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The science of sleep is still being researched; however, it is clear that disruptive and loud noises are not conducive to restful sleep.
Therefore more people are turning to white noise machines to drown out external noises.
White noise machines may come across as a type of pseudoscience to some people, but the “anti-noise” sounds play a huge role in relaxing your brain and preparing your mind for sleep.
In a Hurry? Here’s the Overall Test Winner
The Lectrofan white noise sound machine is an excellent choice because it fits a variety of features in a small and compact machine. The bonus is that it is relatively cheap.
The Lectrofan features ten fan sound settings as well as many sound color spectrums, including pink, brown, and white.
If you are particularly adept at picking up on patterned sounds, you should note that the audio tracks on this machine are non-repeating.
The white noise machine has a top facing speaker, a shut-off timer, and volume control.
Due to its compact size, the Lectrofan is ideal for travel. It can also be used with an AC power adapter or a USB cable.
Perhaps one of the best features of the Lectrofan is that it preserves energy and therefore only requires a small amount of electricity to work.
So if saving on energy bills is one of your priorities, you’ll love the Lectrofan.
Our Reviews Of The Best White Noise Machine
#1 The Lectrofan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine
LectroFan is the top of the range when it comes to white noise sound machines. It has a variety of features and at the same time, a surprisingly low price tag.
In total, there are ten fan sound settings as well as color noise spectrums such as white, pink, and brown.
The audio tracks on this device are non-repeating and therefore suitable for you if you are quick at picking up on patterned sounds.
The LectroFan is ideal for travel thanks to its petite and compact size. It has a shut-off timer, volume control, and speaker.
The electricity consumption on this device is also significantly less than other machines in this category, making it a smart choice for energy-savvy users.
#2 Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine
This is an excellent choice for those who like to travel with their white noise machines.
Marpac is the original manufacturer of this product, and while other machines use a speaker to create the sounds, this one uses a fan.
However, you won’t be bothered by a breeze as the airflow is covered.
If you are accustomed to falling asleep with the sound of the fan in the background, you are going to love this machine.
The Marpac Dohm allows you to enjoy the relaxing sounds of a fan, without the drawbacks of an actual one.
Customizing the experience is easy thanks to the adjustable volume, pitch, and speed.
As a bonus, you get a stylish black eye mask to enhance your experience.
#3 Sound and Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine
This white noise sound machine incorporates 30 immersive and rich sounds for better sleep and relaxation.
The sounds are non-repeating and adaptive to adjust the tone and volume based on your environment.
The sleep timer gradually reduces the volume after 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes, respectively. This allows you to ease into a restful sleep.
#4 AVANTEK White Noise Sound Machine
The AVANTEK White Noise Sound Machine contains 20 different sounds.
This is broken down into six fans sounds, six types of white noise and eight nature sounds. All the sounds are non-looping and high quality.
The machine is suitable for everyone, from infants to adults.
It’s especially suited to calming your infant down and easing them into restful sleep thanks to the wide range of volumes with 30 levels.
It supports continuous play or auto-off using the timer. The machine is also portable and petite, so it fits nicely into your handbag, making it ideal for travel purposes.
#5 Big Red Rooster White Noise Sound Machine
While the name Big Red Rooster implies that this sound machine will keep you up at night, the opposite is true.
In fact, to encourage a peaceful nights rest it contains six sound settings, a timer and volume control.
The volume knob is priceless in ensuring that this machine does not get too loud.
The device plugs into the wall but also works with batteries, so it’s ideal for travel.
If you are sensitive to brightness, you would be better offer keeping the machine on the floor as it has a light on the device that does not dim.
The Science Behind White Noise
White noise is somewhat similar yet different to ambient sounds of birds chirping, rainstorms and rolling waves.
Although these natural sounds can be soothing, white noise remains consistent and can be heard across all frequencies.
The consistency creates a masking effect that blocks out any sudden changes in noise.
Some examples of sudden changes in noise include your partner’s snoring, a neighbors dog barking or a truck rumbling down the street as these sounds can cause you to wake up at night.
In a nutshell, if you combined every imaginable tone us as humans can hear, you would get white noise.
So why is it called “white” noise?
The word white is an adjective that describes the type of noise, and in this case, it is comparable to the way white light works.
However, if you didn’t already know this, white light is indeed made up of all the different colors or frequencies of light put together.
A rainbow or prism separates white light and places it into its component colors. So white noise is essentially a combination of different frequencies of sound.
So when you think of white noise, imagine listening to 20, 000 different tones all at once.
White Noise machine FAQ
How Exactly Does White Noise Machine Work?
Some people are light sleepers and wake up easily.
It could be something as minor as a dog barking in the distance or the snoring of a family member in the other room that wakes you up.
White noise creates a sound-masking effect, which then creates a steady and consistent background noise that ultimately masks other sounds from stirring your consciousness.
One way to look at it is to imagine people talking at the same time.
If only two people are talking at once, you are capable of picking out one voice and differentiating it over the other.
Even if three people are talking at once, your brain may still be able to pick out one voice.
However, if 1,000 people are talking at once, it is exactly what white noise sounds like.
So every time you turn on a fan to mimic white noise, you are inevitably creating a source of 1,000 voices, and if there’s a voice from next door, your brain is not able to pick it out any longer.
Can White Noise Be Harmful?
Some white noise machines indeed produce harmful noise levels that could be harmful.
However, this does not mean that they cannot be used safely.
While there is the talk of exposure to the unstructured, random sounds altering the brain’s neural connections and possibly leading to conditions such as dementia and tinnitus, there is also reason to be skeptical about such claims.
Firstly, the research is still limited in terms of evidence. However, a 2015 study in Germany concluded that exposure to white noise has no general effect on cognitive functions.
So ultimately, it is premature to advise people and parents of infants to refrain from using white noise to help them sleep.
Although, when using it for an infant, it may be better to opt for machines with a lower decibel or between 65-70 as opposed to 85 decibels.
Does White Noise Actually Work?
Making any type of noise just before going to bed may seem counterintuitive.
However, making a bunch of noise, white noise that is can help you sleep better.
This is probably why you’ve heard a lot of people insist that they can’t go to sleep without a fan running or having sound conditioners in their bedroom.
In a nutshell, white noise works because it is a better noise.
Because it is a consistent noise, it comes across evenly throughout all hearable frequencies.
When a sound wakes you up at night, it’s actually the sudden inconsistency in the frequency that wakes you up rather than the noise itself.
So white noise drowns out the background noise and in other words, masks it so that you sleep well.
The logic behind this method of restful sleep is that your hearing still works even while you are sleeping.
How to Get Used to White Noise?
Perhaps one of the best ways to get used to white noise is by investing in a white noise sound machine.
The machines are created to mask outside noises such as barking dogs and loud neighbors that can disturb sleep.
These devices are especially useful at preventing mind chatter.
Mind chatter is when you are bombarded with emotions and thoughts to an extent where it prevents you from falling off to sleep.
This happens when the brain starts to crave sensor input, and if there isn’t, it will create some in the form of thoughts.
White noise offers the brain enough input so that you are not overwhelmed with thoughts and can easily fall asleep.
Once you start using white noise to go to sleep, you may not be able to sleep without it.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, and if your dependance on these white noises helps you have a good restful sleep and wake up refreshed, it’s a bonus.
So one sure way of getting used to white noise is to always listen to it at bedtime, each night.
Does White Noise Work for Studying?
Some noises are definitely not good for studying and cognitive work.
In fact, experiments have concluded that certain noises can be downright detrimental to academic performance.
Using white noise to mask unwanted sounds can significantly improve cognitive performance.
When studying, carrying out tasks such as proofreading, reading comprehension, and writing, the biggest distraction was meaningful speech.
It is, in fact, way more distracting than any other type of noise. This is primarily because speech is thought to disrupt the semantic processing needed to accomplish these tasks.
So white noise can definitely help you study better.
This does, however, depend on each individual, and while it may work like a charm on one student, it may not be as effective for the next.
White noise is used mostly to enhance and aid restful sleep.
It is effective in giving you a good night’s sleep for many reasons, including that it distracts the brain.
The logic behind this is that a room that is completely quiet may cause a listener to become more alert in an attempt to trace any sound.
White sound provides the mind with something to focus on without using words or music.
White noise is also extremely effective in workplace environments. Office workers are usually tempted to make their own noise in an attempt to drown out the quiet.
White noise fills in the quiet and drowns out the hum of computer and office equipment, improving concentration and focus in the workplace.
Travelling can prove to be stressful. Bringing a portable white noise machine along with you while on the road helps to reduce travel stress.
If you often find it hard to sleep on a plane, you should try using a white noise machine as it may prove effective in drowning out passenger chatter, crying babies and plane engine sounds.
It may also soothe a crying baby near you.
If you have a child that suffers from ADHD, white noise sound machines may help them focus and learn better.
Hospital patients in ICU may also benefit from the calming and soothing effects of white noise as it encourages a peaceful environment.
If you have elderly family members suffering from dementia, they usually become agitated and white noise can be used as a calming aid to soothe and reassure them.
So as you can, white noise sound machines bring a wealth of mental and cognitive benefits with it.
There are a variety of different types, sizes, colors, and functions on the market, so All that’s left now is to invest in your very own.
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