Sleep is the time when your mind and body take time to rest and recharge. Unfortunately for some people, getting a good night’s sleep can be a real challenge. If you’re someone who struggles with falling asleep at night, you’ve probably tried everything from pitch black completely quiet rooms and sleep masks to limiting coffee after 3pm and not eating too soon before bed. Chances are, if you’re reading this, none of those options have worked quite the way you had hoped. If so, then you might be interested in giving something new a try – enter sleep sounds. What are sleep sounds you ask?
In short, they are peaceful and relaxing sounds that are designed to help you fall asleep more easily and improve the quality of your sleep. You can listen to them leading up to going to sleep to wind down or you can listen to them throughout the entire night for longer sustained rest.
We’ve spent a lot of time exploring sleep sounds in more depth, specific sounds that help us drift off, how they can be used to train the brain to associate them with relaxation and sleep, and how to get started so we’re excited to share that knowledge with you so that you too can achieve a more peaceful and rested sleep!
What Are Sleep Sounds and Why Are They Gaining Popularity?
We know that sleep sounds are designed to relax the mind and body before bedtime, but did you know that there is more to them than just noise? That’s right – sleep sounds can actually help increase sleep efficiency and comfort and even have colors associated with them to identify different frequencies. Typical sounds for sleep are commonly grouped by color (based on the spectrum of the sound waves they emit) and fall under the categories of white, pink, brown, and green with white noise being the most commonly known. Many of the sounds around us, like those in nature (such as birds chirping), instrumental music, and household appliances fall into one of these sound categories.
But what makes sleep sounds so popular? Along with people who have openly shared their positive experiences with sleep sounds, research confirms that sleep sounds can help induce restful and restorative sleep.
And with a wide range of sounds available online — an effective sleep routine is more accessible than ever. The positive effects and wide availability make this a simple and convenient remedy for people looking to experience the benefits without a ton of effort. It’s no wonder that more and more people are starting to take advantage of this incredible resource.
What Does Science Say About Sleep Sounds and Their Benefits?
Science has been exploring the effects of sounds on sleep for decades. One study found that exposure to the sound of waves crashing against shorelines was associated with improved sleep quality, increased relaxation, and greater positive feelings after waking up so the benefits actually outlasted the period of rest.
Others have found that sounds like white noise (a mix of frequencies between 20 – 20,000 Hz) can help people fall asleep faster and stay sleeping longer by masking out disruptive sounds like traffic or conversation — something especially helpful for those living in noisy areas or sharing a bedroom with an active sleeper.
Sound therapy can even help regulate blood pressure levels and improve heart health which means you can use sleep sounds at night time as a way to help improve your overall physical well-being.
Which Sleep Sounds Are The Most Effective?
When it comes to choosing the sounds for sleep for you, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The sounds that are most effective at helping you fall asleep will depend on your individual preferences and needs. Some people find peaceful sounds like natural rain or gentle ocean waves calming while other people find sleep sounds like air conditioners, airplane engines, static white noise, softer pink noises, and deep, rumbly brown noises better for them at inducing calmness and tranquility. For a more layered experience, you can even combine multiple noises, creating more options and a rich variety of sound.
It’s important to experiment and find the best sleep sounds that work for you. Doing so will help you train your brain to associate those sounds with falling asleep, resulting in a stress-free bedtime routine and improved sleep quality.
How to Improve Your Sleep Quality with Sleep Sounds
Sleep sounds can also help aid a variety of health problems. For example, those suffering from anxiety or depression have reported feelings of reduced stress and anxiety after listening to calming sounds while resting.
They can also be used to develop more regular sleeping habits and sleep cycles, which is especially beneficial for people who struggle to fall asleep or find themselves waking up multiple times throughout the night.
To begin your journey towards better sleep and improved overall health, we recommend that you start by experimenting with different sounds until you find what resonates with you. We’d advise you to find playlists that last longer and have no loops, fades, or awkward breaks. This is important in order to avoid distractions that can disrupt your sleep. Choosing tracks that have a consistent, continuous sound without any interruptions will lull your body into a deeper rest. This is because your body may be less likely to tense up with the expectation of disruptive sounds, therefore adding to a feeling of looseness and comfort while you are asleep.
The best way to do this is by listening to a podcast with tracks that explore different sleep sound options and combinations. You can explore different noises to your heart’s desire until you find what feels best for you.
Once you’ve chosen your sleep sounds, it’s important to set up your environment so that your foray into sleep sound therapy is a success. We all know that a dark and cool temperature room with supportive bedding is important, but it is equally important to make sure that your sleep sounds are at a volume that’s low enough to mask out any disruptive noises but not so loud as to keep you from dozing off or even jolt you from your sleep.
Using sleep sounds regularly will also help you get into a more consistent routine and increase your chances of improving your sleep quality significantly.
Creating Your Bedtime Routine Checklist
If we’ve convinced you to consider giving sleep sounds a try, we have a few tips that we think will help optimize your experience. Here are the top 5 things we recommend including in your bedtime routine checklist to ensure you get the most out of each night’s rest.
1. Prepare for sleep a few hours before bed, including dimming the lights and powering off screens to avoid blue light exposure.
2. Allow yourself enough time to wind down – which, for all of you coffee lovers out there, might mean cutting back on midday lattes and macchiatos or at the very leasy moving them up to earlier in your day.
3. Choose sounds that will relax you and help you fall asleep faster. Nothing too loud, fast, or jarring.
4. Make sure your sleeping area is comfortable and will make it easy to relax and take in the sounds.
5. Play your sleep sounds at a comfortable volume so they don’t disturb your sleep.
By implementing these simple steps and regular use of sleep sounds, you’ll be on your way to slumberland in no time.
The Main Takeaway
In this article, we’ve explored the benefits of sleep sounds and how they can improve sleep quality. From reducing stress and anxiety before bed to blocking out unwanted noise, sleep sounds can enhance your sleeping experience. What’s more, they can also help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling more refreshed and rested.
If you are struggling with sleep, incorporating sleep sounds into your bedtime routine may be just what you need to improve your sleep quality and overall health and with a wide range of options available, there is sure to be a sleep sound that works for you.
Whether it’s the soothing hum of an air conditioner or the constant buzzing of an engine, incorporating sleep sounds into your bedtime routine can have a positive impact on your sleep quality and overall well-being, and with resources available like 12 Hour Sound Machines, it’s easier than ever to get deeper, more restful sleep.