physician and a prescription for treatment, if necessary.
This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.