Feeling Tired? White Noise Can Help

Feeling Tired? White Noise Can Help

By: Jesse Menard

February 3rd, 2023

The sun has set and the outside is quiet. The crickets have started chirping, and this is your signal that it is time to get to sleep. Everyone has a nightly routine they follow before going to bed. Whether that be brushing your teeth, dimming the lights or taking a shower, these are all things we do to benefit us while we are awake.

To further benefit us in our waking hours, we should turn our focus toward one of the biggest parts of our day: sleep. What are you doing to help yourself fall asleep quickly and have a restful night? As it turns out, the addition of white noise to your bedtime routine has several benefits.

What is White Noise?

To fall asleep quicker, your environment must be just right. While living in a shared space like an apartment or dorm, this can be hard to do due to excess noise. One way to combat the noise is by incorporating white noise into your nightly routine. Whether a white noise machine or an app on your phone, white noise can help you sleep even with outside disturbances.

According to Sleep Foundation, “White noise refers to a noise that contains all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure.” White noise works using a concept called “sound masking”. Because of the equal frequencies, white noise works to balance out other noises and helps you to achieve a more restful night of sleep. When there are fewer noises for your brain to focus on, it is easier for it to get to sleep. Using white noise to establish a pre-bed routine can help signal to your brain that it is time to go to bed. 

Your Brain and Sleep

Living in such a fast-paced generation can make getting a good night’s rest hard. With technology keeping us up until insane hours, this can cut into sleep making the next day less energetic. Students are at an even higher risk, with Shelley Hershner stating that “At least 3 days a week, 60% of students report that they are dragging, tired, or sleepy.”

This can be a big problem by preventing productivity during the day. Getting a good night’s rest has been proven to increase energy throughout the day, helping you to have a more valuable life. Establishing a healthy nighttime routine and eliminating extra sounds with white noise can help to avoid being so tired during the day.

A Rainbow of Noise

While white noise can help you sleep, there are other frequencies of noise that can do all sorts of things! With a little more bass than white noise, pink noise sounds closer to thunder rumbling. This can be used to test audio systems along with aiding in sleep.

If you were to add even more bass, you would get brown noise. This sounds like a warmer version of pink noise. You have blue and violet noise on the opposite end of the spectrum. These frequencies are so high that they are barely perceptible by human ears.

While all frequencies can aid in different things, you should stick to white, pink and brown noise for sleep. Spend some time trying out each frequency until you find the one that is right for you.

The Negative Possibilities Of White Noise

While white noise has its benefits, if used incorrectly it can hinder your ability to fall asleep. Having the white noise too loud can be hard for your brain to process leading to a less restful night of sleep.

If you are using a noise app on your phone, the blue light emitting from your screen can offset your circadian rhythm. Making sure you have a dimly lit, quiet environment to sleep in is essential to falling asleep quickly and getting a restful night.

Getting to sleep can be hard. To make this easier, you can start a nighttime routine to help guide your brain into sleeping. By creating a nighttime routine, you can show your brain that it is time to wind down and begin the process of sleeping. 

One thing to consider adding to your nighttime routine is white noise. When used correctly this can help to balance out annoyances and improve your overall sleep quality. If you have a tough time falling asleep at night, change up your habits and see what helps.

Jesse Menard is a sophomore majoring in Professional and Public Writing. They aspire to work as a court stenographer editor, and publish their own peer-reviewed papers. In their free time, they enjoy spending time with their cats, eating fancy cheeses, and going on adventures.