Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Are you constantly tossing and turning, or waking up feeling exhausted? If so, you may want to try listening to some ambient sounds to get better sleep.
Not sure what ambient sounds are? Try to think about some of the noises you hear on a daily basis in the background of your life – waves crashing on the shore, wind blowing through the trees, birds chirping. Other examples of sounds that you probably encounter regularly but likely don’t give much thought to are the humming of a fan, a running vacuum or even road noise. When used intentionally, these types of sounds/noises can be very therapeutic for both adults and children, and can even help you relax and fall asleep faster. And let’s face it – quality sleep and sleep in general can be pretty hard to come by with all of life’s commitments, raising families, soccer practices, basketball games, working 9+ hour shifts, and the list goes on. So if ambient noise can help achieve even a fraction of better sleep, sign us up!
Do You Find It Difficult to Fall Asleep in General?
Chances are if you’re reading this, the answer is a resounding yes! If so, we’ve got you covered with a few simple but powerfully effective tips to help you create a more tranquil sleeping environment.
With sleep being essential for our health and well-being, we know how frustrating it is when you’re up all night tossing and turning. The trouble with sleep is that it can be unpredictable, and when we aren’t able to get enough of it, our health and productivity suffer. Throw in a few variables for good measure and sleepless nights can be a recipe for disaster.
The good news is there are several things you can do to improve your sleep quality.
- Make sure that your bedroom is dark and quiet — exposure to light can interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythms and make it harder for you to sleep.
- Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine close to bedtime as these can all hinder your ability to fall asleep.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — this will help condition your body to sleep better.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Reading, stretching, or taking a warm bath are all great ways to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
- Last but certainly not least, you can try incorporating sound therapy. Soothing natural sounds, white noise or even something unexpected like the sound of an airplane engine – which is considered pink noise – can help you find comfort and fall asleep faster.
Now that you’re on your way to a relaxing bedtime routine, let’s talk about the top 3 of the best sounds that will help you drift off into dreamland.
1. White Noise
One of the most popular sounds that helps people who have trouble sleeping, is white noise. White noise is a masking sound that blocks out other noises — think jungle sounds or rustling leaves, although most people associate it with the sound of “snow” on the tv, otherwise known as tv static. Many people use white noise in their daily lives because of its distinct calming effects and studies have even shown that because of its ability to block out other sounds and distractions, it is ideal as a sleep aid.
In a world perfect for sleep, we would all be snoozing in a quiet space with nothing to distract us, but the reality is that life can be noisy and sometimes those noises keep us awake. Whether it be pots and pans clanging, floors creaking or tv’s left on overnight, the steady sound of white noise allows your brain to relax more as opposed to the constant changing sounds our brains encounter every day and the result is most often a calm mind that easily drifts to sleep.
It’s also scientifically proven that white noise reduces stress and anxiety, especially in young adults, which makes it perfect for people who have trouble winding down at night due to excess worry and racing minds. The evidence of white noise’s positive effect on sleep comes from studies conducted in both labs and home environments.
If you’re interested in trying white noise yourself you can try listening to the sound of a fan whirring, radio static, or airplane cabin noises all of which can be classified as white noise. If you happen to not be flying any time soon or don’t feel safe with a fan running all night, white noise podcasts are a great way to listen to a soothing playlist of uninterrupted sounds all within arms reach.
2. Pink Noise
Pink noise, white noise’s lesser known relative, has become increasingly popular in recent years as more of us search for a good night’s sleep. Pink noise is similar to white noise in that you hear the same humming sound, but at a lower-pitched sound with more intensity in the lower frequencies. It has often been compared to a whooshing sound as opposed to the static sound of white noise.
As it turns out, pink noise can also calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Allowing these sounds to play in the background may even help you improve concentration and memory recall, as demonstrated by multiple researchers.
Familiar sources of pink noise include steady rainfall, brooks and streams, wind, etc. If you’ve been wondering, yes, you can also find pink noise on our podcast!
3. Brown Noise
Brown noise, also known as Brownian noise or red noise, is a type of sound that is characterized by its deep, low-pitch, and low-frequency signals like those of the rumble of thunder. It has been found to have significant benefits in improving sleep and reducing anxiety levels and stress.
Some researchers even believe that brown noise blocks out higher frequencies more effectively than white noise. This feature can drown out disruptive sounds such as a neighbor’s music or traffic outside in a more effective way. Brown noise creates a soft and consistent background layer to fall asleep to, making it easier to relax and sleep better. Common sources include low-frequency podcast playlists, vacuum cleaners on their lowest setting, wind noise, and roaring rivers.
In addition to helping you fall asleep, brown noise is great for light sleepers who get disturbed by the tiniest changes in the environment.
Bonus Sounds to Try to Fall Asleep To
If you like the idea of trying white, pink or brown noise but are looking for something a little extra, why not give some of our combo sounds a try? By listening to colored noises combined with other everyday sounds, you get access to another layer of complexity to add to your sleep routine.
Feel nostalgic at the thought of being a kid and listening to thunderstorms? Try mixing thunder with white noise for a combination that sounds like the perfect storm while also effectively canceling out other noises. Love the sound of streams and rivers? Brown noise and rain sounds create a perfect balance of whooshing sounds and running water to mimic a peaceful woodsy environment.
Now Let’s Get to Sleep
Quality sleep is essential. It is critical to maintaining our health and overall well-being, and even though sleep can be hard to come by, tossing and turning to get some shuteye doesn’t have to be the norm. If you’re looking for a low effort, high reward way to relieve your sleep troubles, it’s definitely worth experimenting with white noise, pink noise, and brown noise to find the right sound options for your needs.
After all, you spend your days running on all 8 cylinders, so finding something that is easily accessible, helps you fall asleep quickly and improves the quality of your sleep is one of the best things you can do for your nighttime routine to help set yourself up for success the next day.