White Noise Sound Explained & How It Can Help Sleep

white noise sound

photo: OnePixel

What is white noise sound and how can it be used in your everyday life? Learn more about this helpful 'sound masker' here!

White noise sound can be thought of as being all-encompassing just like white light, which is made up of all the colors of the rainbow that humans can see. White noise is composed of all sound frequencies that can be picked up by humans, ranging from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz, with every frequency equally distributed. Due to this these characteristics, it has the ability to mask other sounds and is perceived as “static” by the human ear.

Learn more about white noise sound via the following informative video clip!

As outlined by Live Science, white noise has long been used to those suffering from tinnitus or ringing in the ear. It is also often implemented into the sirens of emergency vehicles to cut through other surrounding noises. As many know, white noise is often used to help individuals sleep by drowning out bothersome noises inside and outside the bedroom.

Disruptions In The Sleep Cycle 

Even as we sleep, our brains are never completely shutdown and our hearing is still very much engaged. Noise can disturb you and cause you to wake, move, shift between stages of sleep. Whether a sound will interrupt your slumber depends on factors such as your stage of sleep, the time, and even your feelings about the sounds themselves.

Sounds are more likely to wake you from a light sleep than from a deep sleep and tend to be more of an issue in the early morning hours. Researchers have found that people are more likely to wake when a sound is relevant or emotionally charged. This explains why a baby’s cry is so alarming to dozing parents while a snoring partner in the same setting has little impact.

White Noise As A Sleep Aid 

If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, white noise is worth testing out. Blocking out distracting noises and producing soothing sounds that help you relax are two main ways that help white noise users enjoy more restorative zzz’s.

“I am a true believer [of white noise],” says psychiatrist David Neubauer, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sleep Disorders Center. “I sleep with white noise myself. While most of the evidence showing that these machines help people sleep is anecdotal, we know they provide a kind of ‘sound cocoon,’ which is very soothing. When it’s completely quiet, people with insomnia or other sleep difficulties focus more closely on small noises, which can interfere with their getting to sleep.”

Want to try out playlists that feature elements of white noisefor yourself? A series of five sleep-promoting playlists have been created by Endel, a sound technology that generates real-time personalized soundscapes to enhance sleep, relaxation, and focus. Endel’s core algorithm is based on circadian rhythms, pentatonic scale, and sound masking. The globally available iOS app was created by Berlin-based team of artists, developers, and scientists. These playlists feature scientifically proven and expertly crafted sleep sounds to help you enjoy the benefits of restorative slumber.

Click the “play” button below to preview the Clear NightCloudy Night, Rainy Night, Foggy Morning, and Cloudy Afternoon playlists! Choose “listen” in the top right corner if you wish to view the full album via Apple Music or Spotify. 

Clear Night Preview

Cloudy Night Preview

Rainy Night Preview

Foggy Morning Preview

Cloudy Afternoon Preview

The tracks featured on these playlists were produced with specifically pentatonic scale in mind – the musical scale with five notes per octave. The use of the pentatonic scale and pure intonation results in simple, pleasant sounds that are physiologically natural. When pentatonic melodies and pure intonation are joined, the most relaxing ambient combinations possible are created as a result.

Use white noise sound and other related noise types to your advantage and be sure to share this information with others seeking to improve their sleep! 

Sources: VeryWell Health, National Sleep Foundation