If you’ve ever turned your radio or TV to an unoccupied station, then you’re familiar with the static sound of white noise. But, that “SHHH” you hear technically isn’t a single sound at all. It’s actually the noise created by sounds of all different frequencies at the same time. Much like white light is made up of the combination of all the different colors in the spectrum, true white noise consists of the combined sounds of all different frequencies.
However, in reference to sleeping, “white noise” is more commonly used to describe consistent humming or airy sounds that provide gentle and relaxing background noise. This can be from a fan, white noise machine, radiator, or another device.
How Does White Noise Help With Sleep?
White noise can enhance the quality of your sleep in several ways. First and foremost, its consistent, calming sound drowns out noise pollution to help you fall asleep. Additionally, the sounds mask any sudden noises that may wake you up mid-slumber to improve overall sleep quality.
It also may help you to destress. Many people find that white noise is meditative, helping clear any anxious thoughts about the day before or the day ahead so that you can relax.
You can create a calm sleeping environment anywhere. Whether you purchase a compact white noise machine or just play the sounds through your headphones, white noise can turn a train, airport, bus, or noisy hotel into a tranquil space. Additionally, traveling with a white noise machine allows you to establish and maintain a consistent sleep routine even if you’re not in your bed.
White Noise Fans
This popular sleep sound machine uses fan white noise for natural air sounds without any disturbances caused by moving air. It features two speed options for adjustable volume and tone to meet your specific sleep needs, and the compact design of the Dohm sound machine fits anywhere and is easy for travel.
If box fan noise helps you fall asleep, this fan from Homepointe is an excellent option. It offers three fan speeds for adjustable tone and volume, and will also keep you cool and comfortable at night with its wide-area of cooling airflow and air circulation. The energy-efficient design helps conserve power so that you can leave it running all night.
Baby Sound Machine
MyBaby Soundspa On-The-Go
Choose between white noise, heartbeat, ocean, or lullaby sounds to create a peaceful sleep environment for your baby. Small and lightweight, it’s one of the best sound machines for travel as it fits easily in a bag and clips onto car seats, strollers, and cribs.
Zonpor Sound Machine With Nightlight
This machine offers 28 different sound options for a relaxing sleep atmosphere. For babies and toddlers that struggle to sleep in the dark, it features a touch-sensor lamp with adjustable color options. The sleep machine also includes a timer function to shut off after 30 minutes, an hour, or continuous playing throughout the night.
Online Sleep Sound Generators
White Noise & Co. Colored Noise Generator
Your laptop is an excellent alternative to a white noise machine. This free online generator enables you to customize frequencies for your desired white noise tone and volume.
Ultimate Rain Sound Generator
The sound of rain is a great alternative to white noise to help you relax and fall asleep. This website generates customizable rain noises to help you relax and cover up any distracting background noises to fall asleep.
White noise can improve sleep quality for infants and adults. If honking horns outside your window or the to-do list in your head keeps you up at night, investing in a white noise machine may help you experience a full night’s sleep.
Be mindful of the volume of your machine, like any loud noises, prolonged exposure to white noise sounds that are too loud can cause hearing damage. Check instructions to ensure you’re playing it at a safe volume and distance, and then close your eyes and experience the tranquility of white noise.