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White Noise & How It Helps You Sleep

October 01, 2019

 Improving sleep with the addition of white noise

When you think about things that keep you from sleeping soundly at night, noise is likely to be one of them. Whether it’s a blaring car alarm, the sound of trucks passing, an incessantly barking dog, cars revving or loud neighbours, one thing’s for sure - it’s immensely disruptive. This is why the notion of adding more noise to the equation in order to sleep well can seem a little counter-intuitive; surely you should be trying to quiet things down instead of amping it up?


What Is White Noise?

Simply put, white noise is a type of sound that is used to drown out background sounds by masking it. Essentially, it settles 'around' existing noises to keep it from being disturbing. If you want to get deeply technical, white noise is a sound of which the amplitude is constant throughout the audible frequency range. It sounds very similar to TV or radio static. However, people also refer to other types of constant, unchanging background noise as white noise. This includes sounds of nature, like rain and waves; machinery sounds like a washing machine or AC; as well as ambient landscape sounds like a crackling campfire or big crowd. 

DID YOU KNOW? There are noises from other ‘colours’ as well. This includes pink, red, violet, grey and even brown. The different colours represent a specific spectral density and they have various applications in acoustics. 

How Does White Noise Improve Sleep? 

Over many aeons of evolution, our hearing developed into a very effective alarm system that informs our cognitive radar of potential threats, even when we're asleep. However, quite often it's not the volume of a sound that wakes us, but the context - it stands out and triggers the startle reflex. When external noises are 'blended into' a steady flow of constant white noise, your brain pays less attention, allowing you to sleep undisturbed. 

How Can I Implement It In My Sleep Routine? 

The simplest and most effective way would be to invest in a white noise machine that you can use in your room. Alternatively, there are also white noise apps that you can download and use from your mobile. Just be sure to refrain from browsing or playing on your phone before you turn in for the night - the blue-spectrum light emitted by screens interfere with melatonin-production and severely hamper our ability to fall asleep. 

Fascinating stuff, right? If you’d like to learn more about the science of sleep, keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months - we’ll be sharing more interesting findings and expert insight right here. In the meantime, we also recommend that you visit us in-store to try out our revolutionary new Comfort Solutions Lab®. Finding a mattress that conforms to your personal comfort level is one of the best ways to pave the way for restorative rest. 


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