A white noise machine is an electrical device, which generates white noise; i.e. a sort of noise or sound that is random in character.
White noise resembles the sound generated by highly active waterfalls, trees producing friction due to heavy wind activity, or the sound generated by older television sets when they fail to receive organized signals.
These machines are available in a massive variety of shapes and sizes and for a lot of different purposes, which is why it’s really hard to end up with the best white noise machine 2017.
Some can produce pink or other colors of noise instead, which are still highly similar to white noise.
White noise machines can be for various purposes such as audio testing, sound masking, aiding sleep, and inducing power naps. Moreover, they are also often used by individuals suffering with tinnitus to mask the symptoms of the problem.
The generated white noise can be used for the treatment of a huge number of health issues, from mental to sensory. However, in most cases of white noise generation by digital devices, the generated white noise is not completely random, but is looped.
Simple to explain, mechanical devices that consist of basic setups involving enclosed fans that bow air through small slots are also available and can produce the sound.
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Why Can the White Noise Machine Help People Sleep?
White noise is highly random in nature and every other characteristic, which is why it can effectively mask almost every aural distraction without creating another. While the human brain has evolved enough to find and even create patterns from almost every sensory data, white noise is still an exception.
Using white noise machines can help you sleep really well, because it does not carry any characteristics your brain can find useful or dangerous in any manner. This is also the reason why most sleep inducing therapies also involve listening to sounds generated by natural activities, such as rainfall, waterfalls, leaves brushing against each other, etc.
A sound machine that generates white noise can help you effectively mask nearly all aural distractions that may keep you from falling asleep. Apart from reducing distractions, there are numerous other ways that white noise machines can help you fall asleep, as well as stay that way.
The following are some other benefits that white noise machines offer you to help you ensure a nice sleep:
- They can help you create an environment that’s quiet to your brain
White noise machines can help you effectively mask up sounds that might be bothering you or grabbing your attention. It will help you create an environment that’ll allow you to get enough sleep.
Sure, there will be some noise, but it won’t mean anything to your brain, and hence, won’t cause any interruption.
- White noise can keep you from thinking
While it won’t affect anything to your brain and won’t let it focus on anything meaningful, they’ll also help you make sure that your brain doesn’t get forced to generate thoughts that may make it harder for you to fall asleep.
- These machines can keep you from gaining focus
White noise machines will stop any other external sounds from getting consciously detected by your brain, which will make you feel something close to absolute quietness. The noise will also keep you from focusing on any other organized thoughts.
- They’ll also help you establish a bedtime routine
White noise machines will help you establish a routine that’ll tell your brain that you need to fall asleep; especially when you don’t have a uniform sleeping routine. If your biological clock doesn’t manage to help you out, the white noise will help you fall asleep as soon as you need to, without any difficulties.
- You’ll stay asleep
Various disturbing factors can interrupt your sleep; however, using a white noise machine can help you make sure that you cannot detect any such aural stimuli. The random noise will overwhelm your ears without causing any disturbances.
- They’ll help you sleep better
It doesn’t matter if you fall sleep right after an interruption; white noise machines can help you sleep better by eliminating most interruptions that may affect the quality of the sleep that you get. In fact, interruptions can waste a lot of your time, cause drowsiness after you wake up, and cause you to sleep more than you would otherwise.
Babies and White Noise
White noise seems to help babies sleep better, stay calm, and more comfortable than in a louder, or even quieter environment. In fact, babies aren’t used to quiet places.
The womb is really loud (from the inside, of course), and that’s what babies are really used to and comfortable with. White noise machines can help babies feel more like ‘home’, and help them experience a significantly greater level of comfort.
It also helps to reduce some factors like stress and paranoia in babies, and help them relax and sleep better. White noise machines can be highly beneficial for babies in a lot of ways.
The following are some of the known benefits that the noise generated by these machines can offer when it comes to helping babies sleep:
- White noise can reduce stress in babies
White noise can effectively reduce the stress experienced by babies by blocking all other external stimuli. While it isn’t distracting, it certainly is noticeable.
It can help babies refocus their attention on the noise from strange faces and other sounds. White noise can effectively reduce the stress experienced by babies in reaction to various sounds, or even quietness.
- It can help babies sleep
The white sound machines can help babies fall asleep very easily. White noise, when loud enough, can easily block all kinds of sounds, and at the same time, do not make any sense to the human brain. White noises lack any periodic characteristics, which is why they do not disturb.
- White noise sounds like ‘shushing’
hushing your baby might work pretty well, but you can keep doing that all the time. White noise sounds like shushing, which is why it can help you tell babies that everything’s okay; or maybe that they need to shut the hell up.
Many people remain concerned about the harm that white noise may cause to babies. However, white noise is the least harmful kind of sound there is. Except randomness, white noise lacks any other characteristics.
While the higher frequencies in white noise can sometimes be displeasing, most white noise machines generate pink noise instead, which isn’t unpleasant in any way.
There’s very little that you need to worry about using white noise machines; however, white noise, like any other, can produce certain problems. It is necessary to make sure that the white noise is too loud for your baby’s ears, and that the nature of the noise is comfortable enough.
For instance, unlike true white noise, the sound you play should lack very high frequencies that tend to induce discomfort.
Benefits of Having the Best White Noise Machine
White noise machines can help you out in a lot of ways. The white noise generated by these devices can offer you a variety of benefits that might not be as easy to achieve in any other ways. The following is a list of some common benefits that white noise generating machines can offer you:
- They can help you sleep
White noise machines can help you get a great sleep by blocking out all other sounds that may make falling asleep harder for you. Using a white noise machine can help you sleep faster by blocking out even the mildest sounds that might grab your attention.
Moreover, using white noise machines can help you retain your sleep by making any noises undetectable to your brain while you’re asleep.
- They help your babies sleep
The same way that white noise generating machines help you, they can also help your babies fall asleep, as well as stay relaxed. All kinds of sounds can make babies nervous, which is why white noise can help them by blocking other sounds.
- White noise can help you work better
White noise can help you focus better on your work, as well as improve your productivity. It can prevent any interruptive noises from reaching your ear, so your brain doesn’t have to try to find out what they mean, and can focus on the work instead.
- They can help you relax
White noise machines can help you relax almost instantly. The white noise generated by these machines will block any external sounds, and will give your brain some time to ignore its meaningless signals and get some rest.
- White noise machines can help you get your headphones ready
Many audiophiles believe that running white noise through your headphones or any other speaker devices for some time can help you improve the quality they offer by continuously stimulating the sound-generating parts in nearly every possible manner.
- White noise can help suppress the symptoms of tinnitus
Tinnitus can be really annoying, especially because the sounds sensed in this condition are differentiable. White noise machines can help you mask these interruptive and annoying noises.
- It can be used in mental therapies
White noise is used for various mental therapies, including the treatment of conditions like anxiety, stress, and others.
- Power napping
White noise machines can induce sleep in listeners really quickly, and help them get the rest that do with a complete sleep cycle, without actually completing it by skipping out the first few stages, significantly reducing the time spent.
What to Look For When Buying a White Noise Machine
Buying a noise machine is an important decision and one must compare different features to get the right one. While there is no one size fits all solution, you can match your requirements with the variety of choices available.
A sound machine to be used in a daycare will differ from the one to be used in a dorm. While the market space is flooded with myriad brands claiming to deliver the high-end white noise machine; it’s vital to consider certain features before heading for purchase.
- Quality and Choice of Sounds
Some sleep sound machines are simply on/off with volume control and devoid of any choices. It’s advisable to pick a machine that offers more than one sound. You can find options with varied sounds like waterfall, crickets, seashore, thunder and surf.
Some brands also include features like “richness” levels and dynamic sound mixing. It’s desirable to buy a machine that produces a smooth and consistent sound. The quality of sound is also primary to the user. It should produce soothing, smooth and sleep inducing sounds that aid in relaxing the brain. The choices may differ as per usage by babies and adults.
- Noise Masking
It’s prerequisite for any sleep machine to have noise masking capabilities apart from producing its own sounds. With so much of hustle in other parts of the home or outside, it’s futile to just produce a waterfall sound. The cardinal purpose is to aid comfortable sleep and masking disturbances is an important feature to consider.
When you’re buying any sound machine for better sleep, it’s crucial to consider portability as a feature. It’s always comfortable to have a gadget that is easy to move around and can be placed at a desired location. Lightweight and compact machines are preferred for domestic use.
Sound machines could be powered via USB, wall socket or batteries. Batteries contribute to the portability but add to the cost of using the machine. You can also look for rechargeable batteries if you travel often. For general home usage, a wall socket operated machine is the best choice. It saves you from the hassle of batteries.
- Sleep timer
With modern lifestyles becoming hectic, timer feature is always time saving and comfortable. The machine automatically switches off after a set time and you need not to bother about it running whole night. You can set the timer as per the child’s sleeping habits without any need to switch it off. It saves energy and the hassle to check the machine repeatedly.
- Aesthetic Appeal
Apart from the technical specifications, a feel good model and appearance is desirable in any gadget. Bulky, boring and boxy machine is not worth the price. You can pick a sleek, stylish and visually appealing gadget from the myriad options available. There are several machines that come in cute teddy bear and soft toy looks to suit your kids’ room décor.
- Remote Control
Some manufacturers provide you with full-fledged features and a remote control is included as part of the package. The remote control is functional from a comfortable distance and you can switch off the machine as per convenience.
You may find machines that are simple on/off while others have rotating caps and multi button. It’s crucial to consider a user friendly machine that’s easy to operate and understand.
- Multi featured Sound machine
In the age of multi functionality gadgets, it’s easy to find a noise machine that is also an alarm clock, light projector, monitor and a lot more. If you are planning to invest in a machine that serves you many purposes, you will find some great options in the market.
Spending some money on a machine that breaks down in a few months can be disappointing. Pragmatically, you will need the machine from newborn to toddler stage of your baby. One must look for a sleep machine that gives a warranty of at least two to three years.
Is White Noise Harmful?
Without a doubt, selecting the right white noise machine could be a tough choice when there are claims doubting its safety features. Machines from trusted brands are prepared with extensive research and great quality standards making them safe for adults and babies as well.
Free from any radiation, pulse or harmful emissions, white noise is a mechanical phenomenon considered safe by medical practitioners. With tuning, volume and sound control features, you can regulate the amount of noise comfortable for yourself. Studies conducted so far have found white noise to be safe for human brain and hearing.
As the machines are approved by international health standards and widely used in many places, one can be assured of its safety and reliability. Many studies have also revealed positive impact of white noise in certain cases.
It is recommended that you consult an expert before buying a white noise machine for your home.
Urban lifestyle and hectic schedules makes sound sleep a challenging task. Sound sleep and power naps are proven ways to increase productivity and health. Whether you are a busy adult or a caring parent, you need to have a sleep machine at home.
You need to pick the best white noise machine in order to have a comfortable, soothing and invigorating sleep. A noise machine is a commonly used gadget that lets you enjoy a comfortable sleep in the midst of disturbances all around.
Technically, it masks other sounds and gives a noise that induces you to sleep. Many researches and experts have approved its usage and positive impact on healthy sleeping habits.
If you want to look at a machine with good features and value for money, Marpac DOHM-DS, Natural White Noise Sound Machine is a great choice. This 120 V machine has compact dimensions and user friendly features. Ideal for day cares, apartments and college dorms, this sleep machine has superior noise masking capabilities.
The 2-speed sound option and friendly usability makes it simple to operate. Engineered with superior acoustics, the brand is a trusted name for providing quality and long lasting sleep machines.
The compact, lightweight and user friendly machine can be used anywhere. Accompanied with an actual fan, it does not give any artificial rattling and repetitive sound.
With its simple mechanics, it’s considered safe for both adults and babies. Unlike other machines, it has no detrimental impact on hearing capability and is a safe option.