sleep sound machine

Sleep and Sound: Your Definitive Guide

We are all different, and so are our sleeping patterns. Some people fall asleep the moment head meets pillows. Others toss and turn until the early hours of the morning. It could be stress, or a prolonged thought process that causes them to lose sleep. Maybe it is just that they are wired that way. Whichever the case, sleep is important! You can never underestimate the effect of a good night’s sleep. You get time to rest as your body unwinds and continues with its development. When you wake up in the morning, you feel refreshed and ready to attack the day head, be it in class, at work or around the house- in an ideal world anyway. If you happen to lack sleep at night, then it might be time to invest in your own sleep for once and for all.

Introducing sound machines

If you are having trouble sleeping, the best possible remedy you might think of is the use of medication. However, this will only fix the problem in the short run and bring about problems in the future. Under these circumstances, the best solution will be the use of a sound machine. These are appliances that sooth you to sleep by stifling the background noise in a particular setting. In addition, they produce their own-programmed sounds that mimic nature in a bid to help you enjoy a good night’s sleep. This happens through a concept called white noise. In the simplest terms, white noise is the combination of all frequencies.

The concept of white noise

In strict scientific terms, white noise is too penetrative, too unnerving and very uncomfortable. A good example of white noise in its purest form is the static that your TV or radio produces when it cannot access a particular frequency. However, when used in the context of sound machines, this term simply refers to the type of noise that happens continuously, does not stop and does not change in rhythm. Ambient sounds, noise from machines and sounds of nature all loosely belong to this category of noise. When it comes to making the choice of a sleeping noise, different people will go for different alternatives. There are those who like the gentle lapping of water against the beach during tides. Others will choose the soft thud of a waterfall while others will opt for distant thunderstorms. Generally, very few people choose the harsh grating sounds of pure background noise.

Understanding the working of white noise

The idea of using sound machine to help you sleep might sound strange, even ridiculous. However, it actually works. If you live close to the streets, chances are that you are going to hear many nightly noises that could be distractive. Your brain tends to focus on such noises and this prevents you from sleeping peacefully. Using white noise creates a continuous stream of sounds that are regular and flawless. Therefore, your brain does not get distracted because the noise it is registering is not unusual and does not send alarming signals. At the same time, sounds from the machine will drown out any other external interference. The catch with white noise is that it does not technically drown out these other noises, it just integrates them through a process called is sound masking.


Music versus white noise

A great deal of research has gone into the use of music as an aid to sleep. The conclusion is that yes, music works to sooth you to sleep, with different people preferring different tunes. However, it simply does not carry with it the sophistication that sound machines bring. It does not even really mask the sounds; it just literally drowns them out through the application of volume. This means that if the external noise is high, then you have to put up the volume too. In addition, white noise does not trigger any kinds of memories that music does. If you are using a blend of tunes to help you to sleep, chances are that they will remind you of something like a place, a person or a situation. When this happens, your brain drifts from trying to calming down and sleeping. Instead, it starts digging into its reservoirs to sift through memories in a bid to isolate the one each tune triggers. At this point, you are no longer trying to sleep: you are sinking further into the lack of it.


Choosing a sound machine

If you happen to decide on using a sound machine to help you sleep, then you are spoilt for choice. There are numerous sound machines available on the market and you need to find the one that best suits your tastes. There are some sound conditioners that will come with frequencies you simply do not like. Give them a wide berth and go for the ones that have a wide array of frequencies from which to choose. You will find it easy to work with machines that have screen panels or buttons listing the available sounds that you can listen to by the act of pressing a button. Like the ever-popular Ecotones Sound and Sleep Machine. Others do not have this feature and you will therefore need to keep pushing buttons without knowing exactly what you are looking for and where to find it (Much like the irritating iPod Shuffle!) It is generally a good idea to work with whatever leans towards full automation, as it will make everything easy for you.


Gauging the effectiveness of sound machines in lulling people to sleep

Generally, noise machines have proved very effective in aiding the process of sleep among all ages. Research that has taken place in hospitals show that patients will experience disturbances and random spells of wakefulness in the absence of such machines. Noticeable changes occur when sound machines are in play: there are fewer cases of torrid nights and there is a general atmosphere of peace at night in wards. Naturally a good nights sleep will only serve to help the healing process.

Some therapists use sound machines in their waiting areas. Not only to help relax the client but to ensure what is said in the therapists room stays in the therapists room.

So before trying a less natural approach to help you fall, and stay asleep, give the sound machine a try. With the prices ranging from $20 – $130 there is a sound machine to suit all budgets.

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